Mayor suspends Arlington Heights bar's license for three days after it sold beer to teens

  • Arlington Ale House has been hit with a three-day liquor license suspension. The establishment's owner admitted at a village hearing Tuesday that two teens were not asked for identification when they each purchased three beers from different bartenders last month.

    Arlington Ale House has been hit with a three-day liquor license suspension. The establishment's owner admitted at a village hearing Tuesday that two teens were not asked for identification when they each purchased three beers from different bartenders last month. Daily Herald File Photo

  • Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes

    Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes

 
 
Updated 1/22/2020 8:43 AM

Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes issued a three-day license suspension to a downtown establishment after its owner admitted at a hearing Tuesday that two teenagers purchased beer three times on a visit last month.

Hayes, who also serves as village liquor control commissioner, gave Arlington Ale House owner Kevin McCaskey the option to surrender the liquor license on a Wednesday-through-Friday stretch of his choosing within 60 days of the ruling becoming final. McCaskey also can spread the three-day suspension on any Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

 

"I do think that a suspension of your liquor license is warranted in this case for a couple of reasons," Hayes told McCaskey at a hearing Tuesday. "One, to send a message to you and all of your employees, but also to the community that this is not going to be tolerated and your establishment is a place that does not invite underage people to come and try to purchase alcohol."

McCaskey apologized after admitting to what was alleged in the Arlington Heights liquor control commission complaint.

He said several measures have been enacted since the boy and a girl, both 17, bought the beers without being asked for identification at three different bars within Arlington Ale House. They include a state-of-the-art identification checking system, installation of 16 cameras near alcohol-sales areas and hiring more security personnel.

"I'm embarrassed by the incident and frustrated, to say the least, that the systems failed," said McCaskey, a grandson of Chicago Bears matriarch Virginia McCaskey. "We are a better business than this and I am a better owner."

Three Arlington Ale House bartenders were accused in the complaint of each selling a beer to the teenagers on Dec. 21 without asking for IDs to show they were at least 21. Village Attorney Robin Ward said police sent the teens into the bar in response to previous complaints.

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Also on Dec. 21, a fourth Arlington Ale House employee improperly served alcoholic beverages without a valid certification card from the Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training program, according to the village. McCaskey said all employees who sell alcohol have been retrained in the program.

Hayes noted Arlington Ale House in 2016 became the first to gain village board approval to sell alcohol without a full kitchen for meals. It occupies a 10,000-square-foot space on the third floor of the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre building at 111 W. Campbell St.

Hayes said the village put a lot of trust in McCaskey.

"I have to say, Mr. McCaskey, that this is the most egregious situation that I've seen in the seven years that I've been mayor and liquor commissioner of the village of Arlington Heights," Hayes said.

Hayes also ordered Arlington Ale House to pay a $300 attorney fee, a $75 administrative charge and yet-to-be-determined court reporter expense.

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