The six-member group — three city commissioners and three appointed residents — went through five motions before settling on a two-day license suspension at the Stonebridge Grill.
The grill is in the city-owned Stonebridge Golf Club, which has been managed by Billy Casper Golf since 2005.
“Because the facility belongs to the city we have to, in my opinion, hold ourselves to a higher standard,” said City Commissioner Buzz Wachsteter.
He and Commissioner Bill Collins sought a three-day suspension, while members George Kastanias and Mike Hyde argued for a letter of warning.
Billy Casper Golf has a corporate training program and there has been no violation at the facility in its 18-year history. The server, who has been at the club since it opened, is disputing the sale in municipal court.
Member Jane Slickman crafted a compromise two-day suspension, with Wachsteter’s insistence it apply to a Saturday and Sunday. The city’s policy of working back from a Saturday was enacted before Sunday alcohol sales were allowed.
The recommendation will go to the City Commission on Oct. 22 and, if accepted, the suspension of alcohol sales will run Oct. 27-28.
Two other restaurants were caught with Stonebridge in a Sept. 27 Rome Police Department sting, called “Operation Protect Not Serve,” that sent minors into all 58 pouring outlets in the city.
Three-day suspensions, on Oct. 25-27, were unanimously recommended at El Torro Mexican Restaurant, 2115 Shorter Ave., and Mi Alazan, 3 Central Plaza. Both are first-time violators.
Neither family-run restaurant puts its servers through corporate training, but Oralia Caldera of El Torro produced a written program of study she developed for her employees after the ACC awarded her license in April 2010. She also expressed disappointment in the penalty.
“I agree there should be punishment, but I feel I put a little more effort into my training than the previous restaurant,” she said.
Collins had earlier voiced frustration that the ACC has no set policy for levying penalties, which can range from a letter of warning to license revocation.
“We’ve got to get some kind of uniformity on this committee that the public can put some faith in,” he said.
But City Commissioner Sue Lee, who chairs the ACC and votes only to break a deadlock, said there should be the flexibility to decide each case based on its particular circumstances.