Hooves Liquor, a popular establishment among Chapman students, located on the corner of Glassell Street and East Walnut Avenue, has had new owners since December – its third ownership transfer in the past 12 years.
New owners Hussan Abdulnour and Essam Salameh hired Robert Rashid, who moved to California from Homs, Syria, in 1988, as the new manager. Rashid and his wife, Lamis, have been working there since December and have learned to combat license violations concerning underage alcohol purchases, Lamis Rashid said.
Since 2008, Hooves has received two disciplinary suspensions under two different owners, according to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
“I used my fake at Hooves all the time,” said Anna, a senior at Chapman who spoke under the condition of anonymity. “(It was) no problem.”
The new managers, however, are taking steps to ensure anyone who buys alcohol is the legal age.
“Robert has been (working at liquor stores) for 30 years,” said Lamis Rashid. “He has a lot of experience figuring out if people are underage. We first look to see if they look under 21, then we ask for ID, have a scanning device and use it. It’s tricky, but we have to do our best and be very careful because we just started here. You have to look for IDs all the time.”
Adam, an underage student from outside of the U.S., who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said that buying alcohol with his fake ID is “pretty easy.”
“Coming from out of the country, where I used to be able to buy it before, (and) going to a store just felt pretty normal to me,” Adam said. “I don’t go to Hooves because I’ve heard stories of undercover police, so I try not to go around there.”
He also said that teenagers and people under 21 in the U.S. drink as much as people from his country, where consuming alcohol under 21 is legal.
“At the end of the day, whether it’s legal or not, it’s all up to the kid and how responsible he is if he’s going to get alcohol legally or illegally,” Adam said. “As long as the kids are taught how to handle alcohol and what to do and everything, that’s all that matters to save lives.”
Although the business has changed ownership frequently over the years, it’s unlikely that the land it sits on will be sold.
The past years have seen Chapman expand at a rapid rate, with three current major expansion projects in the works: the Keck Center for Science and Engineering, the Villa Park Orchards Residence Hall and the Chapman Grand apartments in Anaheim.
Harold Hewitt, Chapman’s chief operating officer, oversees these projects. During the planning for the Musco Center for the Arts, Hewitt said Chapman attempted to purchase every property facing Glassell between East Walnut and West Sycamore Street to clear room for the project. In 2011, the university sent letters to the owner of Hooves indicating that it wanted to purchase the property.
“They completely refused,” Hewitt said. “We never entered into discussions with Hooves and never offered a price for Hooves because the owner made it very clear he wasn’t interested in selling. We never talked to them again.”
Robert Rashid said that the expansion is “good for the town.”
“However, (Chapman needs) to know one thing: Don’t force people out of their businesses to achieve their goal,” he said.
Though surrounded by an expanding university on its street, Hooves has remained steadfast and still attracts both Chapman students and Orange locals.
“I’ve never seen more prime real estate,” said Alexander Barrett, a junior film production major. “It’s a really convenient place to pick up anything you need. And it’s open late.”