Two Bel Air businesses — 510 Johnnys and C.R. Wings — were fined by the Harford County Liquor Control Board Wednesday for serving alcohol to an underage police cadet during compliance tests in May.
The board unanimously approved a $2,000 fine on one charge of selling alcohol to a minor against 510 Johnnys, which has several prior violations, according to liquor board Administrator Pilar Gracia.
C.R. Wings, which Gracia said does not have prior violations, was fined $250 for selling alcohol to a minor and another $250 for having an employee younger than 18 selling or serving alcohol to a minor. The board did not levy a fine on a third charge, not having an employee trained in alcohol awareness on the premises at the time of the test.
Representatives of both businesses appeared before the board Wednesday for show cause hearings. The owner of C.R. Wings and liquor licensee, Mariia Vakulovska, appeared with attorney Perry Lericos, of White Marsh.
The tests were conducted May 25 at both businesses by Inspector Louis Reichart, Maryland State Police Sgt. Zi Shum, TFC Matt Weimer and MSP Cadet Trevor Roland, according to Reichart’s report.
The test at C.R. Wings was at 6:16 p.m. Roland and Weimer entered and ordered at the counter.
The employee, identified in the report as a 17-year-old, served a cup of beer to the cadet, according to the inspector’s report.
Reichart and Shum entered the restaurant and asked to see a manager. The 17-year-old was the manager on duty.
“I told him he was not old enough to be serving and selling alcohol,” Reichart said.
Lericos, the attorney, asked Reichart if he has conducted alcohol awareness training with C.R. Wings employees recently to teach them about the proper ways to sell and serve alcohol.
Reichart said he had visited at least three times in recent months. The 17-year-old said he had not been trained, according to the inspector’s report.
Emily Reno, the general manager, testified about what led to a 17-year-old being the on-duty manager.
She said the manager scheduled to work that night had said they could not come to work. Reno, who was on her way out to celebrate her wedding anniversary, had the 17-year-old fill in.
Reno said she did not know he was underage. The 17-year-old and the manager who called out were fired, and Reno received a written warning the next day.
“If anything were to happen again, I would be terminated,” she said.
Reno acknowledged the majority of C.R. Wings’ 22 employees are younger than 21 years old. Vakulovska, the owner, said she works to give local youths employment opportunities.
“Their parents are comfortable with them to work in the [restaurant] environment,” she said.
Vakulovska said her employees must sign a statement that they have completed alcohol awareness training. She later thanked Reichart for conducting the training.
“We really, really appreciate what you did for us,” she said as she was leaving the meeting room. “It was very helpful, thank you very much.”
Nicholas Tsirlis, the license holder, appeared before the board with his business partners, father and son, John and Spiros Korologos.
The test at their establishment was at 8:44 p.m. May 25, according to the inspector’s report.
The State Police cadet, Roland, and trooper, Weimer, entered and were shown to a booth. The server served Roland a bottle of beer.
Reichart and Shum, the State Police sergeant, entered and spoke with Spiros Korologos, the manager on duty, according to the report.
The server testified during Wednesday’s hearing and said he had been suspended for one week.
“I’m a professional server,” the server told the liquor board.
He said security personnel are usually stationed at the entrances to check the IDs of patrons — he did not know at the time of the test that the guard on duty had gone to the restroom.
“When I went to the table, I’m already thinking to myself that these gentlemen had already been carded,” said the server, who acknowledged he also has a responsibility to ask for identification.
Spiros Korologos said “a more professional” security firm has been hired, and the organization is in its second week with 510 Johnnys.
“We just have to see how it goes with this company,” he said.