Two Oak Lawn bars face liquor license violations
BY STEVE METSCH email@example.com December 23, 2013 7:56PM
Robert Olson, the owner of TC Pub, told Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury he is "embarrassed" by a recent incident there involving cocaine being found. His hearing before the liquor commission was continued to Jan. 6. | Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 25, 2014 6:24AM
The owner of TC Pub in Oak Lawn said he’s “embarrassed” about police finding a small bag of cocaine in the bar and vowed to work with the village to ensure that no such situations arise again.
Robert Olson, speaking at a hearing Monday of Oak Lawn’s liquor control commission, explained how the 1.5 grams of cocaine came to be in the tavern Dec. 13 when police were investigating the bar for serving alcohol past the 2 a.m. closing time.
An employee of TC Pub, 9700 Cicero Ave., was found in possession of the cocaine, Olson said, adding that the man “is no longer employed.”
“We don’t know who was responsible. I was a little shocked when I found out about the cocaine,” Olson told the commission. “But we have gotten rid of a couple (employees). I’ve had the bar for 15 years. We’ve not problems until recently and, basically, I’m totally embarrassed by it.
“It was my father’s bar, and he’d roll over in his grave if he saw what went on,” Olson said after the commission hearing at the village hall. He and the village “want to resolve this,” he said.
Mayor Sandra Bury, who’s also the village’s liquor commissioner, said TC Pub could lose its liquor license, be closed for up to 30 days and/or fined.
Olson’s attending the hearing is a good sign, she said, and places him in a situation far more desirable than one facing the owner of George’s Lounge. Olson asked for and received a continuance of his hearing until Jan. 6.
Prior to the hearing for TC Pub, the commission held a hearing on George’s Lounge, 5407 W. 95th St., where police found underage drinkers being served Nov. 9. The bar also lacked a valid state liquor license, Bury said.
John Cerniuk, the owner of George’s Lounge, failed to show up for the hearing and did not send a representative. Bury said the charges against Cerniuk are “bolstered by the fact that (he) is a no-show.”
Bury is to issue her ruling about George’s Lounge n five business days. Cerniuk then has 20 days to appeal to the state liquor commission. If there’s no appeal, Bury’s decision stands.
Cerniuk could lose his liquor license, be suspended up to 30 days and be fined up to $4,000 for serving the four minors, Bury said.
Oak Lawn police detective Mike McNeela testified Monday that when he entered George’s Lounge Nov. 9, he found four underage drinkers inside.
“One had a state ID, one had a fake ID, the other two had no ID cards. We used our database to determine their ages,” McNeela said. “The owner was present. He was standing in the group at the bar. We attempted to find a valid state liquor license and found an expired one. It was posted, and it had expired in January 2013.”