Who Are You?

We went through an unfortunate 10 day liquor license suspension at the restaurant a few days back. We failed 2 “Compliance Checks” in a one year period. What that means is we failed to properly check two underage kids sent in by the cops to make sure we are properly checking IDs. And it sucked, that 10 days without alcohol was worse than working at a Taco Bell with no drive-thru. And I do want it on the record that it was not me that failed those stings. I am getting old, I card everyone these days. It was unfortunate it happened, but we are back in the booze business and things are better now, mostly.

As you may imagine, our bosses are big time reminding us to card people, look at those IDs carefully and confirm they are old enough to booze. I am looking at these IDs like I am FBI and you are getting hauled in for questioning. Expiration dates, everything. I can’t be too careful now, I am not getting bagged for serving someone who shouldn’t be drinking. I can’t afford another stretch like that 10 days and neither can the restaurant.

So tell me why so many grown ass adults do not carry their IDs with them? Seriously, this week I have carded 4 people and denied them service because of no proper identification. I don’t truly believe any of them were under 21, but that isn’t the point. I need proof. One guy had an ID, but it was expired, not by 2 or 3 days but by 7 months. I felt so bad, because an expired ID is not a valid ID. The other 3 were all adult men, with no ID on them. No wallet, nothing. Who leaves their house like that? Didn’t their mother warn them about ending up dead in a ditch without any identification? Seriously!!

I am in this one Facebook group, it is service industry people and most of the group is out of Colorado, but lots from other places too. It’s a lot of people bitching about crappy tippers, but what I have learned about Colorado is they take their valid identification stuff serious as a heart attack. Vertical IDs are not valid for purchasing alcohol, even if it is current. They don’t take expired IDs at all, passports are ok but if the picture doesn’t look like you have something else ready to prove you are who you say you are. And out of state IDs are incredibly suspect. I am not sure if this is state law to be that strict or if it is the establishments, but either way, if you want cocktails, comply. I get why they are so strict with legal weed, you have to be sure people are legit, and they have people flock there from all over for the Rocky Mountain High experience.

A trick I have had a few people try, and fail I may add, is having a picture of their ID on their phone. Yeah, that’s not going to work Young Millennial, I need the real thing in my hand. I have had people offer to call their mom to verify their age. One person wanted to show me his Facebook page because it had his birthday on his profile. I am not making any of this up. Why all of this? Is it so hard to carry that little card along with you?

Many years ago, when Cleo’s moved from its former location to the location it now occupies, there was a gap when they weren’t open for the move. My brother Pat was a Cleo’s regular, some may have called him the Mayor of Cleo’s at times. So they are opening back up, and the venerable door lady, Anna, a fixture back in the day, ran a tight ship at the entrance. Pat opens the door, exclaims “Anna! I’ve missed you!!!” And in her business-like way says “Yes Pat, ID please.” If the former Mayor of Cleo’s needs an ID to enter, you need one to get your margarita jag on at my restaurant!!!

Carry your identification with you. For many reasons, like the dead in the ditch one I mentioned above. If you are an adult, old enough to drink, you need to be able to prove it. If an officer were to stop you and you do not have it with you, they aren’t going to apologize like I do when I have to shut you down on you Pina Colada desires.

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