by Paul Bowers
On the evening of Fri. June 21, Charleston police conducted liquor law stings in West Ashley's Avondale neighborhood and charged three bartenders with selling beer to a minor.
Bartenders at Oak Barrel Tavern (825 Savannah Hwy.), Pearlz Oyster Bar (9 Magnolia Road), and Mellow Mushroom (19 Magnolia Road) received citations in the stings, which took place from about 8:40 p.m. to 9:10 p.m. In each case, police sent an 18-year-old informant with a valid South Carolina driver's license into the business, where the informant ordered a beer — a Bud Light at Pearlz and Mellow Mushroom, a $6 French beer at Oak Barrel — and paid for it with money from the Charleston Police Department Vice account.
According to police reports, the bartenders at Mellow Mushroom and Oak Barrel did not ask to see the 18-year-old's ID, while the bartender at Pearlz asked for identification but did not use it to verify the buyer's age. All three bartenders received a citation for sale of beer to a person under 21. If found guilty of a first offense, they could pay fines of up to $300 or serve up to 30 days in prison.