Three Businesses Disciplined for Allowing a Minor to Buy Alcohol

The Board of Selectmen held hearings on Tuesday.

Photo credit: Patch file photo.
Photo credit: Patch file photo.

The Danvers Board of Selectmen brought three businesses that violated an underage alcohol compliance check in May before the board on Tuesday.

The board held public hearings that could have led to the suspension or revocation of their licenses.

Representatives from RWJ Beverage, which operates out of the Danvers BJ’s Wholesale Club, the Polish Club and Maple Street Tavern all apologized for the violations.

RWJ fired the employee who served the minor, the Polish Club suspended the bartender who served a minor for eight days and Maple Street Tavern sent the employee home. She has not returned and isn’t expected to come back.

The selectmen ultimately voted to suspend each license for three days, but those suspensions will not be implemented if there are no other liquor violations within a year. 


RWJ Beverage

RWJ Beverage representative Nancy McCann said the employee did not follow company policy when not asking for ID. 

Not all RWJ Beverage employees are Training for Intervention ProcedureS (TIPS) certified, but RWJ said it is implementing a new policy in which all employees will be TIPS trained and re-trained annually. 

The company does a mystery shopper program and has not had one violation in that program.

In response to a board concern that the manager is not at the location enough, McCann said there will soon be a managerial change that will allow a new manager to spend more time in Danvers. A new location in Berlin has caused the current manager to spend less time in Danvers.


Polish Club

McCann, who also represented the Polish Club, said this is the first violation in the club’s 75 years.

She said the bartender involved is a long-time employee and felt terribly about the violation.

McCann said the club has implemented new policies for functions in which all attendees must present identification in order to buy alcohol. This will take away any need for a bartender to gauge a person’s age.

One concern raised by the board is that the town fire, police and health departments don’t have easy access to the club because the town doesn’t have a key fob to enter the locked building. Selectmen said this could create a problem if there is an emergency.

Polish Club staff at the meeting said there is a buzzer and a public safety official or health personnel can be buzzed in during business hours.

Selectman Diane Langlais said it’s a safety issue, as well as a matter of fairness. Other businesses with liquor licenses are open to the public, but a person needs to be buzzed into the Polish Club. This isn’t fair in terms of liquor compliance.

McCann said a policy on that matter should come from the Board of Selectmen.


Maple Street Tavern

Michael Landers, who represented the restaurant, said the violation was “unacceptable.” The business’ bartenders are TIPS certified and anyone who looks under 40 must be carded. The bartender involved had just started the job, he said.

Maple Street Tavern is going through a name and manager change – and getting a facelift. 


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