Springfield Restaurant Hit With Stiff Liquor Penalties

Adolfo’s Restaurant, in the midst of a 23-day closure due to liquor license violations for serving underage patrons, has been slapped with an additional three-day license suspension for a separate incident.

The Springfield License Commission voted 4-0 on Thursday to impose the three-day suspension, scheduled Feb. 1-3.

The Worthington Street restaurant was already closed Jan. 9-31 due to a suspension of its license by the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.

Lawyer Thomas Rooke, representing Adolfo’s and business owner-manager Victor Bruno, told MassLive he believes the License Commission suspension is “excessive.” It follows a significant loss of business at the restaurant due to a major renovation project at Stearns Square, Rooke said.

“The on and after three-day suspension is excessive in light of the loss of business Adolfo’s suffered during the summer months at the fault of the city,” Rooke said. “They were renovating Duryea (Way) and Stearns Square, and Worthington Street was almost impassable and like driving in the Baja Desert. And he suffered a 60 percent loss of business through the summer.”

The License Commission ruled that Adolfo’s violated its agreement with the city, reached on July 26, 2018, that no one under the age of 21 would be allowed on the restaurant patio after 11 p.m.

Six weeks after that agreement, on Sept. 7, a 20-year-old woman admitted using a fake New York driver’s license to gain entrance to the patio, Commission Chairman Peter L. Sygnator said.

“To violate the agreement with the Board a mere six weeks after making it shows callous disregard for his responsibility as a manager of a liquor license,” Sygnator said. “By adding 3 days to the 23-day suspension currently being served as ordered by the ABCC, the Board is hoping to drive home the message that serving minors will not be tolerated by this licensee or any other licensee in the City of Springfield.”

Rooke said it was “unfortunate the commission did not take into consideration the fact that the minor admitted at the hearing” that she had used false identification to get to the patio. Rooke said she she testified that she was on the patio but had not been served alcohol.

The commission has ruled multiple times that liquor establishments bear responsibility for verifying IDs.

The state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission previously suspended Adolfo’s license for 23 days for serving alcohol to underage patrons in two separate incidents in October 2017 and June 2018.

In the 2018 inspection, the ABCC determined that two females, ages 17 and 19, had alcoholic beverages at Adolfo’s after one used a different person’s license and the other used a fake Rhode Island license.

In the 2017 incident, ABCC inspectors found seven minors, ages 18 to 20, obtaining alcohol with five having fraudulent Connecticut driver’s licenses and two saying they were not asked for identification.

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