The March 17 Liquor Charges

The following comes from the April 13 City of DeKalb Notice of Hearing and Charges against O’Leary’s Irish Pub & Grill and its agent, Melvin P. Witmer, Jr. I’ve fixed a tiny typo and emboldened key information.

The hearing shall relate to the following incidents:

1. That the licensee, UNIVERSAL RESTAURANT GROUP, INC. d/b/a O’LEARY’S IRISH PUB & GRILL (hereinafter referred to a “LICENSEE”) was issued Class E liquor license number 09-503 by the City of DeKalb on or about August 31, 2009.

2. Prior to, on or about March 17, 2010, the LICENSEE, its agents and/or employees advertised a special event in which free beer would be served from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. in violation of Section 38.30(b)(8) of the DeKalb Municipal Code.

3. On or about March 17, 2010, the LICENSEE, its agents and/or employees held a special event in which free beer was served in violation of Section 38.30(b)(3) of the DeKalb Municipal Code, 235 ILCS5/7-5 and 235 ILCS 5/6-2(a)(10a).

WHEREFORE, the LICENSEE is hereby required to appear at the date, time and location indicated on this Notice of Hearing and answer these charges. The Licensee’s failure to appear as required will result in a hearing and possible revocation of the license.

The charges against the Upper Deck Sports Bar & Grill are identical, and Mel Witmer is listed as the registered agent for this establishment as well. A Class “E” liquor license is for restaurants. The applicable piece of the Municipal Code follows (pdf pp. 39-40), with the paragraphs applicable to the charges emboldened:

38.30 HAPPY HOUR PROHIBITED

a) All retail licensees shall maintain a schedule of the prices charged for all drinks of alcoholic liquor to be served and consumed on the licensed premises or in any room or part thereof.

Whenever a hotel or multi-use establishment which holds a valid retailer’s license operates on its premises more than one establishment at which drinks of alcoholic liquor are sold at retail, the hotel or multi-use
establishment shall maintain at each such establishment a separate schedule of the prices charged for such
drinks at that establishment.

b) No retail licensee or employee or agent of such licensee shall:

1. Serve two (2) or more drinks of alcoholic liquor at one time to one person, except selling or delivering wine by the bottle or carafe.

2. Sell, offer to sell or serve to any person an unlimited number of drinks of alcoholic liquor during any set period of time for a fixed price, except at private functions not open to the general public.

3. Sell, offer to sell or serve any drink of alcoholic liquor to any person on any one date at a reduced price other than that charged other purchasers of drinks on that day where such reduced price is a promotion to encourage consumption of alcoholic liquor, except as authorized in paragraph 7 of subsection c. [Ed. note: (c)(7) is about raising the cost of drinks in lieu of all or part of a cover charge for special, non-regularly-scheduled entertainment.]

4. Increase the volume of alcoholic liquor contained in a drink, or the size of a drink of alcoholic liquor, without increasing proportionately the price regularly charged for the drink on that day.

5. Encourage or permit, on the licensed premises, any game or contest which involves drinking alcoholic liquor or the awarding of drinks of alcoholic liquor as prizes for such game or contest on the licensed premises.

6. Except for tastings or samplings permitted under this Chapter, to sell, or offer to sell for consumption on the premises, beer or wine containing between one-half of one percent (.05%) and nineteen percent (19%) alcohol by volume for a price, before the addition of any applicable local, state and federal taxes, of less than eight cents ($.08) per ounce, or portion thereof. (06-76, 07-67)

7. Except for tastings or samplings permitted under this Chapter, to sell or offer to sell for consumption on the premises, spirits, containing over nineteen percent (19%) alcohol by volume for a price, before the addition of any applicable local, state and federal taxes, of less than One Dollar ($1.00) per ounce, or portion thereof. (06-76, 07-67)

8. Advertise or promote in any way whether on or off the licensed premises, any of the practices prohibited under paragraphs 1 through 7.

9. Use the phrase “Happy Hour” in any advertisement for the licensed premises.

4 thoughts on “The March 17 Liquor Charges”

  1. O’Leary’s Irish Pub & Grill and its agent, Melvin P. Witmer, Jr. were found NOT GUILTY of any and all charges on May 13, 2010 by Kris Povlsen, mayor and liquor commissioner. It should also be noted that the statement made by City Attorney, Norma Guess, that O’Leary’s and/or Mel Witmer has had numerous “flagrant” violations was determined to be unfounded since records indicated that Witmer has had one violation in his 26 years of holding a liquor license (6 years in DeKalb).

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