Underage booze: most SW establishments pass city check

The city's liquor vendors showed continued improvement in denying sales to underage drinkers, according to the 2004 Youth Access to Alcohol Compliance Report.

The Minneapolis Police Licensing Investigation Division has done random compliance checks for seven years, and overall compliance has steadily improved, from 53 percent in 1998 to 87 percent in 2004.

The city randomly inspected 242 establishments during 32 "details" last year. Off-sale retailers in particular showed improvement from 2003, up 11 percentage points to 87 percent compliance.

The license inspectors used underage subjects, 18 and 19 years old, to try to buy alcohol. They wore casual attire, used their own identification cards and were told not to trick or deceive a vendor. They were paid $10 an hour.

The program cost $22,923 and brought in $36,914 from a grant and fines, or a net of $13,991. Sgt. Kent Warnberg, the licensing inspector in charge of the compliance checks, said the program's goal was not to raise money but to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors.

The licensing inspections division issued its report Jan. 19.

Southwest establishments failing an inspection were:

Acadia Caf, 1931 Nicollet Ave.; Old China Buffet, 1015 W. Lake St.; Cintia's of Mexico Bar & Grill, 6042 Nicollet; and Pane Vino Dolce, 819 W. 50th St.

Warnberg said the city charges the server with a gross misdemeanor, which carries up to $3,000 fine and a year in jail. If the server has a clean record and agrees to plead guilty, in most cases, the city drops the charge to misdemeanor. Generally, those cases result in a $300-$500 fine and some community service. If the server contests the charge, it goes to court as a gross misdemeanor.

The bar owner gets a $500 administrative citation for serving alcohol to a minor, he said. If the bar fails a second time in 24 months, the fine increases to $1,000, and to $2,000 for the third violation. If a bar fails four times in 24 months, its license goes to the City Council for review.

All four Southwest establishments passed a recheck.

Southwest establishments passing inspection were:

Minneapolis Food Market, 1845 Nicollet; Little Tel Aviv, 3238 W. Lake St.; Chipotle Mexican Grill, 2600 Hennepin Ave. S.; Sawatdee Uptown, 2650 Hennepin; Rudolph's Bar-B-Que, 1933 Lyndale Ave. S.

Lowry Hill Liquors, 1922 Hennepin; ne Thyme Caf, 4257 Nicollet; Ay Caramba Restaurant, 3501 Nicollet; Pump & Munch, 4401 Nicollet; A to Z Gas Stop, 3050 1st Ave. S.; Super America, 3453 Nicollet.

Caf Barbette, 1600 W. Lake; Bar Abilene, 1300 Lagoon Ave.; Sushi Tango, 3001 Hennepin; Super America, 2200 Lyndale; Lucia's Restaurant, 1423 W. 31st St.; William's Pub, 2911 Hennepin; A to Z Gas, 800 W. Lake.

La Bodega Tapas Bar, 3005 Lyndale;

101 Blu, 3001 Hennepin; Natraj Indian Kitchen, 1123 W. Lake; Dulono's Pizza, 607 W. Lake; Campiello, 1320 W. Lake; Lotus Restaurant, 3037 Hennepin; Rainbow Foods, 1104 Lagoon.

Super America, 2501 Hennepin; Herkimer Pub & Brewery, 2922 Lyndale; Morris & Christie, 3048 Hennepin; Super America, 2501 Hennepin; Saigon Uptown, 3035 Lyndale; Casey's Bar, 3510 Nicollet.

Stop-N-Buy Market, 2401 Dupont Ave. S.; Bryant Lake Bowl, 810 W. Lake; Super America, 801 W. Lake; Kyle's Market, 826 W. 36th St.; S-Mart Grocery, 324 W. 33rd St.; France 44 Deli, 4351 France Ave. S.

Caf Bickos, 4501 France; South Lyndale Liquor, 5300 Lyndale; Three Fish, 3070 Excelsior Blvd; Caf Twenty-Eight, 2724 W. 43rd St.; Xerxes Market, 5555 Xerxes Ave. S.; and Great Wall Chinese Restaurant, 4515 France.