Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Update: State pulls Bootlegger's liquor license

UPDATE (12/9/15): To the surprise of probably no one, Bootlegger's Bar & Grill today had its liquor license suspended by the State Liquor Authority (SLA). In the aftermath of a raid last week in which police and state agents found 175 underage patrons, some as young as 17, drinking in the Troy establishment, SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley cited owner Nate Rock's “blatant” disregard for the law and said his business is “definitely a risk to the community.” Bootlegger's apparently remains open for food service.

(Originally published 12/5/15)

TROY -- Its corporate name is Barley Legal, so what possibly could go wrong at Bootlegger's Bar & Grill?

The downtown watering hole was raided in the wee hours Friday by city police and agents of the State Liquor Authority (SLA) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). About 175 of the approximately 225 people jammed into the bar were under the legal drinking age of 21, and as many as 90 carried fake IDs, according to official counts.

The SLA said it documented 50 alcohol sales, the DMV confiscated 91 counterfeit licenses, and police arrested 93 people for allegedly possessing fraudulent IDs or presenting another person’s driving license. In addition, two unidentified bartenders were arrested and charged with unlawfully dealing with a minor.

SLA spokesman Bill Crowley said charges will be filed against Bootlegger's early next week. In the meantime, the establishment, located at 200 Broadway near Monument Square, is allowed to continue selling alcohol.

"The SLA is committed to working with our state and local partners in law enforcement to crack down on businesses that blatantly break the law,” SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley said in a statement. “Our aggressive, proactive enforcement efforts to root out bars that cater to minors will continue.”

This was the second major raid in the Capital Region recently. Three weeks ago, agents from the SLA and DMV raided an Albany bar called the Smokin’ Bull, and found 115 of 125 patrons to be younger than 21. Its liquor license was suspended by the SLA five days later, and it remains closed.

Bootlegger's opened in June 2011 in the space formerly home to Larry Schepici's upscale restaurant Tosca.

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