Selectmen Penalize Foxboro Mandarin, Blue Fin Lounge for Serving Alcohol to Minor

Foxborough's Board of Selectmen issued penalties to Foxboro Mandarin and Blue Fin Lounge for serving alcohol to a minor during a compliance check on Sept. 27

Foxboro Manadrin and the Blue Fin Lounge - located in Bass Pro Shops at Patriot Place - are the most recent establishments to be penalized for serving alcohol to a minor during a Sept. 27 compliance check performed by Foxborough police.

Foxborough's Board of Selectmen ruled unanimously at its Nov. 20 meeting to penalize Foxboro Mandarin with the following:

  • Letter of Reprimand
  • Waiver of right to appeal to the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission
  • Cover the town's costs incurred during public hearing
  • Suspend liquor license on Tuesday, Dec. 4 from 6 p.m. to closing

Selectmen agreed to suspend Foxboro Mandarin's liquor serving license for just four hours on Dec. 4 because of the establishment's spotless record prior to Sept. 27 and quick actions during the compliance check.

"The circumstances in this case were a little different than in previous [cases]," said Foxborough Town Manager Kevin Paicos. "In this case there was a mistake made, a violation occurred. There was fairly quick recognition that the there was a problem and the bartender came back and removed the beer."

At approximately 4:15 p.m. on Sept. 27, a 19-year-old woman assisting Foxborough police in an alcohol compliance check, walked in to Foxboro Mandarin and ordered a Bud Light at the bar, according to Foxborough Police Sergeant Richard Noonan.

"She produced her under 21 identification," Noonan said. "Bartender looked at it and brought it over to a light to look at it further. The telephone rang, he answered it, hung up the phone and walked over and handed the ID back to the operative. Asked if she wanted a Bud Light, which she confirmed she did."

The bartender, according to Noonan, then took a Bud Light bottle from the cooler, opened it and placed it in front of the underage operative at the bar.

A short time later, according to Noonan, the bartender came back and questioned the underage operative about her age and stated: "You were born in 1992 are you 21?" The underage operative then told the bartender she is not 21.

"[The bartender] then took the beer back from her and apologized that he could not serve her," Noonan said.

Selectmen agreed that Foxboro Mandarin's actions still resulted in a violation - the establishment's first in 10 years of operating in town. That clean record coupled with the bartender's quick actions after serving the beer to the minor prompted selectmen to issue a less severe punishment.

"We were thinking about a day, frankly a night would be more appropriate," Paicos said. "I think a day would deprive the business. They have a very active lunch business with liquor and dinner and to deprive both would be harsher than [necessary]."

Selectmen agreed, defining 6 p.m. as the dinner crowd and voting 5-0 in favor of suspending the liquor license on Tuesday, Dec. 4 from 6 p.m. to closing (9:30 p.m.).

"They don't have to close they just can't serve liquor," said selectman Lynda Walsh.

Blue Fin Lounge Ordered to Close Early on Dec. 4

Following a Nov. 20 public hearing with the Blue Fin Lounge, located inside Bass Pro Shops at Patriot Place, selectmen voted 4-1 to issue the following penalty:

  • Letter of Reprimand
  • Waiver of right to appeal to the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission
  • Cover the town's costs incurred during public hearing
  • Suspend liquor license on Tuesday, Dec. 4 from 6 p.m. to closing

Selectman Lorraine Brue opposed the proposed penalty, saying 6 p.m. to closing was not consistent with other penalties issued because Blue Fin Lounge closes at 8:30 p.m.

"There should be an additional hour to keep consistent with other situation at Foxboro Mandarin," Brue said.

Brue added she felt there was more put on Foxboro Mandarin. Her fellow board members disagreed and Paicos said suspending Blue Fin Lounge's alcohol license at 6 p.m. on Dec. 4 "effectively takes away the dinner crowd."

Similar to Foxboro Mandarin, the Blue Fin Lounge violated its liquor license by serving to a minor during the town's alcohol compliance check on Sept. 27.

The underage female operative entered the Blue Fin Lounge and took a seat at the bar, according to Noonan. When the bartender came over he asked the operative what she wanted and she asked for a Bud Light, according to Noonan.

"The bartender then proceeded to open a beer bottle and place it in front of her," Noonan said. "The underage operative then asked if she could pay for the beer at which time the bartender went over to the cash register and printed up a receipt and came back over to her and at that time he requested her identification, which she produced. He asked if she was 21, she stated she was not. At that time he took away the beer and told her he could not serve her."

Paicos said while a mistake was made there was fairly quick recognition of that mistake and appropriate action taken, similar to Foxboro Mandarin.

"Once again, I think in fairness and for the sake of consistency a short duration of suspension would be appropriate."

Counsel for Blue Fin Lounge informed the Board of Selectmen the bartender was terminated as a result of the incident because Bass Pro Shops has a zero tolerance policy for serving to minors.

It's been a busy month for selectmen as the board has suspended five establishments' liquor licenses as a result of the Sept. 27 compliance check:

  • Bar Louie’s Liquor License Suspended 5 Days for Serving to Minor
  • CBS Scene Hit with 3-Day Penalty for Serving Alcohol to Minor

Selectmen are expected to hold a public hearing with Waxy O'Connor's on Jan. 8, 2013 to address the establishment's alleged violation of its liquor license during the Sept. 27 compliance check. If found guilty, it would be Waxy O'Connor's fourth violation in two years. Paicos said during a public hearing in 2011 that a fourth violation by the establishment would likely close Waxy's.


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