The city's liquor board handed out penalties to three restaurants Monday night that recently failed an alcohol sting by serving beer to minors.
Toscana's Ristorante was served with a three-day suspension because of a prior violation two years ago. The board and the restaurant's owner agreed on July 2-4 to observe the penalty.
In this case and in the other six violations that occurred during the April 23 compliance check by police officers and underage operatives, one of the operatives entered the restaurant and ordered a beer (usually Bud Lite or Corona) without being asked to show his or her ID.
In all seven cases, the restaurants proactively began training or re-training staff on proper protocol for serving alcohol. Most of the owners had also fired the employee responsible for serving the drink.
Over at Toscana's, TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) is now mandatory for all employees, signs will be posted notifying customers to be ready to show their IDs and a new computer system will require date of birth in order to make the sale. Board members were impressed with the measures.
Santarpio's Pizza and Family Fare Restaurant both received three-day suspensions as well because of prior violations, but the suspensions were held in abeyance by the board for one year -- if another violation occurs in that time, the restaurants will get the suspension after all, plus whatever penalty the board issues for a third offense.
The previous violation at Family Fare was because the restaurant was open after hours due to a party.
At Santarpio's, the bartender on April 23 put the drink on the bar, but then caught himself before putting the money in the till and turned back to ask for an ID. The operative said he didn't have one and the bartender gave him back his money.
Board members took that into consideration, agreeing to hold the suspension in abeyance.
Police Sgt. Tom O'Keefe said the alcohol sting hit all licensed businesses in Peabody. The other establishments that failed the compliance check were Century House, Buddha's Tavern, Seawitch and SpringHill Suites.
The board will also be bringing in another six businesses for failing a compliance check last month -- Cabaret Lounge, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Martino's Liquors, Fuji Sushi, Royal Garden and Maki Sushi.