10 of 49 Steamboat Springs businesses fail state alcohol compliance check

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Businesses that failed the compliance check

Cafe Corretto (formerly Amante Coffee)

Cugino's Pizzeria

Panda Garden

Rex's American Grill & Bar

The Tugboat Grill & Pub

Arctic Liquors

Ski Haus Liquors

West End Liquor

Kum & Go (Anglers Drive)

Safeway

Businesses that passed the compliance check

The Bakery

Walmart

5th Street Market and Deli

Azteca Taqueria

Big House Burgers and Bottle Cap Bar

Canton Chinese Restaurant

Carl’s Tavern

Cantina Mexican Restaurant

Double Z Bar & BBQ

Fiesta Jalisco

Gondola Pub & Grill

La Fiesta Grill and Cantina

La Montaña

Mambo Italiano

Old Town Pub

Qdoba Mexican Grill

Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant

Shack Cafe

Sheraton Steamboat Resort

Slopeside Grill

Sunpie’s Bistro

T Bar

The Paramount

Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill

Sweet Pea

Winona’s

7th Street Liquor

Central Park Liquor

Market on the Mountain

Ski Town Wine and Spirits

Southside Liquors

Steamboat Discount Liquors

Ghost Ranch

VFW Post 4264

City Market

Kum & Go (Curve Plaza)

Loaf N Jug

7-Eleven

Creekside Cafe & Grill

— Ten of the 49 Steamboat Springs businesses that were part of a state-run alcohol compliance check during the weekend will receive summonses for selling booze to teenagers working undercover. Local police said they are disappointed in the 20 percent failure rate from the most recent round of compliance checks.

The alcohol compliance checks were run by agents working for the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Liquor Enforcement Division. A Steamboat Springs Police Department officer was present for the operation that took place Friday and Saturday at bars, restaurants and liquor stores across the city.

In each instance, a 16-year-old was given money and asked to attempt to buy alcohol from the establishment. Police Capt. Jerry Stabile said the operation was conducted following strict guidelines to avoid entrapment and other potential legal pitfalls. If the teenager was asked to show an ID or asked whether he or she was old enough to purchase alcohol, the teen had to answer truthfully. No fake IDs were used, and the teens were wearing a wire to capture the transactions on audiotape, Stabile said.

Employees who sold alcohol to the minors were issued a summons on the spot by a Department of Revenue agent. The holder of each business's liquor license will be mailed a separate summons. The cases will be heard in Grand Junction, Stabile said.

The 10 businesses that failed the compliance check are: Cafe Corretto (formerly Amante Coffee), Cugino's Pizzeria, Panda Garden, Rex's American Grill & Bar, The Tugboat Grill & Pub, Arctic Liquors, Ski Haus Liquors, West End Liquor, Kum & Go (Anglers Drive) and Safeway.

Rex Brice, owner of Rex’s American Grill & Bar as well as four other Steamboat Springs restaurants, said Wednesday that he was disappointed one of his veteran employees didn’t ask the underage buyer for identification. He said that employee has been suspended.

“Unfortunately, these compliance checks are a necessary thing,” Brice said. “I think restaurant owners take it very seriously. I think it’s very often getting that same level of commitment from staff that is the challenge.”

Brice particularly was frustrated by the timing of his restaurant’s failure.

“We just — within the week — had alcohol training to make sure our people are carding appropriately,” he said. “We have our people sign a contract saying they will card everyone. I’m frustrated by my inability to get across the importance of doing this right.”

Big House Burgers and Bottle Cap Bar, one of Brice’s other restaurants, passed the compliance check last week.

Stabile said the 80 percent compliance rate shouldn’t be acceptable for the community.

“We always strive for 100 percent, and we have achieved that before,” he said.

Stabile said the noncompliance is indicative of the need for increased education as well as additional compliance checks. Although this most recent compliance check was initiated by the state, the police department often conducts its own checks using the same standards as those employed by the Department of Revenue.

The city and its police department in 2006 put an increased emphasis on monitoring alcohol sales and increased the penalties for businesses caught selling alcohol to minors. Those moves were in response to a series of undercover compliance checks with dismal results. In September 2005, for example, nine of 11 businesses failed a compliance check. Three months later, six of 18 failed.

As a result of the efforts, the compliance rate increased dramatically during the ensuing couple of years.

Businesses that failed the state compliance check face penalties ranging from a warning to a fine to possible liquor license suspension.

To reach Brent Boyer, call 970-871-4221 or email bboyer@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

John St Pierre 1 year, 11 months ago

I would hope that city council address's this issue quickly..... it should be noted that the council approved (I believe $84,000) a few weeks back for additional police coverage in order to keep issues with liqour in check........obviously our local police have some work to do.

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