Roosevelt Row's Tediberto's Has a Liquor License Problem
Photos by Benjamin Leatherman Roosevelt Row vegan Mexican restaurant Tediberto's.
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It's one of the worst kept secrets in the downtown Phoenix culture scene: Tediberto's, the vegan Mexican restaurant located along Roosevelt Row, has become a popular late-night hangout for artists, hipsters, trendy types, and party monsters.
And one of the big reasons the eatery, which opened in late June, has become so popular for late-night adventures is not just because it stays open until 3 a.m. or later on weekends or its unique cuisine. When we visited Tediberto's in the hours following the most recent First Friday art walk on August 3, the establishment was serving beer and booze, which New Times has learned was being done without a liquor license.
And it was being done after last call, when all establishments serving alcohol are required by Arizona law to stop selling liquor. When asked about this, the owner of Tediberto's had no comment.
According to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control's databases, Tediberto's does not posses an active or inactive liquor license in any form. There is also no record of the restaurant having been granted any one-time permit to sell liquor for any special events.
A table at Tediberto's where patrons were drinking PBR following First Friday.
It certainly appeared as if it did in the hours following August's First Friday, the vegan Mexican restaurant was hopping with more than two dozen customers, many of whom were sipping cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, bottles of Stella Artois, and a cocktail here and there.
Patrons sat at Tediberto's glowing tables or stood at the bar while imbibing PBR and other adult beverages or headed outside for a smoke in the parking lot, where a doorman was checking the IDs of those wanting to be inside the hotspot.
Tediberto's waitstaff was doing brisk business selling brews and libations from its bar during the three-hour period we were at the restaurant, popping open brews and mixing up drinks when they weren't bringing out orders of food from the kitchen. Things got so busy that there was a pile of money sitting behind the bar waiting to be counted and put into a cashbox. Owner Yin Macatabas appeared to be pretty busy herself as she moved between the kitchen and bar.
The party kept going well into the night and way past 2 a.m. and the beer and booze continued to be purchased.
We approached Macatabas earlier this past week for comment on the illegal liquor sales that were taking place during First Friday. "Absolutely not," she stated in regards to commenting.
In addition to repeatedly asking us to leave the premises, Macatabas also initially claimed that she had "no awareness" of any such sales taking place at the restaurant.
When shown cell phone pictures of PBR cans on Tediberto's bar, tables, and in the hands of patrons, she accused us of staging the photographs.
"You could've just come in here and taken that picture right now," Macatabas says.
According to Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control spokesperson Lee Hill, getting caught selling liquor without a license is a Class 1 misdemeanor with possible fines of $1,500 for the first instance and/or a possible additional criminal citation. Serving booze after hours offers similar charges and penalties.
Being convicted of either charge would also greatly hinder the possibility of an establishment obtaining a liquor license though legal means, Hill says.