DJ Big Sexy’s plan for a baby race at the St. Patrick’s Day festivities at The Lodge in Hickory over the weekend didn’t go quite as expected, and the liquor licensees could be facing violations, the county liquor board inspector said. The owner of the restaurant, however, said the contest never happened and no violations occurred.
“The idea was to entice patrons with small children to participate in a baby race, something he had seen on Facebook the night before at a basketball game,” inspector William Colburn said.
Mid-afternoon Saturday, the DJ called over the microphone to have two Irish car bombs — a drink made with Guinness, whiskey and Irish cream liquor — sent to the DJ table, Colburn told members of the Harford County Liquor Control Board at their meeting Wednesday.
“I thought he was joking, trying to make fun of people for having children in a place that may have been inappropriate for small children,” Colburn said, “until I saw the car bombs being brought out.”
The two fathers were at one end of the patio and the mothers at the other, and the DJ thought the babies would crawl faster to car bombs at the end.
“Until the DJ realized the babies were 4 months and 6 months old and not old enough to crawl,” Colburn said. “And not that they would have known what [car bombs] were.”
Instead, the men picked up the drinks and drank them, a violation of liquor board rules, which say alcohol cannot be provided for free or used as a prize in a contest, Colburn said.
He is writing a report he will give to the liquor board administrator, who will determine if the licensees should be brought in for a show-causehearing. If they are required to appear before the liquor board, the board will determine an appropriate punishment, Colburn said.
“The baby races, obviously I didn’t think it was appropriate,” he said. “But more concerning to me was that the manager on scene was informed no one could consume the drinks and he didn’t stop that from happening when he had the opportunity to.”
That is also a liquor rule violation — failure to cooperate with a representative of the board, Colburn said.
Scott Opkyke, general manager of Hickory Lodge for 10 years, said Thursday the contest was “terminated before it happened. It never took place.”
“We are confident we didn’t commit a violation,” Opdyke said. “We will contest the case and we are confident we will prevail.”
St. Patrick’s Day
For the most part, St. Patrick’s Day events went smoothly, Colburn said.
“Certainly there were some issues downtown [in Bel Air], when you get that many people, there was some over-intoxication,” he said. “With that many people, unfortunately that’s going to happen.”
The biggest party was at Looney’s, where the staff stayed on top of every incident and was quick to eject people who were visibly intoxicated, he said.
“They were very vigilant, they did everything they could,” he said.
A new liquor board rule, which went into effect Jan. 1, prohibits a visibly intoxicated person from being on the premises of an establishment that serves alcoholic beverages. The previous rule stated a visibly intoxicated person can’t be served alcohol.
Colburn also told board members a bartender at a Harford establishment that serves alcohol was issued a citation for driving under the influence over the weekend. She told the Harford County Sheriff’s deputy who pulled her over that she had been given free shots, a liquor rule violation, by her employer after working a double shift, Colburn said.