Two bars cited for overservice; owner cited for ‘disorderly’ behavior

The state Liquor Control Board and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office have cited two local businesses for alcohol violations following an Aug. 8-9 joint undercover operation.

Officers checked 10 businesses during the undercover operation. The Lower Tavern of Orcas Island was cited for overservice, as was its bartender on duty.

The China Pearl Restaurant in Friday Harbor was cited for overservice and “licensee disorderly on the licensed premises.”

Region III Capt. Thomas Dixon of the state Liquor Control Board said China Pearl owner Charles Thomas allegedly yelled and swore at customers when he discovered agents were going to cite his bartender for overservice.

The outburst was disruptive, drew attention to the agents and “escalated the situation,” Dixon said.

Dixon said two undercover officers were inside the China Pearl; two undercover officers and one deputy sheriff were outside.

There were no arrests. The incident occurred about 1:30 a.m., Dixon said. “There were multiple overservice violations that night,” Dixon said. Thomas was present “a portion of the time.”

Thomas declined to comment to The Journal on Monday.

The state Liquor Control Board regularly visits businesses licensed to sell alcohol. These businesses include grocery stores, markets, restaurants, sports/entertainment venues, taverns and wine bars.

Businesses checked on Aug. 8 and found to be in compliance were the Galley Restaurant and Islander Restaurant on Lopez Island; the American Legion, Rosario Resort and Vern’s Bayside on Orcas Island; and Herb’s, the Peppermill and Roche Harbor on San Juan.

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