Weekend visitors to Hillstone (303 Josephine Street) and its sibling, the Cherry Creek Grill (184 Steele Street), got a little less than they bargained for — especially on Super Bowl Sunday. The restaurants were open, but the booze wasn't flowing; signs on the doors explained the reason. Turns out the two eateries, both owned by California's Hillstone Restaurant Group, were hit by a standard Denver Police Department sting operation in which underage, undercover cadets were served alcohol by employees of the restaurants.
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The actual incidents took place last fall, according to a Hillstone spokesman, but the enforcement of the four-day liquor-license suspensions (in which all alcoholic beverages must be removed from the premises) began on Friday, February 3, and end tonight when the restaurants close. It will be back to business as usual tomorrow.
"We at Hillstone place a strong emphasis on training staff to check IDs," the spokesman noted, adding that "both of the employees involved were terminated immediately."
Neither restaurant is exactly a hot spot for young drinkers; in fact, Cherry Creek in general — with the possible exception of the Cherry Cricket (currently closed due to fire damage) — doesn't seem a likely place for underage drinkers to attempt to score booze. Perhaps that's why servers failed to properly ID the undercover cadets.