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Friday, June 10, 2011

Mason District inspection unit cracking down on 'problem' bars

The building that housed Terra
E Mare is now empty.
The Mason District Police Station is spearheading an inspection unit to check up on bars and restaurants, particularly those where there have been a lot of complaints about noise, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, and alcohol violations.

The unit includes representatives from the Fairfax County code enforcement unit, fire marshal’s office, and Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
So far, the inspection units work has led to the closing of the Terra E Mare Bar and Grill on Arlington Boulevard in Seven Corners two weeks ago.

“That place has been a thorn in my side,” says Capt. Gun Lee, commander of the Mason District Station. “There have been many complaints about drunks in the parking lot, fights, and noise,” he says, as well as “numerous ABC and zoning violations.” The place shut down after the ABC pulled its liquor license.

Another place the inspection unit is targeting is the Champion karaoke bar at 7110 Columbia Pike in Annandale. Nearby residents have complained about noise, and there are reports the bar serves alcohol after 2 a.m., which is prohibited.

Since December, the unit has inspected 50 businesses and noted 143 violations, says Sgt. Todd Billeb. “Our goal is not to close them down,” he says. “Our goal is to get them to comply with county codes.”

In some cases, bar owners receive a summons on the spot, for such violations as serving alcohol to underage or intoxicated persons or having a blocked exit. In other cases, owners are given a period of time to correct a less serious problem. If they refuse to comply, the ABC can terminate their liquor license.

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