Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Last call at Saks bar

Visit from vice halts free drinks in men's lounge

By Randy Tucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The party's over in the "Men's Living Room" at Saks Fifth Avenue in downtown Cincinnati.

Store employees have stopped serving free drinks to customers at the lounge in the men's suits department after a visit from a Cincinnati vice officer and the Ohio Department of Liquor Control.

The authorities informed Saks management that it is against state law to give away liquor in connection with the operation of a business and asked them to end the practice, Lt. Kurt Byrd, a spokesman for the Cincinnati Police Department, said.

"They just voluntarily stopped it'' after speaking with authorities, Byrd said.

No Saks officials were ticketed or charged with a violation.

Ina Levinson, general manager of Saks, said liquor would be served in the lounge only at events catered by licensed vendors.

The lounge is part of the renovation of the Saks store at Fifth and Race streets that is being financed with $6.6 million in public money from the city of Cincinnati.


Enquirer reporter Jane Prendergast contributed to this report. E-mail rtucker@enquirer.com

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