Another Pacino Is Thrust in the Spotlight : Protest: The restaurant and bar owned by the actor’s father are picketed by demonstrators who say he sold liquor to minors.
For 14 years, Sal Pacino has been operating a restaurant and bar in Covina, far from the paparazzi and Hollywood crowds that might be expected to follow his actor son, Al.
But this week, he had his own 15 minutes of fame when protesters picketed his Citrus Avenue business, Pacino’s Lounge, saying that he had sold liquor to teen-agers.
Now, city zoning officials are looking into alleged code violations in the hotel he runs over the restaurant and bar.
On Monday, Mayor Chris Lancaster and a group of parents, students and church officials rallied outside the restaurant and bar, calling for state Alcoholic Beverage Control officials to close it.
Lancaster received shouts of support when he said the city may consider shutting down the building because it violates a conditional-use permit.
“Minors today are becoming alcoholics of tomorrow,” Lancaster said. “Pacino’s has violated the public’s trust. He has no right to continue selling alcohol. We’re calling for the revocation of his license.”
Though Pacino’s had not been cited with any violations by Wednesday, officials of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board said they are preparing to cite the business in the wake of an undercover operation last month. In addition, the zoning investigation was continuing Wednesday.
Sal Pacino said he has lived in Covina for 35 years, moving there from New York after being divorced from the actor’s mother. He accused Lancaster, whose City Council seat is up for reelection next April, of using the issue as a ploy for campaign publicity.
“When I first went out and saw the signs, I thought someone was running for office or something,” Sal Pacino said. “I feel like I’m being harassed,” he said. “They’ve found me guilty already.”
Lancaster could not be reached for comment about the harassment charge.
Undercover Covina police and ABC officials reported they saw three people under 21 drinking at Pacino’s on July 26.
An 18-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man were given citations, said Ken Kelly, district administrator of ABC in El Monte. A 17-year-old was not cited because she is a juvenile, Kelly said, adding that a report will be filed with the county Probation Department.
Although the business could have its liquor license suspended, Kelly said, more likely it will be fined because this is its first violation.
The investigation began after Fay Lew, 42, called Lancaster and police and told them that her 13-year-old daughter came home drunk after a late night at Pacino’s.
Sal Pacino said he has worked with city planners to correct the plumbing, ventilation and faulty wiring violations in the 18,000-square-foot building.
Some of the 30 people housed in the 24-unit hotel have lived there for years because of the $250 rent he charges per month. He said that most are disabled, welfare recipients or senior citizens.