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Downtown St. Charles bar faces liquor license citations

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

ST. CHARLES – A downtown St. Charles bar accused of serving alcohol to an intoxicated person will be the subject of a Liquor Commission hearing next month.

The House Pub, 16 S. Riverside Ave., was cited with permitting an intoxicated person on its premises, selling alcohol to that person and interfering or obstructing police, according to the city administrator’s office.

The hearing is set for 4:30 p.m. April 8.

Repeated calls to The House Pub were unanswered Wednesday.

According to St. Charles police, two officers saw a visibly intoxicated man – he was stumbling and steadied himself by holding onto objects – enter the pub just before 1 a.m. March 15. The officers followed him inside and reportedly found him at the bar with a drink in front of him and money on the counter.

The pub’s owner approached the officers as they spoke with the customer, police said. The owner – described by police as uncooperative – told police he let the customer in to pay his tab from a previous week and claimed the drink was only a Coke, police said, reporting the bartender said it also contained alcohol.

The customer was escorted out of the building, police said.

This is the third downtown bar in recent weeks to be summoned before the St. Charles Liquor Commission. Alibi Bar and Grill, 12 N. Third St., had its liquor license suspended for three days and was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine. The Beehive Tavern and Grille, 204 W. Main St., also received a $2,000 fine.

The City Council has been scrutinizing the downtown bar scene since Mayor Don DeWitte, who also acts as liquor commissioner, asked aldermen in August to change the closing time from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m. in an effort to curb overserving.

During a committee meeting Monday, aldermen called for liquor code changes. Suggestions included implementing a late-night closing privilege of 2 a.m., separating tavern and restaurant liquor licenses and establishing a liquor commission with multiple members. The city staff is expected to return with a legal opinion next month.

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