Bar Louie at Patriot Place will not be allowed to sell alcohol from Nov. 25-29 while it serves a suspension imposed by Foxborough’s Board of Selectmen for serving alcohol to a minor on Sept. 27.
“A five-day suspension during that particular timeframe is very meaningful in terms of the financial impact it will have on this business,” Town Manager Kevin Paicos said of the board’s decision at Monday's hearing. “Not that our goal is to punish businesses but it needs to be understood this is serious and the board is not tolerant of this and we will be far less tolerant if there is a third [violation].”
This is Bar Louie’s second liquor license violation within the town’s three-year reach of regulation.
“We had a hearing in August 2010 [with Bar Louie] for serving to minors,” said Board of Selectmen chair James DeVellis. “We imposed a three-day liquor suspension and at that time the board allowed the suspension to be held for a year and if there was no further violations in that time, it would not be implemented.”
In an effort to prevent this violation from reoccurring for a third time, Bar Louie told selectmen at Monday’s public hearing it would take the following steps to address the issue:
- Terminated the server who made the error during the identification check
- Hired an alcohol trainer for staff
- Increased training budget
- Implemented policy to ID all patrons that look 35 years old or younger
- Implemented policy to conduct secondary ID checks
- Implemented policy to no longer accept vertical forms of identification
- Purchased an ID scanner
Additionally, Bar Louie offered to serve its suspension for five consecutive days from Nov. 25-29; an offer the board was appreciative of.
“I appreciate what [Bar Louie] did,” [They] stepped up to the plate and [they’re] trying to put this behind them and move on,” said Board of Selectmen vice chair Mark Sullivan. “I’m actually a little taken aback that [Bar Louie] offered those days being how important they are to business.”
Selectman Lorraine Brue said Bar Louie’s offer shows how seriously the establishment is taking the violation.
“I appreciate [Bar Louie’s] offer,” Brue said. “The five-day suspension is a serious penalty and it makes me understand how [Bar Louie] understands how serious this situation is. I appreciate that.”
Selectman Lynda Walsh said the establishment’s offer, in addition to the steps it is taking to address serving alcohol to minors is commendable and ultimately influenced her decision at Monday’s hearing.
“[The board] agreed to the five days because of all the things [Bar Louie] is going to do,” Walsh said. “Those several things meant a lot to my decision.”
In addition to the five-day suspension, Bar Louie will pay all legal bills and town expenses associated with the violation and public hearing.
Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary said at Monday’s hearing he believed the punishment fit the violation.
“I feel strongly in meeting with [Bar Louie] that this is a fair process of justice for our community as well as the business,” O’Leary said.
A second liquor license violation, according to the town’s regulations, calls for a suspension of 3 to 10 days with discussion of 30-day closing of the establishment. Selectmen chose to accept Bar Louie’s offer of five consecutive days.
During discussion at Monday’s hearing, however, Sullivan suggested that five consecutive days was “too much” and the board should entertain the idea of breaking the suspension into two parts – three days in November and two days in January.
“I wouldn’t want it to run five days consecutive,” Sullivan said.
After discussion amongst the board, selectmen voted unanimously to accept Bar Louie’s offer to serve the suspension from Nov. 25-29.
Bar Louie was one of six establishments to fail the town’s alcohol compliance check on Sept. 27, according to Foxborough Police Sergeant Richard H. Noonan Jr.
Noonan explained at Monday’s hearing that he, along with an officer from the Stoughton Police Department and a 19-year-old female operative conducted compliance checks at all of Foxborough’s licensed liquor establishments on Sept. 27. The establishments received notice prior to the compliance checks.
“Prior to [Sept. 27] a letter was hand-delivered by a uniformed officer to each establishment, notifying them we were going to conduct a compliance check,” Noonan said. “In this letter it clearly stated that we were going to do a dual operation in which the underage operative would present a valid Massachusetts driver license identifying them as being under age 21.
The six establishments who served alcohol to the 19-year-old female operative – and witnessed by police – were:
- Showcase Live
- Bar Louie
- Foxboro Mandarin
- Waxy O'Connor's
- CBS Scene
- Blue Finn Lounge at Bass Pro Shops
Selectmen met with Showcase Live Monday and imposed a penalty that the establishment's New Year’s Eve hours would be shortened in addition to several other nights with shortened hours to serve alcohol.
Foxboro Mandarin was scheduled to meet with selectmen Monday but manager Wei Chao Guan did not consult counsel prior to the hearing nor did he have one present, claiming he did not realize he needed counsel. Selectmen strongly encouraged Guan to seek counsel and voted to reschedule the hearing for Tuesday, Nov. 20.
Waxy O’Connor’s, CBS Scene and Blue Finn Lounge at Bass Pro Shops will also go before the board on Nov. 20 to address their alleged violations.