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Hearing date set for Sadie Klutz

March 14, 2011

by Darren Boysen

Sadie Klutz (Darren Boysen)

The case of neighborhood bar Sadie Klutz, shut down last month for serving alcohol to minors, will be reviewed at a hearing before the State Liquor Authority on April 12. Sadie’s was closed Feb. 5 after the authority conducted a raid, or an emergency inspection that night.

The bar’s liquor license was immediately suspended, under the name Peabody Inc., which operates Sadie’s. The Madison Avenue locale was closed just four months after reopening in October of last year.

“Big nights are usually when it happens Thursday, Friday, and Saturday,” said William Crowley, State Liquor Authority press officer, describing raids like this are very common throughout New York state every weekend. Crowley said compliance inspections are “Typically based on numerous complaints and sharing of information from the Albany Police Department. We have the right to go in anytime.” Along with information from local law enforcement, the liquor authority receives anonymous tips, “usually from neighboring bars” said Crowley. The state also sends out decoys to see if underage patrons will be served.

Authority officers were joined by New York State Department of Motor Vehicle investigators and the Albany Police Department. “Our field investigators are highly trained in document forging,” said Ken Brown, Deputy Director of Communications for the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Those field investigators often accompany the liquor authority to help spot fake IDs.

Thomas Michel, Sadie Klutz’s owner, was charged with 17 violations which included sales to minors, failure to supervise the premises, and exceeding maximum capacity. Authorities cite over 200 people in the bar while the maximum capacity is 80.

Sadie Klutz (Darren Boysen)

Michel has pleaded not guilty to the 17 violations issued by the liquor authority. The hearing date on April 12 will determine whether or not Sadie’s keeps it’s liquor license. Due to past violations Crowley stated, “It will be extremely difficult for the same people to get a license there.” According to the state past violations of Peabody INC., which runs Sadie’s include:
• 2009 – Michael’s Deli of New York known as “Michael’s”, cancelled license for sale to minors and other violations.
• 2009- $5000 penalty for unauthorized trade name (bar name not registered with the state) and allowing alcohol outside licensed area.
• 2008- $7,000 penalty for selling to minors.
• 2005- $4,500penalty for selling to minors, unauthorized trade name, and contaminated liquor bottles (fruit flies in bottles).

Penalties from the SLA are administered through a three member board, consisting of the Chairman and two commissioners. Punishments for the violations include; fines, suspensions, cancellation or revocation of liquor licenses. Cancellation of a license allows the business to reapply for a new license. Revocation of a license bans the business from applying for a license for two years.

“We are always investigating [underage drinking]… this is nothing new,” said Detective James Miller from the Albany Police Department. Miller said underage drinking leads to bars fights, drunk driving, and quality of life issues.
Sadie Adverse history

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