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Waltham Bar Gets Two Week Suspension For Alcohol Violations

The License Commission could close the bar permanently if problems continue, officials say.


The Waltham License Commission has suspended alcohol and food service at Guanachapi’s Bar & Grill on River Street after repeated liquor violations, according to Commissioner Robert Hardiman.

The commission, at its Jan. 22 meeting, ordered the bar closed for two weeks for “repeat over-pouring,” Hardiman told Waltham Patch. The suspension lasts until Feb. 13, Hardiman said. The bar can reopen on Feb. 14. 

Specifically, the suspension stems from two indicents in September and December 2012, in which drivers allegedly drove drunk after leaving Guanachapi's. Both drivers were later involved in accidents in Waltham.

The bar’s owner, whom Hardiman could not recall, said he would not appeal the decision to the Massachusetts Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, according to Hardiman.

"The problem is not the owner. The owner is a nice guy. The staff is not paying attention. They are not counting how many drinks they are serving to people," Hardiman said.

The suspension is the latest in a recent string of troubles at the bar, Hardiman said. The commission has previously suspended the bar for three days and cut its hours, Hardiman said.

Two complaints from the Waltham Police Department prompted the latest suspension, Hardiman said. During the first incident on Sept. 16, 2012, Waltham Police arrested a man and charged him with OUI after he crashed his car through a fence near the former Bright School, Waltham Police Lt. Kevin O’Connell told the Commission during its Jan. 22 meeting.

In the second incident on Dec. 23, 2012, police arrested a driver and charged him with OUI after he was allegedly involved in a crash on Moody Street. In both cases, the drivers told police they had been coming from Guanachapi's.

Nobody could be reached at Guanachapi’s for comment.

The commission could consider more disciplinary actions if the problems continue, Hardiman said, including permanently revoking the license. Hardiman said. The Commission could cut the bar’s hours or even revoke its entertainment license, Hardiman said. The commission could also order the owner to hire a Waltham Police detail to patrol the bar, Hardiman said. 

Karen Walz February 04, 2013 at 09:51 PM
"The problem is not the owner. The owner is a nice guy. The staff is not paying attention." Excuse me? Isn't it up to the owner to see that staff are trained and supervised properly? It doesn't matter that he's a "nice guy." What on earth does that have to do with responsibility? The culture of accepting overuse of alcohol still reigns supreme here. Does someone have to get killed for the Commissioner to take his own job more seriously?
moe howard February 04, 2013 at 11:34 PM
It's also a place for illegal immigrants to drink and then get in their cars and break the laws of our land. Karen is right , is it going to take someone getting killed before action is taken?
Tina February 05, 2013 at 12:06 PM
I agree with you, Moe and Karen! And I bet that many of those illegals are getting into unregistered and uninsured cars without a valid driver's license! If Guanachapi's over-served them, it should lose its liquor license before someone gets killed or before another person's property is damaged. It is totally up to the bar owner to train his staff to not over-serve the customers. There are laws that mandate penalties for that offense, especially when someone is killed or injured as a result. Also, why could Commissioner Robert Hardiman not recall the name of the bar owner? Maybe he should have written that down while compiling his report.
JohnnyMass February 05, 2013 at 01:12 PM
One good ICE raid is what this place needs!
Tina February 05, 2013 at 02:00 PM
Absolutely, JohnnyMass! ICE needs to come in and round 'em up!
moe howard February 05, 2013 at 02:29 PM
You guys are right on the money!!
Karen Walz February 05, 2013 at 02:41 PM
My comment had to do with the responsibilities of the owner and the Commissioner. This is regardless of the status of who's doing the drinking and having accidents. My main concern with the drivers' status would be, of course, legal licenses, registrations, and insurance. But how many DUI's and vehicular homicides or injuries have been committed by legal citizens, who, time and again, get off lightly with their licenses intact, or continue driving with suspended licenses? How many times have we read about someone who's a legal citizen, but arrested for a 7th, 8th, 9th DUI, and set free to drive again? This, to me, is the issue. There may be related issues with illegal residents, but I won't join the in vitriol and hatred against them. The fact that people so badly want to come to this country attests to the greatness of the U.S. Yes, it is an issue, and one worthy of discussion, but, again, I will not particpate in the hostility that I witness endlessly in these news forums.
Karen Walz February 05, 2013 at 02:44 PM
"...won't join in the vitriol and hatred against them." (Correction.)
moe howard February 05, 2013 at 03:26 PM
It's so easy to get a liberal angry. LOL
Karen Walz February 05, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Not taking the bait.
Steven Cavaretta February 05, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Yeah Moe, if you can't win a vote or in the public opinion polls you might as well just raise hell. Beats admitting you're a dying breed.
RiverSt February 10, 2013 at 02:40 AM
Good! The patrons of this restaurant at night are absolutely obnoxious. I live right near by and when the bar lets out at night the lovely patrons of this classy establishment are so respectful! Loud, beeping horns, public urination. This establishment should be shut down!


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