Panda East in Amherst facing liquor license suspension for 2nd time this year

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 02-28-2023 11:35 AM

AMHERST — Panda East is having its liquor license suspended by the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission through March 8, the second time this year that the restaurant will not be able to offer customers alcoholic drinks.

The latest suspension, which follows one in place for a week last month, started Monday and will run for 10 days, based on a finding by investigators that 10 customers who were not yet 21 years old were served drinks at the 103 North Pleasant St. restaurant on the evening of March 7, 2020.

A disposition signed by Chairman Jean Laurizio and other members of the commission states that all the violations were for customers, ranging in age from 18 to 20, who ordered Scorpion Bowl mixed drinks. Eight of the individuals told investigators they had not been asked to present an ID, while the other two presented fake IDs.

Last month Panda East had a seven-day suspension of its license related to a February 2020 incident in which the business allegedly delivered alcohol, as well as food, to boarding students at the MacDuffie School in Granby.

Since last summer, two other liquor license suspensions have been enforced in Amherst.

Watroba’s Liquors, 81 Sunderland Road, had its license suspended last Aug. 1 and 2 for making sales on April 1, 2022, to two minors who used fraudulent identifications in making their purchases.

Hazels’ Blue Lagoon, 39-41 Boltwood Walk, had its license suspended from Oct. 3-10 related to a May 5, 2022 incident in which investigators “observed numerous youthful appearing individuals in possession of what appeared to be alcoholic beverages.” An employee also blocked the doorway and contacted an investigator with his forearm.

Six people, all 19 or 20, and many with mixed drinks and fake IDs, were identified in the establishment.

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Since then, the owner informed the ABCC that the security employee involved has been terminated, a new ID scanner has been purchased and more security personnel are on hand.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.]]>