Nine Fargo restaurants & bars fail alcohol compliance checks

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — Although a majority of businesses passed the most recent alcohol compliance checks, Fargo’s Police Chief says some have a “culture” of serving alcohol to minors.

“Most of these people are trained, some of them are even looking at ID’s, and they’re serving anyway,” Chief David Zibolski said during Wednesday’s Liquor Control Board meeting.

Nine out of 41 Fargo restaurants and bars recently failed the compliance checks conducted by Fargo Police. Violations included knowingly serving to underaged drinkers and not checking identification.

Businesses that failed are Brew Bird, Cowboy Jacks, Fargo Billiards and Gastropub, Fargo Brewing, Fort Knox, Granite City, Hi-Ho Burgers & Brew, NoBull Country Club, and Olive Garden.

“This is a lot of violations. This is quite a number,” commented Board Member Lydia Tackett.

Zibolski says most of the servers who failed were trained. “In some of these, to be frank, it’s not hard to figure out if you’re 18 or 21. You don’t misread it that poorly. It’s not that difficult, and so to me, it’s more of a culture or bad employee situation that’s going to continue to pop up if our owners don’t do something about it,” he added.

Commissioner Dave Piepkorn believes that the North Dakota Legislature recently relaxing penalties for underage drinking may be sending mixed signals. “To me, they’re saying the opposite of what we’re trying to do, and that’s frustrating.”

Piepkorn invited business owners who were present at the meeting to share their perspectives, but none did. They also chose to not speak to KVRR Local News when asked.

Zibolski says the police department is looking at creating a comprehensive plan to address the issue, including looking into technology like ID scanners, oversight of bouncers, and giving the Board more control over license revocation.

“We’re watching for this, both from a police department perspective, public health, this Board, and the Commission, and we’re going to be enforcing these violations,” he emphasized.

Fargo businesses may have up to seven offenses before their liquor license can get revoked.

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