Elgin bar receives suspension

By Hailey Czarnecki
Posted5/24/2012 11:07 AM

La Quebrada Restaurant in Elgin has been fined $2,000 and given a 30-day suspension of its liquor license beginning May 29 because it sold liquor to minors and because an employee selling cocaine to patrons, according the Elgin Liquor Control Commission.

The restaurant owner was told that if there were further transgressions he could lose the liquor license permanently.


"This is as strict of a penalty that's ever been placed on a business in Elgin, and to speak on behalf of all the commissioners, this is the last chance, and this means not just for you, but all your employees," Mayor Dave Kaptain said.

Councilman John Prigge, a member of the liquor commission, said he fears this penalty in not punishment enough. He suggested the liquor license be revoked immediately because La Quebrada has been charged with selling alcohol to minors before. Prigge questioned what the image of Elgin will be if the council just looked the other way. "I think if we don't revoke the license, I think we're going to send a messages to our citizens that this type of behavior is tolerated," he said.

Councilman Robert Gilliam argued that the employee involved in cocaine deals has been fired and that the underage sales have been dealt with.

Prigge is worried this is not the end of it.

"We have been consistently fighting the reputation ... downtown is not safe," he said. He noted that if the restaurant is charged again it still can appeal and keep its license.

"One more mess-up and it's done, they're gone," Gilliam countered. He explained trials are expensive and he doesn't believe it would come to a different conclusion than the one the council has made.

The council voted 6-1 on the penalties, with Prigge in opposition.

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