Restaurant warns of alcohol compliance check

Posted at 5:17 PM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 19:32:40-04

A recent compliance check busts a handful of Omaha businesses for selling alcohol to minors.  A local restaurant realized what was happening over the weekend so they took steps to warn others, and it caused quite a stir.

The Omaha Police Department and Project Extra Mile say that 10 places out of 158 on and off-sale businesses sold alcohol to minors during a compliance check between July 29 and August 13.

On Saturday, Salt 88, an up-scale restaurant on 129th & W. Maple Rd. posted photos on twitter of two minors believed to be trying to purchase alcohol but were denied during the check.

The owner of Salt 88, John Horvatinovich says they have been in compliance for every time and support these types of operations.  He feels like agencies aren't being as honest as they should be during these compliance checks and following the guidelines.

"I think if the agencies were more respectable with our time, introduced themselves after the operation, actually sent the letters that they're highly recommended to do it would be a different situation,” said Horvatinovich described.

OPD says businesses are cited immediately if they break the law, but won't go in if a minor is denied so they won't tip off other businesses.

Law enforcement and Project Extra Mile say it was alarming to see the photos posted on social media.

"We're concerned about it again it opposes a safety risk and I would hope that there's some response to it because it really did cross a line,” Project Extra Mile Interim Exec. Director Diane Riibe explained.

KMTV hasn't found an agency that says they do send out follow-up letters as the NE Liquor Control Commission suggests.

Officials say enforcement is the best way to make sure restaurants and bars aren't selling to minors.

Horvatinovich says the "caught in the act" mentality should stop.

"I feel like they're not being as honest as possible about these sting operations and sometimes they're overstepping the guidelines they're putting in front of them,” Horvatinovich concluded.

Officials say Salt 88 could be in violation of hindering government operations, but probably won't be charged.

Here is a list of businesses who were cited for selling alcohol to minors during the compliance checks:

  • Andres Smoke Shop - 4016 N 24th St., Omaha
  • Beres Hall - 5716 S 36th St., Omaha
  • EZ Mart - 6818 S 13th St., Omaha
  • Field Club of Omaha - 3615 Woolworth Ave., Omaha
  • Film Streams - 1340 Mike Fahey St., Omaha
  • Flavors Indian Cuisine - 1901 Farnam St., Omaha
  • Godfather's Pizza 28034 - 2117 S 67th St., Omaha (previous violation March 2016)
  • Kum & Go 352 - 1010 S 154th St., Omaha
  • Mega Saver - 4429 California St., Omaha
  • Nuestra Familia Supermercado - 1826 Vinton St., Omaha

For a full list of businesses that were in compliance: click here