Eric Walker

Equinox Staff   


Last month the New Hampshire Liquor Commission prohibited two Keene establishments from selling alcohol for a three-day period following violations that occurred last September.

According to the New Hampshire Liquor Commission’s enforcement division’s records, Cobblestone Ale House, 151 Main St., Keene, N.H., was cited for selling an alcoholic beverage to an individual who was visibly intoxicated or who a reasonable and prudent person would know is intoxicated.

The Liquor Commission fined Cobblestone with $1,000, assessed four points to their liquor license, and suspended their license from Jan. 16 to 19.

emma contic / graphics editor

emma contic / graphics editor

The Liquor Commission also required Cobblestone employees who were working the night of the incident to attend an alcohol education program. In addition the commission cited Cobblestone for allowing an employee to consume an alcoholic beverage while on the job, which resulted in a $100 administrative fine.

Cobblestone didn’t open for the three-day period that their license was suspended. On their Facebook page and on a sign outside the bar, they stated that they were undergoing renovations.

The Sentinel reported Cobblestone owner Jeffrey A. Barden declining to comment on the liquor license suspension, but when asked of the timing of the renovations had to do with the suspension he said, “You could say that.”

Repeated attempts were made by The Equinox to contact Barden but he chose not to comment.

A Cobblestone bartender confirmed the bar did undergo renovations, such as the installation of new table tops, but refused to comment on any specifics of the violation or license suspension.

According to the Liquor Commission’s website, servers of alcohol at licensed establishments should be aware of the following visual signs of intoxication: the odor of alcohol, stumbles, falls, staggers, loud, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, disheveled, loss of coordination, impaired judgment and foul language.

If the sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person purposely or recklessly causes bodily injury, the state may make the offense a Class A misdemeanor which could result in a $2,000 fine, and/or one year in jail.

The Liquor Commission also suspended the liquor license of Romy’s Market, 89 Marlboro St., Keene, N.H., for the same three-day period after it was cited for selling alcohol to someone under the age of 21.

Romy’s also faced the same $1,000 fine, and had four points assessed to its liquor license.

The Sentinel reported Romy’s Market owner Yogi Patel said the minor used a fake ID which the employee who was working at the time didn’t realize was a forgery.

During the three-day suspension Romy’s Market’s refrigerators and shelves had signs which read, “No sale of alcohol on January 16, 17, 18. Please do not touch any alcohol products. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

An employee at Romy’s Market who did not want to give his name, but claimed to be Patel’s cousin, said that Patel was currently out of the country, and nobody at the store had anything to say on the matter other than what was published in The Sentinel’s article.

As The Equinox reported last March, the use of fake IDs in Keene is no rare occurrence. One bartender who asked to remain anonymous said they see waves of students trying to use fake IDs at the beginning of each semester, and bartenders at some establishments are rewarded with bonuses for spotting them.

Cumberland Farms employee Christine Coushaine said she sees fakes “all the time.” Cumberland Farms has an ID scanner which can spot if an ID is valid. However it’s not foolproof and some higher-end fakes are able to pass through.

She said all Cumberland Farms workers are educated on how to spot fakes from an instructional book before they start the job. She said they take the issue very seriously and if an employee were to sell alcohol to a minor the employee would be fired immediately.

High Street Market cashier David Myre said his employer never required him to attend a fake ID course as some establishments do, but said he always checks every customer buying alcohol or tobacco, and if anything seems suspicious he asks them for their birthday and age to see if they know it right away or need to take time to do the math.


Eric Walker can be contacted at


For more information see the Equinox Editorial on page A4.

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