Clubhouse Café closed…for now?


Cali Kees

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner has issued a summary suspension for The Clubhouse Café.

This news comes after Hamden Police conducted a “liquor compliance check,” on Jan. 25 at the Hamden bar, where they found more than 130 minors allowed entrance. According to the press release from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), many of the minors were Quinnipiac students who were in the possession of alcoholic beverages. After the check, this matter was referred to the DCP by Hamden Police who has now issued a summary suspension.

A summary suspension can be issued when there is an event that the members of the DCP feel compromises health and public safety. With this kind of suspension, The Clubhouse Café is barred from opening until further notice.

According to the press release, in a letter to Director John Suchy of the Liquor Control Division, Acting Police Chief John Cappiello wrote, “We are deeply concerned as our officers have noticed that Quinnipiac students from nearby are walking intoxicated in the road coming to and from The Clubhouse Café. Due to the repeated offenses and risk that this establishment is causing to our young residents and area college students, any assistance in mitigating the obvious dangers posed to minors who patronize the establishment would be greatly appreciated.”

On April 20 of last year, the Hamden Police Department Interdiction Team and the State of Connecticut Liquor Commission conducted a similar “liquor compliance check.” During that instance, police seized about 42 fake ID’s. Several minors at the bar told officers that they were not asked for their identification from The Clubhouse Café’s staff.

“I want to thank the Hamden Police Department for their cooperation, and for bringing it to our attention,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “We don’t take the issuance of a summary suspension lightly, but feel it is warranted in this instance. Serving underage patrons is a very serious offense, and our partnerships with local police, other state agencies, and community organizations are all needed to keep this from happening in our communities.”

As a part of the compliance process, the DCP will now complete an investigation. Following, they will decide any disciplinary actions or consequences moving forward. According to Lora Rae Anderson, director of communications for DCP, there is no timeline for when the investigation will be complete.

“A resolution could occur very quickly or it could take several months depending upon their cooperation,” Anderson said.

In the next step in their process, Anderson explained that the DCP will reach out to the permittee of The Clubhouse Café, Anthony Dandonoli.

Dandonoli was not immediately available for comment.

Hamden Mayor, Curt Leng, congratulated the Hamden Police Department for their “excellent work,” on Twitter.

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