Bar Owners Slapped With Fines for Liquor Code Violations

Mayor imposes fines on George's Lounge and TC's Pub after liquor license commission found both had violated Oak Lawn's liquor license code.

Mayor Sandra Bury, also the Oak Lawn Liquor License Commissioner, fined two Oak Lawn bar owners for violating local liquor ordinances during a hearing at village hall on Monday.

Both bar owners were ordered to appear at a hearing last month, only one of whom showed up.

John Cerniuk, the owner of George’s Lounge at 5407 W. 95th St., was fined $3,000 stemming from a Nov. 8 incident when four underage adults were discovered on the premises.

The four adults, who ranged in ages 18-20, were charged with underage drinking after they reportedly blew over the .08 legal drinking limit.

The state liquor license posted at George’s had expired on Jan. 31, 2013, and there was no record of it being renewed at the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.

Police confiscated both liquor licenses and shut down the bar the night of the arrests.

Cerniuk did not show up for a hearing at village hall on Dec. 23.

The written opinion and order issued Monday stated:

“Based on the facts that the Licensee failed to appear at the hearing and testimony of [the Oak Lawn police detective], the Local Commissioner of the Village of Oak Lawn finds that the Chief of Police met his burden by a preponderance of the evidence in proving that [violations] of the the Oak Lawn Liquor Code did occur.”

Cerniuk was fined $2,000 on four counts of sale of alcohol to a minor in violation of the village liquor code.

A fine of $1,000 was also levied against the bar owner for selling retail alcohol within the village without a state liquor license.

Asked if Cerniuk’s village liquor license would be revoked, Bury replied: “There’s nothing to revoke. He had no state liquor license.”

The owner of George’s Lounge ran into the same trouble a year ago. In March 2012, the tavern was closed when its state liquor license was found to be expired, police said.

The village also reached a settlement with Robert Olson, owner of TC’s Pub at 9700 S. Cicero Ave..

TC’s was found in violation of local liquor ordinances during a premises check on Dec. 13, on allegations that the bar was serving alcohol past its 2 a.m. closing time and that cocaine was discovered on the premises.

Police said four employees and a patron were inside the bar around 3:20 a.m. Dec. 13, well past the lawful time that bar employees are allowed to be on the premises after closing. Cocaine was also found in a back officer, but no one inside the bar would claim ownership, reports said.

The manager of TC’s, Daniel J. Brueck, 36, of Oak Lawn, was charged with three felony counts of possession of a controlled substance after police found four loose pills identified as hydrocodone, a narcotic pain reliever, in Brueck’s shirt pocket, reports said.

Brueck was also charged with a  misdemeanor violation of the village liquor code. Olson said that Brueck is no longer employed at the bar. He also expressed shock that cocaine was found on the premises after the first hearing last month. 

Olson was fined $1,250 and agreed to a “Code of Conduct,” including hiring additional security officers, background checks for managers and enforcing a drug free workplace.

TC’s, which received 52 calls for service between Jan. 1 and Dec. 16, 2013, is also to immediately address any public nuisance problems. The alarm system would also be activated at 3 a.m. to ensure that employees leave the bar after closing.

Employees are not to consume any alcohol between 2 and 3 a.m., during clean-up chores.

Oak Lawn Police will also have keys to the tavern, in accordance with the settlement.

“I’m giving [Olson] a chance to straighten it out,” Bury said. “I sincerely feel that he is going to try. Time will tell.”

RRM January 07, 2014 at 06:11 PM
Regarding the post by KA, I did not get the impression the Georges' is open or will re open at any time and I feel that TCs is attempting to straighten itself out. I feel that the authorities are also positioning themselves to monitor the situation at TCs so I do not understand what you mean by your statement.
ols January 07, 2014 at 07:54 PM
They needed to close down these bars to teach the owners a lesson,but all oak lawn cares aboit is money!!
Kathy Duignan January 08, 2014 at 11:29 AM
52 violations in a year! What about the tavern owners in Oak Lawn, that work diligently to abide by laws and have no problems? Kind of a slap in their faces wouldn't you say??? Anyone that thinks that the owner knew nothing was going on is very delusional.
Dave brightson January 09, 2014 at 11:25 PM
Kathy, please try to be somewhat educated about a situation before you comment on it. The only thing you got right is the number "52". That number had nothing to do with the number of violations they had tho.
Kathy Duignan January 16, 2014 at 04:23 PM
Sorry, I stated that wrong. 52 calls, either way it's wrong, and today's article about the manager being charged with the DUI, only proves the point that this place needs to be looked at more!


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