Update: 2 Liquor Law Violations Mean Dry Holidays and January at Como's in Ferndale

December 24, 2015, 1:56 PM by  Alan Stamm

Como's bar stools and booths will be empty for seven weeks. (Facebook photos)

Update, 1:30 p.m. Thursday: A pair of state liquor law violations are behind the 50-day suspension of Como's license to serve alcoholic drinks until Feb. 10.

Enterprising journalist Crystal A. Proxmire, who runs the Oakland County 115 News Hub, clicked through a Bureau of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs online database to find penalties imposed Sept. 23 by an administrative law judge in two cases against the popular Italian restaurant. A month after Southfield hearings, the judge imposed a total of $1,000 in fines and license suspensions if they weren't paid within 45 days.  

The orders for a 35-day suspension and 15-day suspension were enforced Wednesday by the Ferndale Police Department after it received state documents. There are the violations:

► Serving a minor: A 19-year-old decoy sent into Como's Restaurant by city police "purchased alcoholic liquor from an employee of the licensee" on Oct. 18, 2014, the state record says. It adds that the server "demanded and was shown a Michigan driver's license showing that the decoy was less than 21. However, the employee still sold alcoholic liquor to he decoy." Penalty: $700 fine and 35-day suspension if not paid in 45 days.

► Bouncing a check: A $1,059 check from Como's was returned by its bank for insufficient funds, which is a violation of state liquor licensing law. Penalty: $300 fine and 15-day suspension if not paid in 45 days. 


Como's, licensed since July 1972, had 13 earlier state liquor law violations over four decades, according to the records reported on by Proxmire. 

Thursday morning article:

There's no holiday cheer -- or beer, wine and liquor -- at Como's, an often-jammed Ferndale landmark.

The restaurant and bar got nailed Wednesday with an especially untimely liquor license suspension, Mike McConnell reports in the Daily Tribune:

The holidays are bound to be less spirited this season at one of Ferndale’s most popular pizzerias at Nine Mile and Woodward Avenue.

Ferndale police Wednesday put a large orange sticker sign on the front door of Como’s restaurant, announcing the business’s liquor license has been suspended for 50 days. 

The hours still apply, but beverages are limited to water, pop, coffee, tea and milk.

That's a serious setback, just two days before Christmas, for what was planned as a festive two weeks of family dinners, office parties, informal gatherings and patronage by holiday season visitors -- as shown by the promotion at right on the hotspot's Facebook page. 

The reason for a seven-week ban on serving alcohol isn't disclosed yet, the Royal Oak newspaper says.

An employee who asked not to be named said workers were unsure what had happened.

Ferndale Police Chief Timothy Collins said he had no information on why the liquor license was suspended. He said he received a letter and large orange sign in the mail Wednesday from the LCC [state Liquor Control Commission].

“We were directed to take their liquor license away and post the sign,” Collins said. “They can’t sell liquor or beer, but we received no information why the LCC suspended the license.” 

The most common reasons for a suspension are serving alcohol to underage patrons and serving it after 2 a.m.

A representative of the Lansing regulatory agency tells McConnell "that information . . . would be likely be unavailable until Monday."

Read more:  Oakland County 115 News Hub

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