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Taking License 

Side Dishes: Nectar's Celebrates "Prohibition"

"An underage girl walks into a bar . . ." sounds like the first line of a bad joke. For the folks at Nectar's in Burlington, it was the start of something much less amusing. "Liquor Control routinely runs stings," explains co-owner Damon Brink. On one Saturday afternoon, "This girl just walks in with her normal ID that says she's 18, and she tries to buy a beer."

What happened next was kind of unusual. Even though the staffer on duty, a cook, carded the young woman and refused to serve her alcohol, Nectar's was punished with a one-day liquor license suspension. Why? The dude who denied her hadn't passed a state-mandated alcohol certification course. Gripes Brink, "The irony of it is, we actually failed a similar case like that about a year ago, where one of the girls who was certified actually served [an underage person] a beer." That time, the transgression didn't cost Nectar's its license.

To mark the appointed day of atonement - this Wednesday, October 10 - the folks at Nectar's are throwing a party complete with free gravy fries and samples of house-smoked BBQ, soda and "crystal punch," a.k.a. water. In an effort to "recoup losses," which Brink estimates at about $2000, they'll also sell T-shirts and CDs.

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About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Former contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the first Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a... more


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