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Fairls lose liquor license

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

The owners of Fairl’s Country Saloon had their liquor license revoked Thursday by the city.

Gene and Karen Fairl, owners of the Carson City business and the parties named on the liquor license, are considering an appeal of the decision made by the Board of Supervisors during a special hearing, said Day Williams, their attorney.

“Thank you to the people of Carson City for putting us out of on the street,” said an angry Karen Fairl after the meeting.

Gene Fairl said they would operate until they are served with the revocation order – which the city was planning to process quickly, said Michael Suglia, senior deputy district attorney who presented the city’s side of the argument.

About a dozen witnesses for and against the Fairls were queried. Bar employees said the Fairls had been making efforts to improve procedures used to ensure minors aren’t served alcohol. A group of about 40 customers also signed a petition asking the board to keep the bar open.

There have been four instances of minors being served alcohol since the Fairls’ received their license in early 2004. The Sheriff’s Department also received roughly 160 calls for service within a year, according to the city.

Both sides had been trying to reach an agreement to allow the Fairls to operate the business, at 3481 Highway 50 East, with shorter hours until they could find a buyer. The couple rents the building, but the business itself would have been easier to sell if potential buyers could see it operating, Williams said.

The board, however, didn’t see fit to do so.

“I don’t think you’re into a point of negotiation,” said Mayor Marv Teixeira to Gene Fairl.

A 16-year-old girl who is a cadet in the local Explorers club, a law enforcement-oriented service club for youths, told of her experiences at the bar as a decoy helping the sheriff’s department with alcohol compliance checks.

She told the board that in February, Gene Fairl served her alcohol. Fairl initially denied the charge, but on Thursday admitted that he was “tired” and could have done it.

Carson City currently has 150 liquor licenses issued for alcohol sales, said city Treasurer Al Kramer. With information provided by the sheriff’s department, the board can choose to allow investigations into applicants and licensees.

Kramer couldn’t remember one liquor license being revoked during his 11 years in office.

The supervisors approve new licenses and have ultimate say on whether non-compliant licensees can retain their privileges when functioning as the Liquor and Entertainment Board.

Sheriff Kenny Furlong, who also gets a vote but was in the hospital for observation because of chest pains, missed the meeting, making the count 5-0, with one absent.

Undersheriff Steve Albertsen, however, said Furlong would have voted to revoke the license if he had been there.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.