Reunions Penalized For Serving Liquor To A Minor

Bar Is Fined $750 And Its License Is Suspended For 3 Days

April 22, 1992|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff writer

The county liquor board fined Reunions, a restaurant and bar at the Comfort Inn in Westminster, $750 and suspended its liquor license forthree days after finding that a waitress served beer to a minor.

"One server made a mistake," Reunions attorney J. Brooks Leahy told the board at a hearing yesterday.

Board chairman Earle H. Brewer said the board takes seriously charges of serving alcohol to patrons under age 21. The number of such cases seems to be increasing, he added.

This is the second charge against the business of serving to minors. Reunions operated as McDaniel's until last summer. In 1987, the license holders were fined $300 and their license was suspended for two days, board administrator J. Ronald Lau said.

The maximum penalty for serving to minors is a $2,000 fine and license suspension.

Lau said he sent a 20-year-old Maryland State Police cadet to Reunions on March 5 just before 10 p.m.because the board had received complaints that the business was serving to minors.

The cadet ordered a Budweiser at the bar and was asked for proof of age. The waitress served him, even though his driver's license stated he was 20, Lau said.

The waitress, Donna Myers of Westminster, said she misread the birth date on the license. The cadet's license displayed a side-profile picture, which is required fordrivers under 21. She said the restaurant since has stopped accepting licenses with side-profile pictures as proof of age.

The ComfortInn is owned by the Western Maryland College Development Corp. and managed by Marshall Management Inc. of Salisbury.

In another case yesterday, the board was forced to dismiss a charge of serving to a minor against Tully's Restaurant at Cranberry Mall after the minor refused to answer questions and the city police officer who arrested her was unable to attend the hearing.

Tully's had been charged with serving alcohol to Kelley Lynn Joyave, 20, of Sykesville, on Feb. 6.

Joyave was charged with driving while intoxicated the same night, her attorney, David L. Johnson of Westminster, said. Answering questions about that night might hurt her case in Circuit Court, he said.

Tully's owner Duane Coppeler said employees are "diligent" about asking patrons for identification.

The doorman, who is paid $5 for each false ID he catches, has confiscated 150 to 200 IDs since the bar opened in June 1989, Coppeler said.

Also yesterday, Bruce Reamer, owner of Salerno's pizza and sub shop at 1049 Liberty Road in Eldersburg, told the board he wants to move the business to a larger space at1043 Liberty Road, formerly occupied by Spittel's Crab House.

Theboard must approve a transfer of Reamer's liquor license.

Reamer's landlord, Morton Needle of Owings Mills, said he opposes the transfer because Reamer owes him $95,000. Needle said he started the business and ran it for 10 years before selling it to Reamer about five years ago for $150,000.

Needle's attorney, David K. Bowersox of Westminster, said Needle and fellow landlords Lee Barnstein of Owings Mills and Barry Frame of Baltimore obtained a court judgment requiring Reamer to pay the money he owes.

Reamer said that he is not behind in his payments and that the landlords made a verbal agreement with him several years ago to reduce his payments.

The liquor board will issue a decision on the transfer within 30 days.

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