Northbeach found guilty of five liquor law violations

Remaining five charges withdrawn, dismissed
November 18, 2019

Northbeach was found guilty of five liquor law violations at a Nov. 7 hearing in which charges for five other violations were withdrawn or dismissed. 

Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner John Cordrey leveled $3,075 in fines and $125 in court costs against the Dewey Beach restaurant.

Northbeach owner Alex Pires apologized for the violations.

“I’m not happy with what happened, but in the end I’m responsible,” he said. “I don’t fault anybody but myself. I need to pay more attention to what goes on in all places.”

Violations included failure to offer full meals, $1,350 fine and $25 court costs; encouraging excessive or rapid alcohol consumption, $500 fine and $25 court costs; last call violation, $500 fine and $25 court costs; failure to have a manager server trained, $225 fine and $25 court costs; and unapproved altered floor plan, $500 fine and $25 court costs. 

Cordrey said the charge for failing to offer complete meals, a second offense for Northbeach, arose when a person under age 21 who was accompanied by an adult was denied service before 9 p.m. The restaurant was not being charged for that, Cordrey said, but it is also a violation.

Northbeach owner John Snow said he was unaware of the rule, and that the restaurant serves a full menu until 1 a.m., though the menu formerly was limited to chicken tenders and fries.

Cordrey said the violation for encouraging excessive or rapid alcohol consumption was for patrons being given a funnel in which to consume alcohol, which he called “egregious.”

Pires said he didn’t know the restaurant had a funnel; he said it would never happen again.

“The people involved have been punished,” Pires said.

Pires said he was unaware that server training applied to management; he said that has been addressed. He said the restaurant has never been charged for serving anyone under age 21.

Charges of failing to display decals stating legal drinking age, warning pregnant women of the risk of birth defects and operating hours were withdrawn with warnings.

Pires said he would better display decals by using some type of solid framing.

“Stuff gets stolen,” he said. “It seems to be a thing for someone to steal stuff, then they bring it back to their apartment and put it on the wall. I guess it’s cool.”

Pires said he would like to meet with commission officials to create different, approved floor plans to suit seating requirements of weddings and charity events commonly held at the restaurant.

Charges of failing to keep invoice records on premises and failing to post current liquor license were withdrawn; a charge of failing to have owner John Snow server trained was dismissed by enforcement.

Other Cape Region restaurants found guilty of violating state liquor laws included:

  • Dewey Beach Country Club, unapproved altered floor plan, $450 fine and $50 court costs
  • Teller Wines, underage serving, $450 fine and $50 court costs
  • Agave, Applebee’s and Chipotle, underage serving, $400 fine and $50 court costs each
  • Lewes Diner, underage serving, $400 fine and $25 court costs; allowing an underage employee to pour beer from behind the bar, $450 fine and $25 court costs.

Scheduled hearings for violations charged against Crystal Restaurant and Purple Parrot were postponed.

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