ALGONQUIN – A store with a recent history of liquor license mistakes has had its third violation. Algonquin Food & Liquor, 1117 S. Main St., was back in front of the village’s Liquor Control Commission less than three months after its last appearance. It was one of three businesses in front of the commission Tuesday.
In July, one of the store’s owners, Jagdish Parikh, sold alcohol to minors during a police liquor license compliance check, said Police Chief Russell Laine.
The store was fined $5,000 and had its license suspended for 15 days. The suspension will begin Oct. 1. In June, Algonquin Food & Liquor was fined $3,000 for selling alcohol to a minor in May. It also had its license suspended for four days, from July 9 to 12, for its second offense. Its first offense was in 2007. Trustee Jerry Glogowski said he wanted a $6,000 fine and a 20-day suspension in the latest case.
“I don’t think you’re taking this seriously at all,” Glogowski said. “We have to play a little hardball.”
However, since the latest violation, the store has purchased equipment that scans driver’s licenses. There are now signs around the store reminding people of the need for IDs, and it now photocopies IDs of people to whom it sells alcohol.
“We do realize the severity of this,” co-owner Kripesh Patel said. “It’s really [a] shame on us that this ... happened back to back.
“We have to do something.”
Trustee Brian Dianis reminded the store owners that people who are under 21 have vertical IDs and people older than 21 have horizontal IDs.
“I’m very glad to see you guys have taken steps,” Dianis said. “You’ve taken them a little bit late.”
The violations came during random compliance checks by the Algonquin Police Department on July 25. About 25 of the roughly 70 establishments in Algonquin with liquor licenses were checked.
The other businesses cited for violations were Trader Joe’s at 1800 S. Randall Road and The Riverview Restaurant at 1320 S. Main St. It was the first violation for Trader Joe’s.
Both Trader Joe’s and Riverview were fined $1,000, plus administrative costs. Also any employee who has not received Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training must undergo the training, which is given at the police department.
At Trader Joe’s, an employee sold beer to minors at a checkout counter.
The Trader Joe’s employee who sold the alcohol received a written warning, said store manager Cathryn Gonyer.
“He realizes the severity of the situation,” Gonyer said.
Riverview had a violation more than 20 years ago, but the village considered the July violation as a first offense.
“I don’t think that shows a pattern,” Village President John Schmitt said.
At Riverview, the minors working with police sat at a table in the bar area of the restaurant where a server sold them two bottles of beer, Laine said.
The employee who served the alcohol was with the company for less than 50 days, and had not been BASSET trained, but she had previous bartending experience. However, she is no longer with the restaurant.
“We don’t like what happened here,” Riverview general manager Robert Beyer said. “I don’t want minors being served in my place.”