Two Arlington Heights businesses fined for serving minors

 
 
Updated 1/30/2017 10:32 PM

Two downtown Arlington Heights restaurants were fined by the village Monday for serving alcohol to minors.

Mago Grill & Cantina, 115 W. Campbell St., and altThai, 40 S. Arlington Heights Road, will each have to pay a $500 fine, $300 in attorneys fees, a $75 administrative fee and still-to-be-determined court reporter costs. Mayor Tom Hayes, the local liquor control commissioner, issued the rulings following a brief public hearing Monday afternoon at village hall.

 

Representatives of both businesses admitted to the violations and said they were taking steps to make sure minors aren't served alcohol again.

Police conducted the stings the afternoon of Nov. 18, 2016, at both restaurants, part of a total of 102 checks performed in 2016 at local businesses that hold liquor licenses, from bars to restaurants, and grocery stores to liquor stores.

There were six other liquor license violations in 2016 for selling to a minor. In November, Palm Court restaurant had its license suspended two days after having two prior violations. Ruffolo Farmers Pride Market, Fox & Hound Sports Tavern, 5th Ave Sushi, Sozai Bonzai and Courtyard by Marriott also received fines last year.

The police department sends liquor license holders a letter every year warning them of an annual inspection. During each inspection, underage youth hired by the department present their actual IDs, and if alcohol is served, police officers watching from afar come in to take possession of the booze.

Village officials said at altThai, a waitress checked the ID of a 19-year-old, but still served the minor a Miller Lite beer. At Mago Grill, a bartender checked the ID of a 17-year-old, but still served her a Modelo beer.

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Warrapang Chairat, the owner of altThai, said his waitress blamed the lapse on just arriving back from Thailand and not getting much sleep. He said he suspended her and wouldn't allow her to serve alcohol again until she retook alcohol beverage seller/server training.

As part of his ruling, Hayes said the server would be required to complete that course within 90 days.

Richard Munoz, owner of Mago Grill, said he has re-emphasized to his staff the importance of checking IDs properly, and fired the bartender who sold to the minor.

"It sends a clear message to other employees," Munoz said. "You can compromise the safety of the citizens of Arlington Heights and you can compromise the business."

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