Owner: We do not serve minors

Newton Street resident Tammi Long demands to know why her 16-year-old daughter supposedly was allowed into Charlie's Bar earlier this month and was drinking "with a bunch of friends, all underage." And she wants to know why police didn't take immediate action.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010


Newton Street resident Tammi Long demands to know why her 16-year-old daughter supposedly was allowed into Charlie's Bar earlier this month and was drinking "with a bunch of friends, all underage."

And she wants to know why police didn't take immediate action.

"Even at my age, I'm ID'd everywhere," Long, 34, said.

Donna Rossman, who has run Charlie's Bar since August 1983, said there's no way Long's daughter made it inside her establishment July 6. Charlie's Bar has been in business since about 1933.

"We did not serve that girl," Rossman said defiantly. "No, we check IDs.

"Nobody served alcohol (to minors) and we have two security guys who check IDs," she said. "We don't serve underage. We catch them. We kick them out."

A person accused of serving or selling alcohol to a minor would be charged with sales underage. The first-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

"Obviously, if they are underage and not with a parent, it's illegal" to drink at a bar, Norwalk Police Chief Kevin Cashen said. "If we (can) make a case, we do so. If we can't make a case, we send someone in to make a (controlled underage) purchase."

Cashen said his officers have the option of doing their own investigation of juvenile-related alcohol complaints or submit it to the Ohio Investigative Unit, or doing both.

"We typically handle our own investigations," he said.

The chief noted it's not unusual to get complaints like Long's, about juveniles at Norwalk bars, but said those cases are difficult to prosecute if the family or juvenile don't cooperate.

Long said she found out about her daughter going to the Benedict Avenue bar after two women told her the girl had bruises on her face.

"They questioned her about it," Long said, and the girl accused "two grown women" of jumping her after she left work.

Long went to the intersection of East Elm Street and Woodlawn Avenue to pick up her daughter July 7, the night after she reportedly visited the bar.

"She knew at the time I knew about the drinking," Long said. She found the girl walking on East Elm.

"Her daughter did not want to go with her and said, 'I'll get another domestic violence (charge) if you don't leave me alone,'" Capt. Jack O'Neil wrote in his July 8 report. "Ms. Long then left her walking and went home, hoping she would come home."

She was located Friday in Mansfield by the Mansfield Police Department.

Since May 2006, police have made 10 underage consumption arrests at Charlie's, Cashen said. In the same time, there were two arrests on furnishing alcohol to underage persons.

Rossman calls her business "tight on security," saying her bouncers "are walking the floor all night." She said it's possible someone could have brought alcohol to a minor outside Charlie's Bar or that a minor snuck in while a bouncer was taking a bathroom break.

Charlie's bouncers are required to put large X's on people's hands if they are under 21, signifying they're not allowed to be served alcohol. Long said when her sister filled out a police report, O'Neil doubted her allegation that she had witnessed Charlie's bartenders serve alcohol to underage drinkers.

"I know Capt. O'Neil is following up," Cashen said.

"Dating back to January 2005, that establishment (Charlie's) had only one violation of underage consumption," said Tom Hunter, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

"Obviously, we would prefer that would be zero. But over the past 30-plus months there are no signs of problems with this establishment. The times we have been in to check we have found no problems."


KizorSozae (Ano...

So this woman's daughter gets drunk and its the fault of everyone else but her and her daughter? Tammi Long is demanding to know how her daughter got into Charlie's Bar and got drunk....Excuse me? This is YOUR KID. YOU are responsible...You have no business demanding squat..take responsibility and be a PARENT...this is on no one else but ALL ON YOU and YOUR KID!

thats a lie (An...

Quite funny how charlies is "tight on security" is that why the cops are always there for fighting and all those domestic violences? If they were tight noone would be doing the stuff they do there. I know many people who have been jumped there and theres a good reason why lots of people do not go there anymore. Would not surprise me if there was underage drinking! That bar can not contain itself.

Lucy (Anonymous)

Is this bar owner kidding herself?
Lady, that bar has been serving minors for the last 20 some years. Everyone in town knows that, it still happens, and you need to face the facts.

Crystal (Anonymous)

I think people just want to find a reason to complain about Charlies. My parents have gone there for years and I have never ever seen any of the bartenders serve underage people. But like every other place some people are human and make mistakes. I bet every place in Norwalk have been caught serving or selling to minors. If they haven't been caught yet they will they all do it. People just need to grow up and need to focus their minds to more important issues. Like how the JF Services doesn't do what they are suppose to be doing.

supporter of ch...

I've been to Charlies many times over the years and I know how tight security is. If that girl was in the bar she must of had a pretty good fake I.D. I was kicked out when I was 20 for trying to drink, Donna takes every precaution when it comes to underage drinking. As for the last comment made about the fights there, it's hard to control every drunk in there at all times. People will start fights no matter how much security they have. This girl was probably covering for some guy that she was drinking with and I believe the truth will come out soon.

~hey Donna~ (An...

Are we really surprised when a "mother" allows this out-of-controlled "kid" act like an "adult" Chances are this mom is a big drunk and that is why her daughter is trying to act out. What mother leaves her 16 yr old because she was afraid of a DV. And then to find her in Mansfield.. What happen to good ol parenting. Streetlights on and your in the house, back talk and get grounded, no phone, tv, or friends over. Now its like parents are so quick to put blame on someone else for years of them screwing up. Dont blame Charlies bar for this lil girl acting out for help. Blame the mother for doing a horrible job.

what else is th...

this town is as big as an egg and the options for entertainment is what???........... So for all you anti-Charlies. Stay at home and knit. I'll be at the bar! Dancing, Singing, and yes legally Drinking. Charlies is a Norwalk Cheers... Everyone Knows your name when your there. For myself, I like to get off work and have a few drinks and socialize. Is there a crime in that? Where else but go and see my lovely girl Donna and her staff. Charlies, keep up the good work. Dont let this little girl and her messed up family get you stressed out.

Been there...Do...

Everyone knows there are two places in Norwalk that minors can get drunk, Charle's and Rupp's (there's a plug for ya, Rupp's). The fact that the Norwalk Police can't catch a bunch of under-aged drunks and crocked bar owner isn't saying much for the police. Also, I wonder where those young men were drinking before the accident on Ridge Road. I think it's against the law to serve an intoxicated person. Perhaps the family and law director need to look into that!!

me (Anonymous)

Charlie's is nothing but a hole. What a disgusting and trashy place. And I agree with the first post, if the mother was doing her job, her daughter wouldn't be running around looking and acting like a tramp!

Blind (Anonymous)

I know for a fact, Charlie's, Rupp's, and The Glass, they all serve to underagers. So those of you who are "Charlie's supporters", you need to get your facts straight. I know a person personally who went up there for a while and they were underage and got served every time. So don't sit there and say that they have "tight" security. That's a crock. If a bar tender likes you, you will be able to drink no matter what your age. Parents aren't always to blame. Yes, they should know where their kids are at all times, but at a place where age should matter but doesn't you can't control what happens. So all of you who believe underage drinking isn't happening at "your" bar, you should really take a look around. If you didn't have your beer goggles on you'd see a lot better.

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

These bars aren't serving alcohol to minors on purpose. And there is no way that the bartenders are knowingly serving a 16yo girl. That is just crazy. I am sure there are some underage people who get past the ID checks and make it to the bar. Some of these people look much older than they are. Often they will get caught and are not served, sometimes they get away with it. But it is these people being stealth and using fake ID not the bars disregard for the law.

Lucy (Anonymous)

If Charlie's didn't have the underagers there.....who would be?

mt (Anonymous)

That girl still made the decision to drink, whether it was at charlies or not. Sounds like the girl is a little unruly if they found her in Mansfield. She's the one who needs to have a good kick in the butt. She'll wish she was 16 again when she has to drag her butt to work everyday (40 hours or more)and pay bills like the rest of society.

snapper (Anonymous)

to hey donna Tammi Long is not a drunk Shes a very nice person who works very hard to help support her family and shes not the only one that thinks charlies is a dump, but i guess it makes job security for our Norwalk Police Dept!!!!

dear donna, (An...

You have alot of liability, in running an alcohol establishment.
Letting the Brant's leave, that drunk, makes your bar responsible for the death of that person.
First of all, if you're not 21 you shouldn't be in the bar at all. If you aren't old enough to buy alcohol in a store, then you shouldn't be allowed in an establishment that serves it.
If the "bouncer" was in the bathroom, then they should have had someone else watching the door. If you are going to take the chance on letting underage kids in the bar, then you should take extra precautions to prevent this.
Everytime anyone turns around the police are having to patrol that specific area instead of protecting the decent citizens of Norwalk. They are to protect and serve the public, not protect the underage drunks that come from Charlie's.
Hopefully they had no intentions on driving like the Brants were when they were over served and one lost his life.
Hopefully, you have good insurance!

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

My guess is that the girl was drinking at a friends house and when confronted didn't want to get her friends in trouble so she said she got it at charlie's. The girls was under 21 and drinking. She is already by law since it is illegal to consume alcohol at that age, so she should go to the detention home.....Throw the book at her like they want to do with everyone else who makes it into the paper.

AlterEgo (Anonymous)


The Law
A person must be 21 years old to drink beer, wine, mixed beverages or spirituous liquor.
1) It is illegal to provide a person under 21 years of age with beer, wine, mixed beverages or spirituous liquor unless accompanied by their spouse, parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
2) A spouse of legal age may provide beer, wine, mixed beverages or spirituous liquor to an underage spouse.
1) 18-year-olds may sell beer, wine, mixed beverages or spirituous liquor in SEALED CONTAINERS ONLY.
2) 19-year-olds may handle beer, wine, mixed beverages or spirituous liquor in open containers when acting in the capacity of a waiter or waitress.
3) 19-year-olds may sell BEER ONLY across a bar. One must be 21 years old to sell wine, mixed beverages or spirituous liquor across a bar.
4) A person of any age, employed by a permit holder, may handle beer, wine, mixed beverages and spirituous liquor in connection with stocking, bagging, bussing tables, etc.
Public Possession
1) It is illegal for a person under 21 years of age to possess any beer, wine, mixed beverages or spirituous liquor.
3) It is illegal for ANY PERSON to possess an opened container of beer, wine, mixed beverages or spirituous liquor in any public place.

What Parents Should Know
1) As a parent, you cannot give alcohol to your child’s friends who are under the age of 21 under any circumstances, even in your own home, or with their parent’s permission.
2) You cannot knowingly allow a person under 21, other than your own child, to remain in your home or on your property while consuming or possessing alcohol.

I.D. Cards
1) It is illegal for any person other than the state to manufacture, sell or distribute in any manner a card or identification card issued for the purpose of establishing a person’s age that displays the great seal of Ohio, the words .Ohio, State, Official, Chauffeur, Commercial Driver, Driver, Operator, or any other designation that represents the card as the official driver’s license or identification card of Ohio (a 5h degree felony punishable by 6 months to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500).

smalltowner (An...

I can say for a fact that Charlies does and has in the past served underage. Both of my sons and all of their friends went there and got served while they were still in High school. Yes I know about it now but not at the time but either way they did not have fake I.D. s they just never got carded.

knowitall (Anon...

In a small town you usually know who people are... This kid has been out of control (and in trouble) for quite some time. There are some big issues here. She doesn't look 16. If there is a way, she may have been in Charlie's. It's also entirely possible that she was up to something else. The problem here is bigger than her supposedly getting into a bar underage.

yuck!!! (Anonymous)

charlie's bar is nothing for degenerates in norwalk to go and get drunk at. i went to charlie's one time and believe me will never go in that place again. there were at least 10 people who had more to drink than me who i knew for a fact that they were underage. but then again they were from st. paul and for those who don't know donna has ties to that school. she proudly supports the teams and the school. now i wonder why those kids were drinking while donna was there, by the way she carded me and i was 26 years old, she gladly refilled their cups and shot glasses and charged them less than she charged me for the same drink. while i have been to other bars in norwalk (except for rupps) no underage people have been allowed to even be in the bar much less get served. if you don't have the id the bartenders kick them out. no doubt in my mind that donna rossman sold that girl alcohol---i've seen her do it to other underagers with my own two eyes.

norwalk (Anonymous)

How can anyone blame Charlies for a unruly child. The mother "turned around and went home" because she was afraid of her daughter. I think the mother and child is the issue here, not the bar. Donna would not willing serve a minor, she must of had a fake id. And for someone to say it's the bars fault that Tim killed his brother, your crazy. It probably was the drugs he was on that made him drive crazy. Most of the town knows they all were a bunch of crack heads! Put the blame where it belongs, not on the bar but on the mother. If she can't control her child that's her problem!

Intersting (Ano...

The fact the girl "looked" older has nothing to do with it. The fact she was a problem child has nothing to do with it. If the people checking ID's were doing there job like Donna said, She never would have got in the door. And I think were all sure she got inside the bar. What I want to know is, Were the Brant boys drinking in that bar the night of the crash? How much money did you take from them? You know if you served them there friends will tell the family. And you'll loose you bar...

Fed Upqswfe (An...

Yuck: I'd like to know what high class bar you hang out at in Norwalk if you don't go to Charlies or Rupps. The Office Bar I assume. Does it make it a better bar because there's lawyers and court officals there getting wasted? I highly doubt that Donna served underage people just because of where they went to school. I went to St.Pauls and yet I was refused alcohol there many times in the past. It's not because I wasn't popular either. I was friends with her son and she still didn't serve me. You sound like a lonely person who was upset because you weren't givin a discount on drinks and others were. You said yourself that you were 26 and still got carded, do you know for a fact that the people you saw drinking that night were under 21? IProbably not!

Gutter (Anonymous)

No matter what the law states (illegal to serve intoxicated people and minors) it will either be bent or broken. No one party is to blame. The girl was unruly and the bar does serve underage persons.
I personally will only set foot in two or three bars in town (TJ's, Friendly Corners, The Dinky). By avoiding the other places, I don't have to deal with the fights (Rupp's), the weapons (Charlies), way too loud music (Bluto's).

I used to drive past Charlie's everyday on the way to work and home. I'd have to use my fingers/toes and someone else's to count how many times I've seen underage kids come stumbling out of Charlies, not to mention fighting out front. Put some more lights outside to discourage illegal happenings behind the bar or beside it.

Hell, you can't even drive past Rupp's on a Friday or Saturday without seeing dumbf^&%s (underage and legal) in the street or starting a fight on the curb/in the street. I'm not talking near the curb or in a crosswalk, they are in the MIDDLE of the street. I couldn't care less if you're fighting, just keep that shiz out of the street, people are trying to drive.

On a side note...
If you happen to be crossing the street to go to Rupp's Fine Establishment or Charlie's dump, don't stop to stare at me driving down the street. It's rude, besides I don't come into the bar and stare at you while you scam on some chick that looks like she's given out more train rides than Amtrak.

The 115 show is completely different from the 1115 show.
Peace, I'm out.

Realistic (Anon...

Throw the kid and mom in jail, the mom because she let her kid grow up that way, and the girl because she is so unruly that she got drunk! Maybe, MAYBE, they'll learn something, probably not though.

TAXPAYER (Anonymous)

Charlies bar needs to be closed this so called establishment is a tumor on the citys rear end. Donna stated that her business is "tight on security," saying her bouncers "are walking the floor all night." She said it's possible someone could have brought alcohol to a minor outside Charlie's Bar or that a minor snuck in while a bouncer was taking a bathroom break. Thats a load of BS the so called bouncers are there to pick up women and start the fights at least on 3 occasions I have heard of the bouncers there starting the fight not preventing it. if this place is so great why is NPD always there? you cant even drive by there after 800 pm and not see a police car. If the security is so tight then why since 2006 there have been 10 underage arrests from there? maybe security should tighten up and only allow 21 and over in the establishment.

just turned 21 ...

I personaly drank to excess in the following establishments with out a fake id.
1. charlies
2. rupps
3. moose lodge
4. charlies oh did i already list that one?
every one from the age of 18-21 know to go to these places and you can get served. charlies and the moose didnt even check for an id.

RE:Gutter (Anon...

As i'm reading these posts,I have to respond to Gutter's.I believe you stated that one of the bars you go to is TJ's bar.Well-I have to say that TJ's is the trashest place that I have ever been into in my entire life!!!!!The restroom is worse than a subway station restroom, it is totally disgusting!And the owners should be ashamed of themselves!!!Toilet leaking,not set in the floor correctly,everything in there is dirty,outdated,broke,rusty.I think it would be more sanitary to go to the restroom outside in the parking lot!! Honestly!!!The bathroom sink-ohh my god!!And they call that a toilet paper roll holder??These people are sicko's!!

unknown (Anonymous)

my daughter go's to Charlies sometimes an a freind we knows go's there an they tell us they see a minor that they know who is being served at Charlies an she go's there three to four times a month also the Brant boys were drunk when they left there an Donna know it she is just trying to keep her Bar open they need to close that bar and Rupps those are the two bars that you aways here about doing thing like all the fighting and underage drinking I think if we are going to have Bars open then everyone needs to be ID AND BE 21 TO BE IN ANY BAR

Concerned Citiz...

Hello to All!I'm very concerned about TJ's bar in Norwalk.I had been in there recently to possibly be a designated driver.I was extremely uncomfortable to say the least!In the short time that I was there,I have to say the bathroom is deplorable!Shame on those cheapskate owners!!And how in the heck doe's that pass the health inspection?Not to mention-how in the world doe's this bar fly under the radar of the Norwalk police???There is total nudity going on in there!And let me tell you that I talked to several people about that behavior in there,& they said they are regulars of that craphole& the nudity goe's on all the time on weekends!!I very nicely stated to what appeared to be one of the female prostitutes that I did not need to see her take off her clothes in a public establishment, that a real lady would not be doing that! Needless to say-she had to come over to me&get in my face& threaten to kick my as--!While she is threatening me there are still others taking off tops or their britches,or everything!And during this whole time-the bartender did NOTHING,but laugh!People were tipping her,so she kept serving them!She should be fired!The music was so loud too!There was so many of these trashy customers behind the bar,helping the bartender serve alcohol& drinking!Standing on top of the bar& on top of the tables!A couple of guys in there grinding their bodies against each other, acting like their doing it, with their clothes on, grabbing each other in their private areas!And they were actually selling trinkets to the bartender& to the customers!This looks like a stripclub to me!Where are the police???