La Comida forced on the wagon
The Aspen Liquor License Authority suspended local eatery La Comida’s liquor license Tuesday. A La Comida worker, who declined to provide a name, said the restaurant will comply with the suspension and not serve alcohol between noon Thursday and noon Saturday, though the restaurant may remain open to serve food.The liquor board voted in early May to issue a show-cause notice to La Comida for failing to train its staff in the serving of alcohol, which triggered Tuesday’s hearing before the board. Bill Murphy, chairman of the liquor board, was not available for comment after the meeting.Though there are no allegations of problems with serving alcohol at the Hopkins Avenue restaurant, its liquor license was issued on the condition that its manager and 75 percent of the staff 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.When the city issued the show-cause notice in early May, the latter condition had not yet been met, Tipsy Taxi director Ellen Anderson said at the time.La Comida’s owner was out of town Tuesday, and employees declined to comment on the matter. But one local waiter, who also declined to give his full name, questioned the board’s decision to target La Comida.”Why this restaurant?” asked John, a waiter who has worked at approximately 15 Aspen restaurants during the past 12 years, but not at La Comida.John said he has never gone through the Training for Intervention Procedures, or TIPS, program at any restaurant where he has worked, and none of those establishments was similarly cited. He said he didn’t know that any of those restaurants had complied with the 75 percent rule.”How come the liquor board hasn’t gone after the others?” he asked.While John did not question the city’s rules, he did question singling out La Comida.”What’s the motivation behind that?” he asked after learning about the suspension. “I just want to see if they [the liquor board] are being biased or not.”Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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