SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 16, 2012

Bar hit for serving minors

Salem: Murphy's gets 10-day license suspension

One week after revoking the liquor license of Bangkok Paradise, the Salem Licensing Board cracked down on another downtown bar linked to police incidents earlier this fall.

Murphy’s Restaurant & Pub, 300 Derby St., was hit with a 10-day license suspension yesterday after the board found the establishment responsible in three separate instances of serving alcohol to minors and in another case of over-serving customers.

The three allegations of serving minors all involved women under the legal drinking age of 21, according to police.

One woman was stopped right outside the bar and charged with drunken driving, a second was transported to the hospital in an “incoherent” state, and a third, according to police, may have been sexually assaulted after drinking at the establishment.

The lengthy suspension also was based on a fourth finding of over-serving two young men who got involved in a late-night, downtown melee on Washington Street in early September.

The board voted to begin the suspension after Thanksgiving.

Murphy’s owner Peter Kelly had no comment when asked if he planned to appeal.

During a hearing yesterday at the City Hall Annex, 120 Washington St., Kelly blamed some of the problems, all of which took place in September, on “over-reliance on a (ID) scanner.”

He said they have implemented a much-stricter system of ID checks since then.

“We could have done better,” Kelly told the board. “We should have done better.”

The board said it had no choice but to act sternly based on the nature of the incidents.

“This is serious, and I think a tone has to be set in this community,” said Licensing Board Chairman Robert St. Pierre, the former police chief. “... We’re very lucky we didn’t have a tragic result ...”

Board member Rick Lee, who had praised Kelly in the past for straightening out a problem bar, said he was disappointed at the turn of events.

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