Liquor licenses in New York State are taken very seriously, especially when located right by a college campus.
Two stores in Henrietta learned that the hard way.
What started off as a normal business day, ended with them closing up early after a visit from authorities.
Just around the corner from Rochester Institute of Technology stands two connecting stores: Father Son Wine and Spirit and Joey’s Mini Mart.
It’s a location where students, including those under 21, would go buy alcohol, no questions asked.
Corinn Marriott, a 3rd year student at RIT says this has been known among students for a while.
“I have heard about people who go there since I was a freshman. It’s been quite a while since they’ve been doing this,” Marriott said.
Now, the law knows about it.
Since September, the New York State Liquor Authority has been investigating both stores.
According to an SLA report, seven underage RIT students admitted to buying alcohol from the store just by showing their school ID’s.
Marriott says it was rumored to be easier than that.
“I’ve heard people just walk in and buy it without an ID before,” she said.
We asked the owner about the report and he said it was surprising, calling it “fake news.”
But an hour later, News 8 was there when Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputies showed up with official notice that the liquor license had been suspended.
Other bars and restaurants by RIT are known to have strict ID regulations. Clark Gaehring, a manager at Lovin’ Cup near campus says serving minors alcohol simply can’t happen.
“We can’t get fined heavily,” he said. “Our policy is to check everyone’s ID.”
Now, both Father and Son Wine and Liquor and Joey’s Mini Mart have lost their liquor license. The SLA says it was an immediate and necessary action.
The suspended liquor license is not indefinite and the stores are not closed. They just cannot sell alcohol until further action from the SLA or reviewing court.