Grafton businesses busted

A Grafton package store will have its liquor license suspended for one day and two restaurants will receive written warnings after they were caught serving alcohol to an underage man in November, selectmen voted in early January, as reported by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Police Chief Normand A. Crepeau Jr. recommended that Valley Plaza Discount Liquors, 43 Main St., receive a harsher penalty than the two restaurants, Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizza, 135 Westboro Road, and The Grafton Inn, 25 Grafton Common, because the package store manager, Taral Naik, had a license for only five months and should have been more aware of the need to comply with the law.

Cancun Mexican Restaurant, 75 Worcester St., also was caught serving beer to the minor, but its public hearing was postponed to the next meeting.

The package store suspension will take place on a date to be decided by the business owner and police.

All three businesses must also provide Chief Crepeau, within 30 days, copies of in-person certification in Training and Intervention Procedures for Servers of alcohol, or TIPS, or other alcohol-service training.

Detective William Kuck told selectmen that the sting took place Nov. 21, when a 19-year-old man and an undercover police officer from Mendon visited restaurants and stores that sold liquor. The underage man was told to try to buy beer.

“Since that day, we are IDing 100 percent customers,” Mr. Naik told selectmen, as he apologized for his lapse.

Todd Harrington, manager of Anzio’s, explained: “Our policy has always been if anybody appears to be under the age of 30, we card them.”

He changed the policy after the sting to card anyone who appears to be 40 or under. In reality, the business is carding everyone, he said.

Mr. Harrington said he has had a liquor license in Massachusetts for 20 years, including two years at Anzio’s, and never had a violation before.

John Pardee, manager of the Grafton Inn, said the violation was the restaurant’s first in nearly 15 years.

“Our policy is, if you’re not a regular and we don’t know you, we card you. We will not let this happen again,” Mr. Pardee told selectmen.