Wine bottles (copy)

Fifteen Eden Prairie businesses failed an alcohol enforcement check in the fall of 2019, according to Eden Prairie Police Department communications staff Katie Bengtson.

Fifteen Eden Prairie businesses recently failed an undercover alcohol enforcement check by Eden Prairie's police department, according to police communications staff Katie Bengtson.

But while the most visible part of liquor law enforcement is the criminal charges that employees face, the department does its best to enforce the city's liquor laws with a "balance" of education and enforcement, according to Lt. Matt Sackett, a 17-year veteran of the Eden Prairie Police Department.

"I think everyone agrees on the goal of keeping alcohol out of the hands of people under 21," Sackett told Eden Prairie News.

Eden Prairie has around 54 businesses with a liquor license, though that number changes frequently as restaurants and shops open and close, Sackett said. Fifteen failures is slightly higher than usual; generally, the department finds 10 businesses that fail alcohol enforcement annually. There's "not really a rhyme or reason" to it, he added.

The department hires and trains a person under 21 to accompany an undercover officer and be a part of the alcohol enforcement checks, Sackett said. The police department sometimes gives small cash rewards to servers who correctly check and serve, or turn away, an underage customer, he added. The funds for both hiring underage people and paying out rewards come from sales of liquor licenses.

The police department offers semi-regular training for businesses on how to make sure employees are checking identification and serving alcohol properly, according to Sackett.

"We feel a responsibility to make sure the businesses are educated," he said.

The businesses that failed the alcohol enforcement in late October and early November include:

  • Great Mandarin Restaurant
  • Bowerlo Sports Bar
  • Lion’s Tap Restaurant
  • Champps Restaurant
  • Pizza Karma
  • Applebee's
  • Peoples Organic Coffee and Wine
  • Tavern 4&5 Restaurant
  • Residence Inn hotel
  • Gigo Bros. House
  • Red's Savoy Pizza
  • Hilton Hotel
  • Indian Cuisine
  • Lotus Leaf