Undercover underaged police agents succeeded multiple times at getting past the ID checks at Caffe Gelato, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant on Newark’s Main Street, restaurant owner Ryan German said.
Caffe Gelato is currently up for review by the Delaware Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). According to Section 554 of Title 4 of the Delaware state code, the ABC Commissioner will deliberate on any alleged violations of liquor sale, deciding on punishments that range from slap on the wrists to costly fines, or at worst a revocation of a liquor license.
“We are focused on dining and serving customers,” German said. “Newark police in conjunction with the state had sent an underage person in and we improperly did not card them.”
Though dismayed, German is focused on upholding his cafe’s original goal of customer-driven fine dining. He is accepting the situation as a chance to refocus and reapply to better maintain healthy carding practices.
“We don’t take it as them picking on us,” he said. “We take it as we have to be doing better.”
The ABC did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.
At its slowest hours, Caffe Gelato still bustles with customers. Winner of numerous awards for fine dining and wine selection, the business has thrived as a heavily sought-after source of unique cuisine.
German, a university alumnus who graduated with a degree in marketing and business administration, owns and operates the restaurant. Open since 2000, Caffe Gelato has offered a unique fine dining experience from 90 East Main St.
The proud business owner’s busy schedule indicates the high success of his restaurant, and also the high stress that comes with running a small business.
German founded the business during his senior year at the university, with the goal of establishing a fine-dining experience that was lacking at the time in Newark, save for Iron Hill Brewery which had opened in 1996.
“We are not a bar, and we’re not trying to be a bar,” German said. He added that focusing on keeping out underage patrons has never been “in our wheelhouse.”
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