By Christopher Roberson
For the second time in four years, Peabody Police discovered that alcohol was being served to underage patrons at Oliveira’s Steak House.
During the Aug. 13 meeting of the Liquor Licensing Board, Det. Sgt. Brendan O’Brien said that on June 19, Det. Taryn Brotherton and Det. David Murphy purposely sent two 18-year-old women, Lauren and Kiley, into Oliveira’s to see if they would be served at the bar.
O’Brien said the women were served two Bud Lights without being asked for identification. He said Lauren and Kiley then left the establishment without paying for or consuming the beverages. Murphy and Brotherton immediately went inside and spoke with owner Sebastian Gomez about the unlawful incident.
Member Deborah Baglio said Oliveira’s committed the same infraction on June 12, 2014, and the board responded by issuing a warning. Prior to that violation, the police had responded to Oliveira’s 12 times between January and November 2013.
However, no one from Oliveira’s was present at the Aug. 13 hearing and the board never received any correspondence from the restaurant. “The issue is that they don’t really follow the rules and that’s a problem,” said Baglio. “They had an opportunity to be heard and they’re not here.”
Chairman Minas Dakos was also bewildered as to why no one appeared on behalf of the establishment. “In my 20 years on this board, I’ve never seen this happen,” he said.
In response to the June 19 infraction, Member Frederick Murtagh recommended suspending the restaurant’s license for “three or five” days, adding that such a penalty is “not excessive given their history.”
The board voted unanimously in favor of a five-day suspension beginning on Sept. 17 and ending on Sept. 21. Then, just as the meeting was about to be adjourned, Gomez walked in the door – he was 50 minutes late. However, the board still afforded him a chance to respond.
During his testimony, Gomez said he did not understand how the infraction occurred, as identification is always required at the bar. “I can’t believe this happened, this is my fault,” he said.
Although there have not been any problems at Oliveira’s during the past three years, Gomez still willingly agreed to the dates of the suspension.
Dakos said he appreciated that Gomez was agreeable and not argumentative. “These are good business people for Peabody,” he said.
In other news, Tokyo Steakhouse, Green Tea and the Outback Steakhouse received warnings for serving underage patrons. The hearing for Brooksby Village was continued to a future date.