City cracks down on La Comida | AspenTimes.com
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City cracks down on La Comida

The city is preparing to crack down on La Comida for failing to train its staff in the serving of alcohol – a violation of Aspen’s liquor code.The Aspen Liquor License Authority voted Tuesday to issue a notice to show cause to La Comida, which triggers a hearing before the board and could result in suspension of its liquor license.In addition, the liquor board urged city police to issue a municipal citation to the business for the infraction.There are no allegations of problems with the serving of alcohol at the Hopkins Avenue restaurant, but a liquor license was issued to the establishment on the condition that its manager and 75 percent of the staff members who serve alcohol complete the required training. Liquor license holders are also directed to familiarize themselves with Tipsy Taxi, a free service for intoxicated drivers.The latter condition has not yet been met, according to Ellen Anderson, Tipsy Taxi director. “This is not a trivial matter,” Anderson wrote in a letter to the board. “From my perspective, this case demonstrates a blatant disregard for the privilege of owning a liquor license and for city ordinances designed to regulate the sale of alcohol.”City Clerk Kathryn Koch told the board she sent a letter regarding the unmet conditions to restaurant owner Walt Harris early this year and received assurance that the matter would be taken care of by March 24. It hasn’t, she said.”Does this board feel strongly enough about that code section that we should issue a ticket?” she said. “I feel strongly about it.””I think we need to bring them in and talk to them,” said David Hoefer, assistant city attorney.The show cause hearing could take place at the board’s next scheduled meeting, June 6.Harris and a group of investors purchased what was formerly La Cocina last year and opened La Comida last winter while they explored future plans for the property. Harris is also the owner of Syzygy.He could not be reached for comment.La Comida is closed for the offseason and scheduled to reopen June 9, according to a sign at the restaurant.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com


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