Local Mexican restaurant El Taco Amigo is no longer selling alcohol, thanks to the owner’s decision to surrender his liquor license while the California Dept. of Alcohol Beverage Control investigates the eatery.
ABC Public Information Officer John Carr said El Taco Amigo’s liquor license is currently in a suspended state, meaning that the eatery’s owner voluntarily gave up his license while the ABC investigates alleged problems with the restaurant. He said he cannot release specific information about the allegations against El Taco Amigo because the investigation is ongoing. Carr said the eatery is not allowed to serve any alcoholic beverages until the ABC decides whether to lift the license suspension or take disciplinary action against El Taco Amigo.
“The license is currently in what we call surrender status,” Carr said. “The owner came in last week and admitted to us that there were problems with the license that we had at the premises. What that means is that he cannot sell alcohol until the department is done with its investigation into the problems with the license.”
Carr said he does not know what prompted El Taco Amigo’s owner to speak to the ABC about his license, and he said he is not sure what the ABC plans to do next. He said El Taco Amigo will continue to operate while the ABC investigates its license.
“They can serve food; they can stay open,” Carr said.
Martin Gonzalez, the manager at El Taco Amigo, said he would not comment on the matter at this point. He said he is going to speak with ABC officials tomorrow about the license, and he will not know what his next step is until then.
William Cunneen, a junior mechanical engineering major, said he understands why the eatery is having trouble with its liquor license.
“I’m disappointed, but not surprised,” Cunneen said. “El Taco Amigo was a great place to play beer pong, I love it there. They were a little lax about checking ID. Sometimes they were strict as hell and other times they just weren’t. You just can’t do that in this day and age”
Sunil Ranatunga, a senior political science major, said the restaurant’s staff did not always check to make sure he could legally buy alcohol before serving it to him.
“They didn’t always check my ID,” Ranatunga said. “And even if they did, they didn’t examine it too closely.”
Cunneen said he is not worried about finding another place to enjoy alcohol in I.V. while El Taco Amigo’s liquor license is suspended.
“I think there are still sufficient alternatives for the thirsty student,” Cunneen said. “At the end of the day, we all love to party. And as long as we have enough people of a similar mind, and of course, money for beer, then I, for one, will enjoy life.”