The latest casualties of Alexandria's "Bar Wars" appear to be teen-agers who will no longer be able to belly up to 14 of Old Town's ritziest saloons for anything stronger than soda.
"We are taking preventive measures to maintain the integrity of the restaurant community," said Brian McMahon, the owner of Kings Landing restaurant and spokesman for the other owners who announced yesterday they would no longer serve alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21.
The voluntary restriction by 14 of Alexandria's 52 restaurants licensed to serve alcoholic beverages, comes just three days after six Old Town restaurants were told by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board that alleged violations of various state regulations may cost them their liquor licenses.
It also follows more than a year of spirited controversy over complaints of rowdyism in the Old Town section where most of the restaurants are located.
Last month Alexandria officials accused state ABC inspectors of failing to enforce liquor laws in the city -- a shortcoming that they said has resulted in numerous complaints of obscenities and lewd acts that have spilled from the restaurants onto local streets.
Virginia ABC regulations allow beer to be served to 18-year-olds, but an official at the ABC board in Richmond yesterday said there was nothing in those regulations that required licensed establishments to serve 18-year-olds.
Besides Kings Landing, the other restaurants that announced the new liquor policy are The Wharf, Landini Brothers, Biarritz Cafe, La Bergerie, Henry Africa, Taverna Cretekou, Maison Des Crepes, 219, the Warehouse, Gadsby's Tavern, Geranio, Deli on the Strand and Chadwicks.