Five Harford County restaurants and one liquor store were fined by the Harford County Liquor Control Board recently for various violations of the county's liquor laws.
Beards Hill Plaza Liquors and Carsins Run Grill in Aberdeen, Pat's Pizzeria in Edgewood and Open Door Café were all fined $1,000 for selling alcohol to a minor during a compliance test Sept. 27. The fine for Sequoia Mountain Branch Golf Course in Joppa was $2,000, higher because it has had more than one violation within five years.
Olive Tree restaurant in Aberdeen was fined $1,000 for not having its resident licensee on the premises the required amount of time, as well as $500 for not cooperating with representatives of the board.
Beards Hill Plaza Liquors
The store failed a compliance test on Sept. 27, when a cashier sold an underage employee of the liquor board alcohol, Chief Inspector Charles Robbins testified before the board during a hearing Nov. 14.
Licensee Andrew Klein didn't refute the facts and said he was "tremendously distressed" at the violation.
The registers at the store have an ID system for cashiers to swipe an individual's driver's license and validate it, he continued, and the cashier "bypassed that system." The employee was fired the day after the compliance test.
"I take this charge very, very seriously," Klein said. The store manager who was responsible for hiring and training the employees was also fired. "We can't afford violations like this to occur."
Carsins Run Grill
Robbins told the board that the underage employee was served a beer at Carsins Run Grill after the waitress requested his driver's license and inspected it.
Licensee Terry Cheung also agreed to the facts Robbins gave to the liquor board about the compliance test the same day.
"It was just a mistake she made," Cheung said, adding that the servers "miscalculated" the man's age after looking at his license.
Chairman Donald Hess asked Cheung if the server was aware that a vertical Maryland driver's license means that the person is younger than 21 years old and, therefore, the age didn't need to be calculated. She wasn't aware, Cheung responded.
"We need to do a much better job," licensee Efstathios Kotanidis said in response to Robbins' testimony that the restaurant served alcohol to a minor and did not request identification.
Hess asked what are Kotanidis' instructions to employees about selling alcohol.
"Never serve without checking the driver's license," he said.
Mountain Branch Golf Course
Linda Carter was the lawyer for Keith Davis, general manager and resident licensee, and Timothy Dunlap, chief operations officer, for Mountain Branch Golf Course.
Robbins told the board that the bartender didn't request identification from the underage employee who requested a beer during a compliance test Sept. 27.