The St. Mary’s County Alcohol Beverage Board has approved a beer and wine license for The Pub on campus. Although supplies and other details are being worked out by St. Mary’s food vendor, Bon Appetit, The Pub is set to sell alcoholic beverages no later than next semester.
After previously having problems with obtaining a liquor license since The Pub’s trial run in the Spring 2011 semester, Bon Appetit has been trying to work towards having the ability to sell alcohol to of-age students during certain hours of the week.
Set backs with selling alcohol during the Spring 2011 and Fall 2012 semesters delayed the official opening of The Pub, when troubles occured obtaining the correct license for this type of venue as Bon Appetit had conflicting information on how to go about the process.
“We do have the Class B Beer and Wine License for the Pub,” said David Sansotta, Bon Appetit’s General Manager at St. Mary’s. After a unanimous decision at the hearing, the board approved the license. Robert Shenes, Bon Appetit’s attorney, argued the case in defense of the license. After the complications earlier this semester with obtaining the correct license, The Pub will finally be able to offer more than its food services.
As far as when The Pub will start selling alcohol, Joel Blice, Director of Operations for Bon Appetit, said, “We don’t know yet because of logistical reasons.” Blice and Sansotta both explained that they have to ensure that everything is in place before they begin selling the beverages. “We want to make sure all our goals are met,” said Blice. While Bon Appetit is sure that they will need some time to set up the supplies in The Pub, they expressed interest in getting the sale of alcoholic beverages to occur sooner within the upcoming weeks. “We’re hoping that everything moves quickly,” said Sansotta. “But we have not promised a date of opening.” Yet no matter the outcome, alcoholic beverages will still be granted to individuals of legal age for fall semester.
To ensure that illegal drinking would not occur at The Pub, Sansotta explained that “we have a high-tech machine that can read every driver’s license possible.” The card reader will be able to note if the card holder is using a fake I.D. He also added that “anyone who wishes to drink will be carded at the door and wrist-banded.”
Bon Appetit will not be taking any chances with selling alcohol to underage students, according to Blice. “We know we will be more strict on carding than regular bars or restaurants,” he explained. In addition, Sansotta commented that “there will be only one transaction per customer so that students aren’t buying drinks for their underage friends.” Beer and wine sales will also be limited to the hours of 5 to 10 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturday nights.
Students of age and other members of the college have been patiently waiting for The Pub to get their liquor license. Junior Shannon Boswell was intrigued to learn that students would finally be given this opportunity. “I think it’s great and it’s about time,” said Boswell, who looks forward to her senior year at the college.
Sansotta explained that he will send an email to students alerting them of when alcoholic beverages will be available at The Pub.