Bar Leucadian had its liquor license suspended Monday after four times during a four-month period.
The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and Encinitas Sherriff’s Department have been collaborating on the effort for more than a year, which resulted in one arrest. During a press conference Monday morning Capt. Sherri Sarro said the person arrested was an employee who is now serving a 3-year prison term for selling the drug, though she did not have his name readily available. Sarro declined to say how many employees were involved in selling the drugs, and said investigators do not believe the bar owners knew about the illegal activity—but according to law, they are still responsible for what happens at their business.
As a result of the investigation, Bar Leucadian will also have new set of restrictions: From now on, the bar will be required to close by midnight instead of 2 a.m., it can no longer offer any live music, and the owner will have to provide security guards to monitor the parking lot.
Sarro called the measure a “severe penalty” but said this comes after years of complaints from nearby residents and ongoing violations that included public drunkenness, public nuisance, public urination, and DUIs involving bar patrons. Sarro said was those community complaints that prompted the investigation, and calls the sting a win for the city.
“We heard from the community and responded accordingly,” she said, “This is a positive thing for the community.”
Sarro said the circumstances at Bar Leucadian is a “reoccurring issue in this area” and hopes the penalty will send a clear message to other bar owners.
“Bar owners need to monitor their employees and make sure they stay in compliance so that nothing bleeds over to the community,” she said.
Under the penalty, Bar Leucadian cannot sell any alcohol for 45 days and it will remain under a probationary period for three years.
Sarro said residents with complaints or information possible violations are encouraged to call the Encinitas crime tip line at (760) 966-3518.