Algonquin businesses fined for selling alcohol to minors

ALGONQUIN – Four businesses were fined Tuesday by the Algonquin Liquor Commission for selling alcohol to underage people.

The BP gas station at 1469 S. Randall Road, Houlihan's at 1508 S. Randall Road and Buena Vista at 220 N. Harrison St. all have to pay $1,000 fines.

WOOW Japanese Restaurant at 780 S. Randall Road was fined $1,500. The additional $500 was because the employee who sold alcohol to people younger than 21 years old had worked at the restaurant for more than 30 days, but had not gone through Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training as required.

As part of the plea agreements with the village, all four of the businesses will have to have any of their employees who have not gone through the BASSET program complete the training.

On May 28, employees at Houlihan's, Buena Vista and WOOW sold beers to two people under age 21 during an Algonquin Police Department compliance check, said Police Chief Russell Laine.

Laine said at all three establishments the employees did not check or request to see identification.

At least 25 establishments were tested during the May 28 compliance check.

"To us, a successful compliance check is where everyone gets carded and no one sells," Laine said.

WOOW owner Chang Wu said all employees at his restaurant have since been BASSET trained.

The violation at the BP gas station took place April 18, and was reported by the Illinois Department of Revenue Liquor Control Commission, Laine said.

The BP employee who sold the two beers had just started with the gas station and was not BASSET trained, said owner Ray Patel.

Manager David Huxtable added the employee has since been terminated.

Huxtable said all employees will be BASSET trained before they start work at the gas station.

The violations for the four businesses were treated as first offenses, Laine said.

Houlihan's did have a violation almost eight years ago, but had passed more recent checks.

"There's a new management team in place," Laine said. "They've worked with us doing some training for their people."

Houlihan's general manager Sarah Fear said there is an independent company that comes in and spot checks employees in a similar way to the police department stings.

The bartender who served the alcohol is no longer with the restaurant, Fear said.

The restaurant requires that anyone who looks 35 and younger be carded, Fear said.

At Buena Vista, a new employee sold the beers to the underage customers without asking for identification, said owner Juan Figueroa. The employee is still working at the restaurant.

"I will make sure it won't happen again," Figueroa said.

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