SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 26, 2013

Police: Restaurant served beer to underage man

BY ETHAN FORMAN
STAFF WRITER

---- — DANVERS — Selectmen suspended the liquor license of the Iron Chef Chinese restaurant on Route 1 for three days, but held the punishment in abeyance for one year, after police said the establishment served beer to an underage, undercover operative.

The board’s action Tuesday means that if the restaurant does not have any more liquor law violations for a year, it will not have to stop serving alcohol. The eatery sits in a plaza at 435 Newbury St., not far from the Topsfield line.

On March 14 at 5:58 p.m., the police operative went into the restaurant and went to the bar, then used a $20 bill to buy a Bud Light, police Chief Neil Ouellette said. After the minor was served without being asked for an ID, he left the Bud Light bottle at the bar, exited the restaurant and met up with officers outside. The young man presented a sales receipt and the change from the sale. Police then went back into the restaurant and spoke with employees.

Selectman Keith Lucy said that in his nine years on the board, he could not recall the establishment ever coming before the board for a liquor violation. The present owners have been at the restaurant for the past three years, it was said during the meeting.

“I agree with what you were saying before,” said Vina Lu, who said she was the restaurant’s alcohol manager. She said the employee that served the police undercover agent was relatively new and there was a lull in business at the time. The server neglected to follow a policy that requires anyone who looks younger than 40 to show ID, Lu said.

“We definitely accept responsibility,” Lu said, adding that the employee will have to go through more training. Selectman Gardner Trask recommended the punishment and the probation but also said: “Accidents happen.”

“It appears you have addressed the situation,” Trask said.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.