Mother's cited twice for liquor violations

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Mother's Deli, a Steamboat Springs bar, has been cited twice in the past five months for violating two separate Colorado liquor laws.

One of the citations came from Steamboat Springs police; the other was a citation issued by the state's Liquor Enforcement Division.

On Thursday, the Steamboat Springs City Council, also the city's Liquor License Authority, heard evidence on the police citation.

The bar in Ski Time Square was cited in Septembner for allowing a visibly intoxicated person to loiter on the premises.

The council agreed to schedule the incident for a show cause hearing to allow the bar's owner, Stephen Chavez, to meet with city staff regarding the violation.

According to a police report, a Routt County Sheriff's deputy and two Steamboat Springs police officers were called to Mother's Deli to respond to the report of a fight.

While there, officers reportedly spoke with Chavez, who "slurred his words as he spoke and appeared intoxicated." Police also spoke with Nicholas Crull, an employee of the bar who had been checking IDs at the door.

The report indicates Crull, "also appeared intoxicated."

Officers cited the bar for allowing a 21-year-old man who was visibly intoxicated to stay at the bar.

The man later was taken to detox.

City Council President Ken Brenner asked police Capt. Joel Rae if it is common for officers to contact intoxicated business owners on routine police calls.

"It's more on the unusual side than on the usual side," Rae said. "When we go and do bar checks, our officers are actively looking for people showing visible signs of intoxication, which can include staff."

Jordan reminded the council that Chavez was not cited for being intoxicated.

"That's not the alleged violation," she said. "The citation is for the patron that was loitering."

Assistant City Attorney Dan Foote told the council that it could consider the staff's condition in handling the alleged violation.

Jordan also notified the council that the state's Liquor Enforcement Division cited Chavez in July for allowing open containers of alcohol to leave the premises.

Ken Peterson, a supervisor with the State Liquor Enforcement Division, said Chavez was cited on July 7, after two investigators filmed Mother's Deli patrons taking alcohol from the premise and drinking on the sidewalk.

"Apparently they had a large group of people on their patio and someone took a drink off the premises," he said. "You can't do that. It has to remain on-premise."

After meeting with state officials, Chavez agreed to a 15-day suspension of his liquor license with 10 days held in abeyance. Chavez began serving the five-day suspension Wednesday and will continue to serve it through Sunday.

Peterson said Thursday he was unaware Chavez had received a second violation and that the State would have to review the second incident before deciding whether to impose the other 10 days of the suspension.

Chavez, who attended the meeting Thursday, said he preferred not to comment on the situation until the case reached disposition.

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