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."



I used to frequent Charlies Bar quite abit over the past few years.. I will turn 23 this fall and let me tell you.. Donna is a strickler for catching underagers!! Before I turned 21 I used to drink Shirley Temples there and numerous times she checked my drink to make sure no one put any alcohol in it!! Alot of times I caught people buying drinks for underage girls and taking them in the bathroom for them. it happens all the time. Donna can't put someone to watch inside the bathrooms. She does a wonderful job running her establishment and I hope nothing happens to her or her bar. LOVE YA DONNA!!! M

Know the whole ...

After reading the other comments about this incident, I find it interesting on how many people have developed a opinion on what seems to be a hear say bases. Charlies is a business of this community and just like any business it will not please everyone. But just like a business in a community, it will touch the lives, in one way or another, of everyone with in that community.
You may not approve of it or like having it in the community, but face it does supply a demand of the community and that might be why it has been here since 1933, along with alot of others business.
Nothing is full proof, and before you start pointing fingers, be sure you have all the facts and don't jump to conclusions.
Try to look at both sides and the whole picture.

kim (Anonymous)

After reading all the comments I was compelled to respond. First off dont forget that IF a underage person was served whose fault is that . . . really. Should the underage person even be there to begin with? No. We were given free will for a reason. We are responsible for our own actions. Not the police, not Donna, not Rupps, etc. You are responsible for you. If someone drinks and drives that someone is responsible. I have never seen any bartender at any establishment in Norwalk force anyone to drink.
If you dont like the looks of the inside of the bar, stay home! I dont understand how someone can complain so much about a place when they obviously have been there often to have so much insight to offer.
When are "we" going to start taking responsibility for our lives and actions.

Lucy (Anonymous)

Sorry people, but we are talking about a 16 year old CHILD. It IS the bar's responsibility when they serve a minor.

Gutter (Anonymous)

I can't vouch for TJ's on the weekends, as I only go during the week. The times I've gone during the week it was calm. As far as the place being a hole in the wall, did you ever go into Bar 61 in Berlin Heights before it was sold several years ago or Charlies? Read the reports in the paper, most bars have some sort of issue that involves the health department.

A MOTHER (Anon...

This story entice's me to write a little reminder for some!I'm a loving& proud mother in her mid 40's of 2 children.One almost 30.& the other almost 25.I have tried to be a good mother,teach them all the good value's in life,instill in them just how important family is!When they needed the disipline handed down,I properly gave it to them!Sometime's it has broke my heart-butI knew I had to be steadfast on some matters as they had gotten older!I had tried to give my children the love& strength that I as a child had never ever had from a parent.My children were not spoiled in any way.They know you have to work extra hard in this world to get ahead!Well-I'm a very sad &lonely mother of 2 adult's now that are very selfish& only care about themselves.My daughter is the oldest of the two,she ditched the nice man she had been engaged to for sometime now.She called him the next day after she left& told him that she had left him,that she wasn't happy anymore& that she was on her way to Texas to live with an ex-boyfriend from about 5 years ago!She has not told me anything!No one knows anything!All I know is what little she told her ex fiance.,what he has told me.And this happened around christmas time!I have not seen her since before christmas,or talked to her!She doesn't like to talk to me unless she has a lot to complain about, about her friends.She say's she doesn't like to talk to much to me, because her life already has too much drama in it!(whatever!)I miss her deeply!I don't even know if she is healthy or alive!She could be in a ditch somewhere & me her own mother would not even know!!My son had a birthday yesterday.He moved out last year in June after staying only a couple of months.I asked him if he would please go ask his father if he needed any help doing yard work-weedwhacking,picking up sticks.Mind you this is around 1:00 p.m.after he had gotten home around noon, from being out on an all night drinking escapade!He boldly told me NO! He was going to the rec center.He never came home for 3 days& then he only came home to get his clothes & I have not heard from him since!My children change their cell phone#'s like people change underwear!Every so often I hear how he is doing from my nephews around his age!I'm his mother&I couldn't even send him a birthday card!How pathetic is that?But at least I know he is still alive.I read in the paper a couple of months ago,he got arrested down at Charlie's bar for fighting!I'm told he like's to drink& fight bigger guy's than himself!I do believe he has an alcohol problem.So for all you people that blame the parent's for everything that their children do, i have a big word for you--STOP!!!Every person should be accountable for their own actions!!!

me (Anonymous)

to Kim: I'm sorry but serving a minor a drink is against the law. Not only the minor, but the bartender/owner of the bar will be held accountable. Know the law.

me (Anonymous)

to A MOTHER: Your kids are adults now. This has nothing to do with you and your family. We're talking about a 16 year old child. Big difference.

I think... (An...

maybe the girl was at the bar to prostitute herself and see what or who she could hook up with.

responding to m...

How do you know the mother was not doing her job!And I state that 16yrs. old is a teenager me!How do you know that this girl was being trampy?And your response to that one post from a mother-how rude are you man!Aint you got no soul?I believe she was trying to tell you to look deeper than that of the blame of a parent****

fun in norwalk ...

look at all the underage drinking that goes on in the private clubs. eagles,moose,vfw etc. there was an earlier post stating that they were drinking at the moose lodge and they didnt even get carded. bottom line is these establishments need to be checking everyone who comes through the door.

Need to WAKE up...

Sounds like this mother is wanting to blame every one else for her problem child.Sounds like the kid is out of control staying out all night and doing a lot of partying.
And letting a kid know you are afraid of them???Come on Mom WAKE up. Maybe she was at Charlie's maybe she wasn't,You are going on someone else's word? Seems she would get her alcohol any where she can get it.

Just thinking (...

Perhaps the problem is not the bar...It's the MANAGEMENT!! If that bar was run right we wouldn't be here talking about. it RIGHT???

a parent (Anonymous)

as a parent i know as my kids were growing i did not always know where they were at. not by my choice!if i would let one of them stay the night over at a friends house,i'm putting a hell of a lot of faith in the other parents to keep my child safe!later in life, i have found out all of those parents have not been so trustworthy!my daughter has spent the night over a girlfriends house & the mother left the house to hook up with a guy she had been seeing behind her husbands back, while he was working on 3rd shift!needless to say the womans daughter suspected this, so she would take advantage of this & go run the streets,probably with my kid too! that ticks me off!Maybe there is more to the story, quit blaming the parents all the time! shut up until you personaly know the facts!

RE: snapper (An...

She(Tammi Long)is the one that is makeing her self look like a bar hopper. She is the one that said "Even at my age I'm ID'd everywhere. Maybe it's where the kid gets her attitude from,Ya know the apples don't fall far from the trees.

RE: a parent (A...

Would you have left your kids on Elm Street and went home and hope they would come home?Would you have been afraid of her threat? Not me.It is some of her mother's fault...

Gee whizz (Anon...

It is EXTREMELY possible that apples Do fall far from trees!

doesn't matter ...

I don't know how anyone can think that the blame rests solely on the child. Donna and the staff know that underagers come there specifically because they know they will be served. I have been to Charlie's twice and both times have seen kids that I went to school with that I know were younger than me drinking, and they don't care. That place lets people get way to drunk and lets them walk out to drive, to potentially hurt someone or themselves. Both times I was in there I also witnessed fights break out, and if Donna or the bouncers like one of the fighters they don't kick them out, they let them stay. I have a young son and I know I will be keeping tabs on him when he gets older, as this girl's mom should have been, but to say it's solely the mother's fault is ridiculous. The staff at Charlie's do not know how to run an establishment such as a bar, prior incidents have proven so.

elm st (Anonymous)

i really don't know the facts of this story,i was not there.perhaps the mother was hoping her daughter would make a wise choice on her own,&her not have to force her into the car.and possibly have some giant blowout case stating that her mother was physically abusing her!just a thought!by the way the answer to your questions would be no i would not .no,no,no!But i'm not posting to pass a judgement on another parent either!I have heard children stating to their parents that if they do anything in means of disipline to them, that they will call the police& have them arrested!my 5 yr.old nephew said that to his mom one day i was visiting them!

Hmm... (Anonymous)

What bar doesn't have fighting going on? Seriously... I've visited a few bars... the only bar I can think of that I've never really seen anything at is The Dinky. Thats a nice place though... Alot more violence does happen at Charlies though.. I'm kind of afraid to go there anymore with all the news of people with weapons and getting killed, etc. Let me tell you one thing.. if my 16 yr old daughter acted like that I would for one not leave her on the side of the street and hope she comes home.. I'd have her arse in a detention home for a few days to let her think about what she has done. You are a parent and you need to act like one. Leaving a child alone at night like what this mother did is unexcusable. I do believe she is pinning all of her blame on Charlie's. The issue here is this girl was drunk and the mother 'heard' she had been served at Charlie's. Not every single bar can get away with not making mistakes. Fake Id's, etc. Perhaps they just need to make some changes. Don't blame a bar or bar(s) for the bad parenting and unruly child. If the mother would have done her job.. and knew where here child was, then this would not be an issue.

re:doesn't matt...

You are right about donna&staff if they like a certain person they stay.She has had some real trash that has worked in that bar!Some of the girls in the past were working for her& on welfare!They would bragg about how they were making cash& collecting welfare at the same time!I can remember one of them had bought a new camcorder,I'm talking a very pricey one at that.She would take it to the bar when she was working & film her drunken friends that were passed out or doing silly things, and they drink behind the bar a lot& drove home!

bars (Anonymous)

beleive it or not-there are escalated events or fights that do go on at bars in norwalk.we just don't hear about them all the time.either the owner,manager,or bartender uses their discreation,they do not want to usually call the police because they don't want it in the paper.it would give the place a bad rep.,bluto's sports bar was always good for that!daytime&nighttime were totally different!this was when tony sazdanoff ran it.he had a young woman that worked there for over 12 yrs. on 1st shift.she was wonderful!it was like cheers bar on t.v.,but this was real life!she made everyone that walked through that door feel comfortable!most regulars felt like a family menber.hell,she made that place.she did her job very well too,always carded if in doubt.tony let her go.said she wasn't right for his enviroement!one of the girls that he gave her job too,her daughter started working there bartending&waiting tables wasn't even old enough to serve alcohol!but that didn't stop her from working in there serving drinks or drinking herself!most of his help{wait a minute,thats wrong}all of his help drank while they were on the clock!hell tony himself had one of his guy employees lock all the doors one nite because this really drunk girl came in there plastered!she didn't have any money to drink on,so she told tony that she would do sexual things for him & the others that he let stay in the bar!so she took all her clothes off,well except her underwear-she wasn't wearing any!she did a striptease act in the buff!he didn't know how old this girl was either.

Ray @ The O.B. ...

First, on the meat of the article: we're all entitled to guesses, theories, and speculation, but Donna and her staff are innocent until proven guilty. I've not been to Charlie's in years, but as far as I know, they try their level best to stop underage drinking... though I imagine it's darn near impossible to keep a handle on it when a sizeable percentage of a large crowd is under 21. (For the record, they're not breaking any laws simply by allowing under-21's to _enter_ the premises-- but they do make their jobs very, very difficult.)

Referencing a comment about The Office Bar below, by `Fed Upqswfe': reviewing our most regular customers, I can list a few painters, some in the insurance industry, scores of construction types (including carpenters, bricklayers, electricians and blacksmiths), several in the concrete business, some social workers, many salesmen, many foodservice workers, a dozen or more factory workers, and some veterans... but only a handful of the `lawyers and court officials' of which you speak. We welcome, cater to, and see all types; check your facts before you commit your thoughts to writing.

re:ray (Anonymous)

you go ray!

hello ray (Anon...

do you still work at the ob?if so you have been there a long time!

moonlight (Anon...

It's so easy for people to always Blame the mother thats a bunch of crap. If a teenager wants to sneak and lie they will find a way to do so. Also how can Bouncers watch the door if there full of alcohol. If working they should not be drinking, but i hear that's not the way it is at Charlie's Bar. We will fight to band cigarettes but Dear God lets not close down places for Drunks. Yes but when one drunk drive kills your child then it's to late to cry.
So like i said it's real easy to blame the Mother what a sad world we live in.... I guess people forgot how to pray and care what happens to children. I will say a prayer for all the world. You see not one of us is without sin even myself.God be with us all even Charlie's Bar....

American 1st (A...

Yow! And they say there's nothing to do in Norwalk!!!

RE:Moonlight (A...

Hello! I agree it is a bunch of crap, I'm tired of mothers taking the fall!

snapper (Anonymous)

re moonlight yeah you go girl!

Re: A Mother (A...

As the young girls Grandmother. Thank you for your comment . People are so happy to always Blame the mother.
This is a sad world we live in. Sex, Booze. Money.
They left know room for God........

again Thank you