Photo courtesy of the Thurston County Sheriff's Office.

State Liquor Board Cracks Down on Illegal Tenino Bar

By The Chronicle

A Tenino man is facing charges after an investigation by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board revealed an unlicensed bar in the man’s residence. 

Liquor Board investigators and the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant Wednesday morning on the property on 184th Avenue Southeast south of Tenino.

This is the second time the Liquor Board has taken action against this property, Communications Director Brian Smith said Wednesday.

“We’d received complaints someone was selling alcohol without a license,” he said. “We follow up with every single complaint.”

Undercover officers visited the bar last week and were able to purchase alcohol, Smith said.  

He added that the circumstances of the unlicensed bar — in a home in a residential area — are not terribly common. 

“I don’t see it very often, no,” he said. “Not like this. The way the officers described it is it operated very much like a bar.”

The bar sold commercially-available alcohol, he said. It was empty when officers showed up to serve the search warrant at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, but was reportedly full during the sting operation. 

The occupant was arrested and released and charges of misdemeanor sales of liquor without a license have been forwarded to the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office. 

Without a license, the state is unable to verify if a bar is illegally serving alcohol to minors or after hours, Smith said. The state also loses out on fees and taxes when a bar operates without a license.