Cafe Durant loses liquor license for 1 year for serving alcohol to underage people

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Vivian Roan/Staff

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On July 19, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or ABC, revoked Cafe Durant’s liquor license after investigations found that the restaurant had served alcohol to underage people.

ABC spokesperson John Carr said the ABC had received complaints that Cafe Durant had been serving alcohol to underage people, and sent in undercover agents to watch the restaurant. The agents witnessed three separate incidents at Cafe Durant within a period of eight months, according to a press release from the ABC.

According to the press release, Cafe Durant’s first offense was in December 2016, and the restaurant chose to pay a $3,000 fine instead of taking a 15-day license suspension. ABC caught a second offense, in which as many as 16 underage people were found consuming alcohol at Cafe Durant between Feb. 23 and March 3, 2017, resulting in a 25-day license suspension. Cafe Durant’s third offense was in August 2017, when four underage people were served alcohol.

According to Carr, Cafe Durant’s owner could reapply at any time for its liquor license, but at a different location. It is unlikely, however, that another application will be approved at this time for the same location, Carr noted.

“There will be no new application that will be approved at that particular location on Durant Avenue for at least a period of one year,” Carr said.

Pappy’s Grill & Sports Bar, a neighboring restaurant, faced a 30-day suspension of its liquor license in February 2018, and bar manager Stevin Bocchini said Pappy’s now has age restrictions on club nights and ensures that guards mark all underage people in the restaurant with an ‘X’ on any day after 9 p.m.

On July 23, Cafe Durant seemed to be facing the consequences of the revocation of its liquor license, according to some of its customers.

“I imagine that they would lose business,” said John Sweeny, an Oakland resident and frequent Cafe Durant customer. “I mean, I’ve never seen this place so empty, so it must be having some effect.”

Contact Anisa Kundu at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @anisa_kundu.