Fayetteville Applebee’s served children alcohol, family says

3-year-old Bailey Kirkman. Family photo supplied to WNCN.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Fayetteville alcohol enforcement officers are investigating after a family says their 13-year-old and 3-year-old were served alcohol beverages at an Applebee’s.

Cheryl Kirkman says her Mother’s Day started out wonderful but ended horrible.

The Kirkman family says they dine at the Applebee’s on Ramsey Street regularly and never have problems.

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After church, the Kirkman’s went to Applebee’s for dinner. Kirkman says her husband ordered a virgin daiquiri and their 13-year-old son, “KJ,” requested one as well.

The Kirkman’s said they received the opposite.

“As soon as my son drunk it, he told my husband, he said, ‘Dad, this don’t taste right. This tastes funny. This tastes sour to me’,” said Kirkman said.

Before realizing the beverages contained alcohol, 3-year-old Bailey had already drank nearly half of one of the daiquiris.

K.J. and Bailey were both taken to the hospital for examination.

“It was very scary. I was frightened. Her mother was frightened because, like I said, she began to gasp for a little air, I thought she was gonna throw up because she grabbed her stomach,” Kirkman said.

An Applebee’s manager explained there was miscommunication between their waitress and the bartender, Kirkman said.

Kirkman is a minister and said their family is very involved in church and never drink alcohol.

“If it was a lesson, from now on I’ll stay away from daiquiris. We’ll just get lemonade,” Kirkman said.

An ALE investigation revealed the same Applebee’s served a 5-year-old a mixed beverage in 2015, according to the Department of Public Safety. A virgin drink was ordered in that incident as well.

Applebee’s commented on the issue late Monday night.

“We take the responsible service of alcohol very seriously, and we’re sorry that this mistake was made. We have addressed this matter with all involved to reinforce appropriate processes. Further, we commit to making any necessary changes to prevent an incident like this from occurring again,” Elizabeth McGee, Chief Operating Officer of Apple Gold Group said in a statement.

Both K.J. and Bailey are back home, doing well.

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