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MATTER REVOCATION RESTAURANT LIQUOR LICENSE NO. R-16528 AND AMUSEMENT PERMIT NO. AP-16528 (02/08/80)

decided: February 8, 1980.

IN RE: IN THE MATTER OF REVOCATION OF RESTAURANT LIQUOR LICENSE NO. R-16528 AND AMUSEMENT PERMIT NO. AP-16528, ISSUED TO BIMBO'S OF PITTSBURGH, INC., ZELDA'S GREENHOUSE 117-121 BOUQUET STREET, PITTSBURGH, PA. 15213. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, APPELLANT


Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of In Re: In the Matter of Revocation of Restaurant Liquor License No. R-16528 and Amusement Permit No. AP-16528, issued to Bimbo's of Pittsburgh, Inc., Zelda's Greenhouse, 117-121 Bouquet Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, No. SA 177 of 1977.

COUNSEL

Mark Stephen Syrnick, Assistant Attorney General, with him Kenneth W. Makowski, Acting Chief Counsel and Edward Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for appellant.

Robert Rade Stone, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer. Judge DiSalle did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Mencer

[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 260]

We have for consideration and disposition an appeal by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which reversed the imposition of a $350 fine by the Board against Bimbo's of Pittsburgh, Inc. (Bimbo's), pursuant to citation No. 2196 of 1976.

The Board, after a hearing, found that Bimbo's had permitted minors to frequent the licensed premises on October 16, 1976 and had sold, furnished and/or gave or permitted such sale, furnishing and/or giving of liquor and/or malt or brewed beverages to minors on October 16, 1976 and imposed a $350 fine.*fn1 On appeal from the Board's order, a de novo hearing was held by the trial court which concluded that "the evidence

[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 261]

    strongly supports the Board's findings that minors were, indeed, served alcoholic beverages." However, the trial court concluded that the fine imposed on Bimbo's was unwarranted considering the "practical aspects of the case."

The trial court reasoned as follows:

Although the evidence strongly supports the Board's findings that minors were, indeed, served alcoholic beverages, this Court must also consider the practical aspects of the case. The licensed premises are in the heart of the University of Pittsburgh's campus where underage drinking, whether condoned or not, is commonplace. The testimony of Appellant's witnesses indicate it did as much as possible to prevent minors from entering. It appears Appellant followed a uniform procedure to stop everyone at the door regardless of age to require proof of age in the form of a Liquor Control Board card or a driver's license coupled with a picture I.D. There were two checkers at the door at all times. The Court also considers that the sheer volume of people which must have entered this popular spot (Appellant estimates 500 to 700 people) on a football weekend, increases the probability that a minor could conceivably get past all of Appellant's checkers.

This Court finds that Appellant did not intentionally or knowingly serve minors and used its best efforts to prevent them from visiting its premises.

Our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether or not the order of the Board was supported by sufficient evidence and whether or not the trial court abused its discretion or committed an error of law. Angelo's Liquor License ...


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