Kids given alcoholic drink samples at Ohio Outback restaurant

MASON, Ohio - Kelly Kerwin and her family, including her 4-year old-daughter Gracie, walked into Outback Steakhouse in Mason and left with an experience they'd like to forget.

"I don't think it's acceptable that my 4-year-old got her first taste of peach schnapps and vodka," Kelly said.

Kelly says it began when her family was waiting to be seated. She says a waitress walked up and offered drink samples; slushy like drinks served in little cups about the size of something used for ketchup.

Kelly said, "My sister asked if there was alcohol in them and she said no and so we all took one and the kids had a couple."

But they group later learned the drinks did contain alcohol.

"I couldn't believe it," she said, "I thought they were serving alcohol-free samples and I called over the manager and before I said anything to him my first question [was] 'Is there alcohol in these?' and he said 'Yes.'"

The manager apologized and the meals were on the house. They even got a call from the restaurant's owner who also apologized and even agreed to provide a donation to Kelly's sister's church, but that never happened. When Kelly called him, his tune changed.

"He said, 'I can no longer talk to you. [You] need to contact our legal department,'" Kelly said.

Outback's legal department released a statement saying in part, "We sincerely regret this mistake and we have terminated the server's employment."

But there was no mention of the donation leaving Kelly and her family feeling less than satisfied.

"We just wanted them to know that things weren't right," she said.

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