Fort Collins drinking establishments were cited for 34
liquor-license violations in 2003, making it the most cited city in
the state, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue, Liquor
After receiving two of these liquor-license citations in the
past 12 months, Tailgate Tommy’s, 145 E Mountain Ave., has lost its
license, been suspended and ownership will be turned over.
“By Oct. 13 they will have to have completed a transfer of
ownership,” said Bob Younger, a Fort Collins Police Services
officer specializing in liquor-license enforcement.
Tailgate Tommy’s received a violation for allowing a disturbance
on its premises on Aug. 26 and failing to report it, Younger
After this violation and a previous one for serving alcohol
after hours and allowing alcohol to leave the premises, Tailgate
Tommy’s will have to close until a new owner is found.
“This is a common penalty, but it doesn’t happen as often as you
might think it would,” Younger said.
The disturbance was an altercation between a waitress and a
customer, said John Smith, a bartender at Tailgate Tommy’s. But
Smith said he plans to return to work.
“They haven’t been really clear with us about when we’re
reopening,” Smith said.
Younger said he sees liquor violations about once every two
“I would say that on a fairly regular basis we have an
establishment that has to answer to local liquor-license authority
for some offense,” Younger said.
He said this is because Fort Collins is a college town and has
more than 240 liquor licenses issued in the city.
“That’s a huge number (of licenses) for the geographical and
population size that we have here,” Younger said. “The increase of
the number of available outlets will increase the number of
available outlets that get caught.”
Younger said establishments are cited for a number of
“Probably the thing that occurs most often is either serving to
an underage person or allowing things to occur that would go
against the conduct of the establishment,” he said.
Over-serving customers, serving after hours, allowing visibly
intoxicated customers to loiter and allowing disturbances are a few
examples Younger gave of conduct against an establishment.
“People make a really big deal about alcohol, and I think it’s
because they make it so strict,” said Petrea Honychurch, a senior
landscape architecture major. She said she does not understand why
bars close at 2 a.m., since laws are different in Dominica, where
she is originally from. “I’d like to know why the law is there in
the first place.”
Senior history and Latin American studies major Erin King agreed
“I don’t understand why we have a cut-off time,” King said.
“Even if I don’t agree with it, they should follow the law.”
Younger said FCPS will continue to increase the number of
citations to establishments and minors in violation of the law.
“It’s a pretty labor-intensive, layered type of process,”
FCPS uses inspections of liquor-licensed premises, undercover
minors and uniformed officers who monitor the establishments as
tools to enforce liquor laws.
He said the riots from the beginning of the school year and the
death of sophomore business major Samantha Spady on Sept. 5 have
elevated the need to increase citations.
“We’re definitely trying to make sure that the entire culture
and environment in which these people can gain access to alcohol is
changed,” Younger said. “We’re definitely trying to make an impact
on the availability and the binge drinking that occurs.”