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Four Reading Businesses To Have Liquor Licenses Suspended

Bangkok Spice, the Knights of Columbus, Oye's, and The Wine Shop of Reading all failed their compliance checks after a sting by the Reading Police Department.

The  voted on Tuesday to suspend the liquor licenses of four Reading businesses.

The decision came after the  presented evidence that , , , and  all allegedly served alcohol to a minor without asking for identification after a sting conducted between June 22 and June 24th.

All four businesses will face a three-day suspension of their liquor licenses, which will be surrendered to the town on July 18 at 9:00 a.m., and returned on July 21 at 9:00 a.m.

A placard will be visible at the business during these days informing customers that they are suspended from selling alcohol due to the suspension of their liquor license. 

There is, however, a five day appeal process where the business owners have the chance to appeal this ruling. 

A series of compliance checks were made to make sure Reading businesses with liquor licenses weren't violating general law 138, chapter 34, which states that the sale/delivery of alcohol to a person under the age of 21 is prohibited. 

Representatives from the violating businesses appeared before the Board at on July 5 for individual hearings.

The Chief of Police was present at the hearings, as well as Sergeant Mark D. Segalla who is the Detective Division Commander and conducted the investigation with help from other detectives. Segalla is also a 13 year veteran of the Reading Police Department.

During each sting, the Police Department had an underage person with no identification on their person go into businesses and attempt to order an alcoholic beverage, or carry alcohol out of the store.

According to police reports and statements by the Sergeant, all four beforementioned businesses failed to ask for proper identification, allowing the minor to purchase and become in possession of alcohol. 

The owner of Bangkok Spice, Palatat Pattenesuanab, who was present at the hearing stated that it was the restaurant's mistake.

"This will never happen again," Pattenesuanab said. "We learned from this mistake."

Kevin Ye, owner of Oye's Restaurant, was equally as apologetic. 

Representatives from the Knights of Columbus asked for leniency by the Board because the underage operative knew many patrons and members at the bar, claiming that this led to an assumption that he was over 21. 

"How often do these assumptions happen?" questioned Board member Stephen Goldy. "You can't bank on everyone being honest."

It was also discovered during the hearings that some of the businesses' employees may not have TIPs training, which is required to serve alcoholic beverages.

In addition, Oye's may face another hearing regarding the claim by the Reading Police Department that there was no manager on the premises when they attempted to deliver the notice to appear before the Board. 

peter lucci July 08, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Interesting how your coverage failed to include The Wine Shop's attorney's stance on the proceedings and how the Chairwoman presumed guilt before hearing the Wine Shop's side, very unprofessional/unethical manner used by our elected official.
Karl Weld July 08, 2011 at 03:22 PM
Peter, I didn't see the coverage. What were the Chair's comments that lead you to this conclusion?
peter lucci July 08, 2011 at 04:10 PM
She interrupted him at the start of his presentation and asked him if he was going down this road in order to appeal the Selecrtmen's decision. Interesting comment to make when party had yet presented their case and a decision had yet to be made...or had it?
peter lucci July 09, 2011 at 08:24 PM
Karl, What do you think of that approach?
Karl Weld July 11, 2011 at 12:29 AM
Well, not having seen the coverage but based on your presentation of the proceedings, I'd say that all parties before the Board should be able to present their case and then have a decision made based on all available information. This applies to all matters before the Board, not just this one.
SMS July 20, 2011 at 01:56 AM
The owner of the wine shop kept on talking about a conversation between the employee and the buyer. The main fact was the employee of the Wine Shop did not card the buyer. I agree...Say sorry and move on.
gina July 21, 2011 at 12:36 AM
The bottom line is that a minor was served and not carded. There is no technicality or loophole for The Wine Shop of Reading's owner to hide behind. Additionally, TIPS certification truly is geared more towards the restaurant server than the retail clerk. Either the rules of the store are to card all that come in - or they aren't. It has to come from the top down....
peter lucci July 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM
Whether the chairwoman made her unethical comments at the very beginning of the presentation or 3/4 of the way through, that is irrelevant...she was wrong..... again.

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