Alberta's liquor commission is investigating a high-end Calgary Italian restaurant for allegedly serving too much alcohol to the NHL Edmonton Oilers during a New Year's Eve bash.
Neil Hoffman, a spokesman for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, said an anonymous tipster has accused staff at Osteria de Medici of continuing to serve the Oilers even after they were obviously drunk.
New provincial regulations took effect on New Year's Day requiring staff at licensed restaurants to be trained to look for signs of intoxication.
Maurizio Terrigno, general manager of the restaurant, told several media outlets on Jan. 1 that a group of 45 Oilers players and guests refused to pay the full amount of their bill following the party.
Terrigno said that team members "went ballistic" when they got the final bill and would pay just over $12,000 on the nearly $18,000 worth of food and alcohol charges.
He said the bar tab alone for the group was around $8,000. Part of the dispute arose when players argued they should pay by the bottle, instead of by the glass, for dozens of shooters purchased during the bash. Terrigno said they also ordered expensive wine and champagne.
Hoffman said the board investigates every allegation.
"Depending on the complexity of it, it could take weeks or several months," he said. "The minute we get the tip, we start the investigation."
A restaurant owner found guilty of an infraction could face a hefty fine, a licence suspension or loss of liquor licence.
A team spokesman said the Oilers considers the matter closed.
Team spokesman Allan Watt has previously said that when the bill arrived, players thought it was "outrageous" and complained. He said restaurant staff reduced it by about $7,000 and team members paid the amended amount, and left a $1,900 tip.
The Edmonton Oilers had lost by a score of 2-1 earlier in the night against the Calgary Flames.
Oilers players maintain they did nothing wrong.
"I'll put it this way: I don't quite think that the truth is out there. We have people involved in the situation taking care of it from a legal standpoint," said centre Patrick O'Sullivan.
"I don't want to say it puts negative light on us because we didn't do anything wrong," said defenceman Denis Grebeshkov.
Terrigno couldn't be reached for comment on the investigation.
CTV is reporting that Terrigno asked it and The Globe and Mail for money to do more interviews.
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