CBS Scene at Patriot Place will not be allowed to serve alcohol past 10:30 p.m. for three days in December as punishment for serving alcohol to a minor in September.
Foxborough’s Board of Selectmen voted unanimously at Tuesday’s public hearing to accept the joint recommendation made by Special Town Counsel Louis Cassis, Town Manager Kevin Paicos and Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary to impose the three-day penalty on CBS Scene.
As a result, the establishment will not serve alcohol past 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2, Monday, Dec. 3 and Tuesday, Dec. 4.
While some selectmen questioned whether the punishment was too lenient; Paicos, O’Leary and Cassis agreed that closing early during Sunday and Monday night NFL broadcasts would have a significant impact on CBS Scene’s business during that three-day period.
“We understand the board is very serious about these offenses and wants to see serious punishment to send a deterrent and a message to other establishments,” Paicos said. “[However], the bar has hired counsel, which is a substantial amount of money. They have agreed to cover our costs, which is typically in the rage of $700 to $900. There will be loss of revenue.”
Foxborough Board of Selectmen vice chair Mark Sullivan agreed the punishment fit the offense.
“We are not trying to rake anyone over the coals here,” Sullivan said. “We are trying to send a message.”
Selectman Lynda Walsh said she was “disappointed” because this was CBS Scene’s second violation since 2008.
“I hope CBS Scene goes by all these procedures,” Walsh said. “I’ve seen the girl that was in there [during alcohol compliance check] and I know I’m an old lady but I certainly would have questioned her age.”
The 2008 liquor license violation was not relevant at Tuesday’s hearing because it occurred outside of the town’s three-year reach of regulation.
CBS Scene admitted to serving alcohol to a 19-year-old woman on Sept. 27 during an alcohol compliance check conducted by Foxborough Police.
According to Foxborough Police Sergeant Richard Noonan’s report, the 19-year-old girl entered CBS Scene around 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 with a valid Massachusetts ID that “clearly stated” the woman was under the age of 21.
“The underage operative, under the watchful eye of an undercover police officer from a different department, went to the bar at CBS Scene,” Noonan said.
Three bartenders, according to Noonan, were “watching the football game and not paying attention to [the underage operative].”
“There were no other patrons in the bar,” Noonan said. “[The underage operative] then went over to where the bartenders were and asked for a Bud Light. One of the bartenders went over to the draught section and asked if she wanted a tall or small and then poured her a Bud Light draught, which he then proceeded to give to her, placing it on the bar in front of her before going back to watching the football game.”
Counsel for CBS Scene said the establishment’s manager, Robert Christensen, takes the violation very seriously and is as upset and angry about the violation as the town is.
As a result of the incident, CBS Scene has fired the bartender who served the underage operative on Sept. 27 and will be re-training its servers on how to properly identify who is over and under the age of 21. In addition, CBS Scene will explore ways to better utilize the ID scanner it currently has while looking to replace it with a more current model.
In addition to closing the bar at 10:30 p.m. for three days in December, CBS Scene will be issued a Letter of Reprimand and has agreed to pay the town’s costs associated with Tuesday’s public hearing.
The punishment is similar to Showcase Live, which also failed the Sept. 27 compliance check. Selectmen met with Showcase Live on Nov. 5 and imposed a penalty that the establishment's New Year’s Eve hours to serve alcohol as well as several other nights at the venue would be shortened.