Three Brentwood Restaurants Cited For Selling Alcohol To Minors
by Chris Cannon
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - The Brentwood Beer Board cited three restaurants for selling beer to minors, and suspended their beer sales for a week.
During the last week of 2013 the Brentwood and Franklin Police Departments teamed up for underage drinking compliance checks.
"Businesses who have the ability to sell, or serve alcohol, have a huge responsibility to make sure that they keep it out of the hands of minors," said Sgt. Charlie Warner from the Franklin Police Department.
Officers and underage confidential informants went into 18 restaurants and gas stations during the last week of 2013.
"It lets businesses, business owners, and employees know that if they sell to minors, there's a good chance they're going to get caught," Sgt. Warner said.
Three Brentwood restaurants were cited for underage sales. Police said employees at Chili's Grill and Bar on Creekside Crossing, Cozymel's on Westgate Circle and Judge Bean's BBQ on Church Street sold beer to a minor.
The Brentwood Beer Board punished those businesses Monday night by suspending their beer sales for seven days, starting April 1st.
The businesses will be required to post a sign on their doors, during that time, stating they cannot sell beer because they were cited for underage sale.
"We had the proper protocols in place, we went by the TABC rules, we just had an employee make a mess up," said Bobby Burton, owner of Judge Bean's.
Burton said the issue has turned into a learning experience for his employees.
"We're trying to resolve it in a way that is educational for our employees, and hopefully we never have this problem again," Burton said.
Kyle Stout, the general manager for Cozymel's, said this was the restaurant's first infraction in 17 years. Stout has since instituted new protocol to help staff comply with alcohol laws.
A spokesperson for Chili's Grill and Bar said after learning of this policy violation in December, the involved bartender's employment ended immediately.
NewsChannel 5 has learned the criminal charges for the bartenders at Judge Bean's and Cozymel's were retired, but they did have to pay a fine.
This is the first time Brentwood and Franklin have teamed up for an underage compliance check.
"We are going to keep coming back. It's our responsibility to actually make sure they're complying with their responsibilities," Sgt. Warner said.
The punishment does not involve liquor sales, which are governed by the Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission.