Liquor licenses suspended at two midvalley restaurants
November 17, 2011
EL JEBEL – The liquor licenses of two restaurants in El Jebel were suspended for 14 days, although they will actually be pulled for only two days if the businesses avoid trouble for the next year.
Eagle County commissioners, acting as the liquor licensing authority, handed down the penalty Tuesday against Downvalley Tavern and Bella Mia after they were cited for serving alcohol to a minor. The two restaurants were caught in a sting operation headed by the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 26. Five restaurants with bars and one liquor store in the Basalt and El Jebel area got snared in the operation.
Minors between ages 18 and 20 were sent into 66 establishments throughout Eagle County to try to buy alcohol. Undercover law enforcement officers watched from outside. Ten businesses served the minors and were cited, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Eagle County commissioners had jurisdiction to act on the two restaurants in El Jebel, but they did not have jurisdiction over the businesses cited in Basalt.
The commissioners applied Eagle County’s standard penalty to Downvalley Tavern and Bella Mia, according to Kathy Scriver, who handles liquor licenses for the county clerk’s office. That was a two-week suspension of their liquor licenses, with a suspended sentence for 12 of those days. The two-day penalty must be served within the next three months, and one of those days must be on a Saturday. The restaurants can remain open on the two days they are penalized, but they cannot serve alcohol, Scriver said. They must post notices of the suspension in their windows.
The Basalt Town Council is not taking any punitive action against the four establishments from Basalt that were snared in the sting – Asiana Fusion Restaurant, Cuvee World Bistro, Two Rivers Bar and Cafe and Willits Wine and Spirits. Basalt officials said the establishments were cited as part of a county law enforcement action that had nothing to do with the town.