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Liquor board orders Hagerstown pub closed for 15 days for selling alcohol to minor

Suspension of West End Pub's liquor license won't take effect until after holidays

December 06, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

The West End Pub, at 5 Nottingham Road in Hagerstown, will have to close it doors for 15 days for selling alcohol to a minor, but the suspension will not take place until after the holidays.

Hagerstown Police Sgt. Eric Knode told the Washington County Board of License Commissioners on Wednesday that two officers were working with a 19-year-old man on compliance checks on Nov. 1. The bartender at West End Pub asked the man for identification and he showed her a West Virginia identification stating he was 19, but the woman served him a beer, Knode said.

The bartender testified she had been upset over something that happened earlier at work and thought the man was 22 years old.

It was West End Pub’s seventh offense since May 26, 2007, six of which were for sales to minors, Board Secretary William Dunham Jr. said. The last violation for selling to minors was Dec. 21, 2010.

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Dunham proposed an order approved by fellow board members Robert Everhart and Charles Mades to suspend the license for 15 days and to fine the business $2,500.

Dunham also recommended the suspension begin Jan. 7, because taverns often stock up on inventory and seasonal items for the holidays that would otherwise have to be disposed of or placed in storage.

The restaurant portion of West End Pub can remain open during the suspension, but will not be able to serve beer and liquor, the board ruled.

Board takes no action against Divi's

The board also held a violation hearing for Divi’s Lounge at 431 Dual Highway in Hagerstown. Hagerstown Police filed a nuisance abatement violation against the business for a Nov. 10 fight in the parking lot in which one person was arrested.

Sgt. Andrew Lewis testified to the board that the fight took place in front of a marked cruiser parked in the lot. The meeting agenda listed it as the second nuisance abatement violation, the first having occurred Oct. 11, 2008.

Lewis testified he spoke with the manager of the business the next day and suggested the business arrange for two officers to come by late at night to monitor the parking lot at the overtime rate for officers.

Licensee Roy Lorshbaugh testified his security staff works inside the business but does not monitor the parking lot, because an employee was once taken into custody there while trying to escort a person to a vehicle.

“In a spirit of cooperation” between the business, police and the board, the board unanimously decided to take no action against Divi’s Lounge. The licensee was notified that the situation will be carefully monitored by police and the board, according to the board members.

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