EAST PROVIDENCE — Three East Providence establishments, as first-time offenders for serving alcohol to minors after being nabbed in a recent underage sting, received fines from the City Council during show-cause hearings held at its meeting Tuesday night, June 18.
Gregg’s Restaurant, located at 1940 Pawtucket Ave., East Providence House of Pizza, located at 187 Willett Ave., and Warren Avenue Liquor Market, located at 208 Warren Ave., each were fined the minimum $250 by the Council.
Gregg’s, at its location in city for 32 years, and East Providence House of Pizza, in operation for 21 years and serving alcohol since 1999, were fined following 4-1 votes. Councilman Tracy Capobianco was the lone dissenter. Both establishments were stung after having served patrons as young as 17-years-old. Per city statute, a business serving alcohol to someone of that age could be fined up to $500 for a first offense. Mrs. Capobianco stressed her reasoning for her vote was due to the statute.
East Providence Police Sergeant John Andrews, whose Community Police Division conducted the stings from Jan. 1 to March 31 of this year along with the East Providence Prevention Coalition, presented the charges to the Council.
He noted a bartender at Gregg’s on Feb. 6 at about 7 p.m. served beers to youngsters ages 17 and 19. Once provided with the beverages, the sting operatives informed EPPD officers stationed outside of the establishment. They then presented the servers with a summons to appear in Municipal Court to face a charge of serving alcohol to a minor.
Similarly, on Feb. 1, at about 9 p.m. a waitress at E.P. House of Pizza served beer to sting operatives of or about the same ages. EPPD officers once again stepped in when contacted by the youngsters.
A cashier at Warren Avenue Liquor Market, likewise, checked out two sting operatives of or about the same ages who attempted to purchase a six-pack of beer at approximately 7 p.m. on Feb. 6. Because it was not made clear in the report which one of the youngsters, the 17-year-old or the 19-year-old, purchased the alcohol, the vote to fine the Liquor Market was a unanimous 5-0.
Each of the employees at the three establishments pleaded guilty in Municipal Court and were fined. Representatives from Gregg’s and E.P. House of Pizza indicated their employees were each suspended for a period of time.
Tuesday’s show-cause hearings were the second in a series being held by the City Council. Nine establishments in total were caught during the most recent EPPD-EPPC sting.