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SLO Brew is closed after losing its liquor license for 20 days. Here’s why

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SLO Brew on Garden Street is expected to close its doors on Jan. 1, before moving to a new location on Higuera Street. The new spot is scheduled to open in March 2016.
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SLO Brew on Garden Street is expected to close its doors on Jan. 1, before moving to a new location on Higuera Street. The new spot is scheduled to open in March 2016.

SLO Brew in downtown San Luis Obispo is temporarily closed after having its liquor license suspended for 20 days due to allegations of underage drinking.

The Higuera Street bar and music venue — a longtime staple of the downtown scene — is not allowed to serve alcohol starting on Thursday and continuing through Aug. 6, according to a sign posted on its door.

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) informed SLO Brew’s owners in October 2018 that an investigation determined the bar allowed an 18-year-old to enter the premises, remain and consume alcohol in December 2017, according to John Carr, an ABC spokesman.

Co-owners Hamish Marshall and Rodney Cegelski initially intended to appeal the findings at a hearing, but settled the matter in June and agreed to accept the suspension, Carr said.

“We had an incident with underage drinking that was really unfortunate,” Marshall said. “We’ll be implementing certain procedures to make sure this never happens again.”

Marshall said he couldn’t get into details about the situation. But he said he’s “sorry that it happened,’ adding that the business, which employs 110 workers, will learn from the incident and be diligent in the future.

“We’ll come back stronger and better prepared internally,” said Marshall, who said SLO Brew will reopen on Aug. 6.

Carr said the suspension applies only to SLO Brew’s downtown location and doesn’t include The Rock, its Aerovista Lane brewery, restaurant and concert space. That location remains open as usual, Marshall said.

Food service is permitted at SLO Brew, but the Higuera Street bar and restaurant is temporarily closed, according to its website.

SLO Brew first opened on Garden Street as SLO Brewing Co. in 1988, according to previous Tribune stories. The bar moved to its Higuera Street location in 2016 to make room for the Garden Street Terraces hotel project.

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Lindsey Holden writes about housing and everything in between for The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. She also covers communities in northern San Luis Obispo County. Lindsey became a staff writer in 2016 after working for the Rockford Register Star in Illinois. She’s a native Californian raised in the Midwest and is a proud graduate of two Chicago schools: DePaul University and Northwestern University.
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