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A French cafe in Wilmington’s Forty Acres neighborhood was cited last month after someone complained it was serving alcohol without a license.
Officers for the state’s Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement, following up on an anonymous tip, took wine and “cases of an unknown liquid that tested positive for alcohol” from the De La Coeur Patisserie and Cafe, according to Department of Safety and Homeland Security spokeswoman Wendy Hudson.
Officers also seized about $200 in cash on Jan. 25, Hudson said.
The cafe, at 1836 Lovering Ave., normally serves only breakfast and lunch at its small, eight-table location.
According to its Facebook page, De La Coeur holds reservation-only, five-course dinners at the cafe about once a month, and advertises “complimentary fine wine pairings” during those events.
Owner Gretchen Sianni has been cited for selling alcohol without a license, Hudson said.
Co-owner Alex Sianni declined to comment on Tuesday, explaining he wanted to seek legal advice, but said the cafe is operating as normal.
De La Coeur is the third Forty Acres business to be the subject of liquor licensing-related complaints in recent years.
In 2017, residents and City Councilman Bud Freel objected to Southeast Kitchen’s application to operate as a BYOB restaurant where patrons could bring in alcohol.
Last year, neighborhood residents launched a meticulous effort to oppose a liquor license for Scalessa’s Old School Italian Kitchen, arguing the restaurant was violating a litany of city rules and introducing noise and traffic to the area.
The Siannis bought the corner cafe in September 2015, shifting it from a vegetarian-focused restaurant to a French-style one that serves coffee, pastries, soups, salads and crepes.
Gretchen Sianni is a University of Delaware graduate, who has a certificate from Le Cordon Bleu in Baking and Pastry Arts.
The state requires that establishments serving alcohol be licensed, and that staff serving alcohol receive training from the state.
Contact Jeanne Kuang at [email protected] or (302) 324-2476. Follow her on Twitter at @JeanneKuang.
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