ALGONQUIN – Four businesses in Algonquin have been fined $2,000 each for selling alcohol to two underage people.
Chipotle, BuddyZ A Chicago Pizzeria, Bangkok and Foley’s Pub all sold beer to minors during a police department check, Algonquin police said during a Liquor Commission hearing Tuesday.
Each establishment had no prior violations, Deputy Chief Ed Urban said.
Chipotle, BuddyZ and Foley’s Pub also were fined $500 each when their employees did not have a card during the police check certifying that they had received Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training, as required by village ordinance.
Wine & Roses also is accused of failing the check, but its case was continued to a date yet to be determined. If the restaurant is found guilty, that would be its fourth violation since 2005.
During the check Dec. 19, police sent two underage people into 27 establishments, 14 places that serve alcohol along with food and 13 packaged liquor stores to try to buy alcohol.
BuddyZ owner Tim Scarnato said he thought the employee who served the alcohol was BASSET certified.
Scarnato said there are reminders around the restaurant and monthly meetings.
“I’d like to apologize to the Liquor Commission and the citizens of the community because, as a family business, this is something we take very [seriously],” Scarnato said. “I have no excuses but to look in the mirror. This one seemed to slip through that I was allowing her to work without being BASSET certified. I was under the impression she was.”
Trustee Brian Dianis reminded the license holders to make sure not serving alcohol to minors is ingrained into the culture of the businesses.
“Just the fact somebody is BASSET trained doesn’t necessarily guarantee this is not going to happen,” Dianis said. “There has to be a corporate culture there that’s going to establish that environment.”
Simon Lundie, owner of Bangkok, said the employee made a judgment error, and it comes down a team effort when preventing minors from drinking. Lundie said passing on the fine to the employee might become his restaurant’s policy.
Village Trustee Jim Steigert reminded liquor license holders that people who are younger than 21 have IDs that are vertical. People 21 and older have horizontal IDs.
“If it’s vertical, don’t serve; if it’s horizontal, you’re OK,” Steigert said.
David Foley, president of Foley’s Pub, which opened in October, had not been BASSET trained, which is required.
Some of Foley’s employees have been BASSET certified, but not all. Foley said employees without certification will be BASSET trained, and there now is someone in the restaurant who is certified at all times.
“It just hasn’t come into place yet,” Foley said.
Village President John Schmitt, who also serves as liquor commissioner, said fines increase dramatically if there are repeated violations.
“We really take this seriously,” Schmitt said. “If you come back again, it’s going to be a lot more severe.”