Portsmouth police chief seeks review of Beach House

Portsmouth police chief seeks review of Beach House


PORTSMOUTH — There’s more bad news for the Beach House Tavern in Island Park.

Beach HouseJust a few weeks after its owner pleaded guilty to tax evasion in federal court, Police Chief Thomas F. Lee is asking the town whether any action should be taken against the bar for alleged liquor license violations.

The Town Council, sitting as the Board of License Commissioners, will review Chief Lee’s request at its meeting starting at 7 p.m. Monday, June 23., at Town Hall.

In a June 6 letter to the board, the police chief detailed three recent incidents at the bar, at 506 Park Ave., in May and June.

In the first incident on May 15, police conducted compliance checks on various liquor establishments to determine whether any were selling alcohol to minors.

At the Beach House at about 9 p.m., Chief Lee stated in his letter, an officer observed a female bartender “consume two shots of alcohol then consume the (remaining) contents of a patron’s beer.”

The second incident took place only a few hours later, just before 2 a.m. on May 16, when a patrol officer saw the lights on inside the bar, said Chief Lee. The officer approached and saw three people inside the bar area.

After the officer made three attempts to get their attention by knocking on the door, the same female bartender that police encountered earlier opened the door and identified herself as the bar’s manager. When asked why there were patrons still inside the bar, she said she thought they were allowed to be there until 1:30 a.m., Chief Lee stated. (Under state law, patrons of bars that are licensed to remain open until 1 a.m. must leave the establishment no later than 1:20 a.m.)

The officer, he stated, noted that the woman emanated a strong odor of alcohol from her breath, had slurred speech and was unsteady as she walked. (Under state law, owners or employees of bars must not consume alcohol on the premises either after closing time or before opening time.)

The third incident took place on June 2, when police responded to a motor vehicle accident on Park Avenue near Boyd’s Lane around 1:20 a.m. Police arrived to find a disabled sedan that had earlier struck a traffic sign on Park Avenue, according to police.

The driver, who was subsequently arrested for driving while intoxicated, was Kayla Carreira of Westport, who had just left her bartending shift at the Beach House, according to the police chief.

“Carreira further admitted to the officer she consumed alcoholic beverages before leaving work,” Chief Lee stated in his letter.

On May 29, Beach House owner Kenneth J. O’Brien, 47, pleaded guilty in federal court to three counts of tax evasion. Mr. O’Brien admitted that he failed to report nearly $1 million in income from his business.

Mr. O’Brien is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 2, 2014. Tax evasion is punishable by a statutory penalty up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $100,000.