Charges allege garage is a tavern

A Montgomery County man is accused of running an unlicensed tavern on rural Currytown Road, police s
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A Montgomery County man is accused of running an unlicensed tavern on rural Currytown Road, police said Monday.

Kevin Hall, 52, of 550 Currytown Road, was charged with prohibited sale of alcohol, an unclassified misdemeanor, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.

Montgomery County Undersheriff Jeffery T. Smith said police believe the operation inside the one-story garage started out as a family-only establishment and grew into a destination for locals.

“It kind of started out with his close friends, and then it expanded,” Smith said.

Smith said he’s known of the bar’s existence for about two years, and deputies had made unsuccessful attempts at buying alcohol there until Friday.

“We’ve tried a couple times. They are a very close-knit group and would only serve to certain people,” Smith said.

The state Liquor Authority was involved in the investigation, but that office has no power in this situation so it cannot levy fines, spokesman William Crowley said.

Crowley declined to comment on where the alcohol was coming from because that could be part of the investigation. He said it’s not unique to find a tavern operating without a license, but said “we don’t run into it all the time.”

The Currytown Road site is located among farm properties on the windy, hilly roadway.

It’s a short distance by snowmobile from the Canalway trail frequented by snowmobilers, said David Handy, Hall’s son-in-law.

Efforts to contact Hall were unsuccessful Monday.

Handy said the family will likely fight the charges. He described the situation as one where friends and family would buy their own beer and pay the bar $1 to keep it in the refrigerator.

Friends and family were members of a tavern pool league up until recently when they were kicked out of the league for not being from a licensed bar, Handy said.

Handy said he suspects other tavern owners turned the family in to authorities because they weren’t paying for a license or paying other taxes.

The wooden-paneled bar inside the garage has a pool table and dart board, a regular-looking bar with stools and a few small tables. Windows at the side overlook a deck leading to a swimming pool.

Handy said the bar was put together around 2002. He said it’s not uncommon for as many as 15 friends and family members to gather for supper there.

Handy said there has been no trouble there and said people who aren’t drinking have often given rides to those who were to avoid any driving while intoxicated incidents.

Handy said the family has explored getting a liquor license but said “that would be just inviting people” to the place.

Categories: Schenectady County

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