Mother’s Deli loses license for 10 days |

Mother’s Deli loses license for 10 days

— Mother’s Deli in Ski Time Square will not serve alcohol for at least 10 days in May as a result of a liquor license suspension handed down Thursday.

During a hearing at Cen-

tennial Hall, the Steamboat Springs City Council, acting as the city’s Liquor License Authority, determined Mother’s Deli did not “conduct (business) in a decent, orderly or respectable manner” by allowing the “loitering of a visibly intoxicated person or habitually drunk person” on the premises.

The violation brought a 28-day liquor license suspension, although 18 of the days will be held in abeyance.

Mother’s Deli has had two alcohol-related infractions in the past year. The state’s Liquor Enforcement Division suspended the bar’s liquor license for five days in November 2006 after being cited for allowing open containers of alcohol to leave the premises in July 2006.

The second infraction occurred Sept. 16, 2006, when three Steamboat Springs police officers said they encountered a very intoxicated man at the bar. They were called to Mother’s Deli in response to a report of a fight.

Sgt. Dale Coyner and police Officers Kevin Craig and John McArthur testified Thursday that at about 10:49 p.m. they contacted a 24-year-old man who appeared extremely drunk and stumbled over chairs, nearly landing face-first on the cement.

Stephen Chavez, the bar’s manager, and another employee, Nicholas Crull, also appeared to be intoxicated the night police transported the intoxicated man to detox, the officers testified.

Allowing such intoxicated people in or on a bar’s premises is against the law, police Capt. Joel Rae said Thursday. Rae acted as the city’s prosecutor during the hearing. Rae said police officers were called to Mother’s Deli at least 12 times in 2006 – all for calls involving “noise complaints, fights, arrests, drunks or drugs.”

Chavez admitted to drinking the night of the incident and that bar staff had not been properly alcohol-server trained. Those policies have changed since the incident, he said.

“Policy is a lot better now,” he said. ” I know you can’t serve a drunk person, but when it comes down to turning around and saying, ‘You can’t come in here,’ or letting them come in to find a ride home, that’s a fine line.”

Chavez, who testified on behalf of the bar’s owner, Todd Barton of Littleton, said he declined the city’s initial offer – a 21-day suspension with only seven of the days needing to be served – because he “didn’t think that’s what he deserved.”

“I had no option but to not take it,” he said.

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