After the recent buzz among staff and visitors, the Honolulu Zoo decided not to implement its newest attraction after all – alcohol. The proposal to sell beer and wine during weekend lunch hours at the African Savannah area received mixed reactions from the community last month. Because of this, the zoo withdrew its application for a liquor license yesterday.

It wasn’t a complete shock to me when I first heard the zoo might be selling alcohol; after all, places like Sea Life Park and the Honolulu Museum of Art already do this. They have licenses for special events as well as sales to daily visitors. The events include Art After Dark at the museum and concerts held at Sea Life Park. Even Disneyworld in Florida sells alcohol within the park. Each place, including the Honolulu Zoo, has security, so I’m sure if someone got rowdy, they’d be there to escort them out of the park.

Usually, it’s a very minimal amount of alcohol served in each cup, and from what I’ve been told (I don’t drink beer), it’s not enough to get “belligerently drunk.” I do understand the concerns of parents with young children or of visitors who don’t drink alcohol. Perhaps the zoo could have enforced limitations on how much alcohol’s consumed? “Cutting ‘em off,” as most bartenders might do. For me, the expensive cost of beverages and food at park venues in general are enough to keep from going overboard and emptying my wallet. The price of alcohol just may deter the visitor from buying another…and another…

The zoo’s decision not to sell alcohol isn’t a huge loss for visitors who were hoping to get a buzz. Almost every restaurant in Waikiki has a bar or serves alcohol to customers, so why not visit the zoo animals and then walk across the street for a post drink.

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