This story was originally published in this morning’s print edition of the Daily Post. To get all of the local news first, pick up the Post in the mornings at 1,000 Mid-Peninsula locations.
BY KYLE MARTIN
Daily Post Staff Writer
The state has yanked the liquor license of Ernie’s Liquors at 3870 El Camino Real in Palo Alto because the store allegedly sold to minors, according to the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
The ABC posted a notice of suspension at the store Tuesday. The department claimed the business sold alcohol to 10 minors. One was 15 in a state where the drinking age is 21.
Yesterday, the store in the Barron Park neighborhood was still open for business, selling chips, candy, juices, water, and lottery tickets.
And alcohol was still in the store’s refrigerators and the only marking on the store showing customers couldn’t buy liquor was on the storefront. An ABC agent posted a sign detailing the suspension of the liquor license on the store’s front window.
Under the current owner, the store won’t be able to sell liquor again. However, the owner has six months to sell the license to someone approved by the ABC.
If the store doesn’t find a buyer, the license is suspended indefinitely, the ABC said. The store can still operate, but cannot sell alcohol.
According to the ABC, the suspended liquor license at the store is managed by a company called Ullattil, whose manager is San Jose resident Stephen Joseph. The store’s management did not return multiple requests for comment in person or via phone yesterday.
This is not the first time the store made its way into the Post’s headlines. The store in 2010 underwent a battle over its name with A-1 Liquors next door at 3866 El Camino Real. At the time, Ernie’s Liquors’ lease expired and then-owner Antony Puthanpurayil, who owned the store next door, unofficially renamed the neighboring store Ernie’s Liquors too as he awaited a new liquor license.
After he couldn’t negotiate a new lease with the store’s landlord, Johny Mathew, Puthanpurayil moved A-1 Liquors and left the namesake behind.