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Alexander Valley casino quietly starts selling wine and beer under rules spelled out in county agreement


With its new liquor license, River Rock Casino is serving beer and wine in the Quail Run Restaurant from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-midnight Fridays; 10 a.m.- midnight Saturdays; and 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sundays.

After more than five years without any alcohol, River Rock Casino finally has its liquor license.

Wine and beer are now being served at the hillside casino in Alexander Valley, the result of a compromise between the tribe that operates the casino and Sonoma County officials and residents who fought the license.

With no fanfare, the casino began serving alcohol Friday, two days after the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control granted the license to the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians.

For now, the casino is restricting the drinks to beer and wine served only with food.

Casino executives did not return calls Monday, but an administrative assistant said alcoholic beverage service "began on a very limited basis and only in the restaurant. They will make decisions later when to open up other bars."

That was apparent Monday just after 2 p.m. in the casino's Quail Run restaurant, where despite about 20 tables being occupied, none of the late-lunch patrons appeared to have ordered wine or beer.

A waiter said he had only served a couple glasses of alcohol earlier in the lunch hour.

"A lot of people say it's too early to drink," the waiter said. "It's more at dinner."

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