CORRECTION: This story was updated at 10:31 PM on Thursday, June 17, 2021, to correct the Doc Holidays name in the title.
The Chattanooga Beer & Wrecker Board went almost 14 months without hearing any breaches due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but heard four cases on Thursday.
In two of her cases, she imposed penalties similar to those that the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which governs the sale of wine and liquor, had imposed on restaurants it had found guilty of serving minors in many times.
He imposed a 30-day suspension effective Aug. 16 on the Cheesecake Factory in Hamilton Place after officers discovered the restaurant had sold alcohol to a minor on four occasions. The city’s beer council often works in conjunction with state alcohol regulators on things like server certifications and punishments and has voted unanimously to suspend sales of beer at the restaurant as well. for 30 days during the same period.
Special Agent Travis Patton of the Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission said the commission’s policy was to return to an establishment within 90 days of a violation and found the Cheesecake Factory in violation on May 28, 2020, August 18, 2020, October 27, 2020 and January 22, 2021. A warning was issued after the first, but a mandatory fine of $ 1,500 was issued for the second. A fine of $ 10,000 was imposed after the fourth. According to Constable Patton, an official was one of the waiters who sold alcohol to at least one of the minors.
A Nashville lawyer representing the restaurant group apologized to the board of directors for the violations and assured them the company is taking these matters seriously and has fired several people involved in the incidents and put others on probation and needed additional training.
Board member Chris Keene objected to no member of Cheesecake Group management or ownership showing up at the meeting in light of the seriousness and number of violations .
“I think it’s a slap in the face for this board that you come to our town with this new restaurant and sell to minors and don’t come here in person,” he said.
The TABC also found out that Alex Thai Food and Sushi Bistro sold alcohol to minors on November 18, 2020 and again on April 30, 2021. The TABC had previously suspended alcohol sales at the Main Street restaurant. as of May 24, therefore the Beer Council suspended sales of beer there for the same number of days as of June 28.
Doc Holiday’s Bar and Grill on Ashland Terrace had its license suspended for 10 days starting July 1 for allowing an employee or owner to drink or get drunk on the premises. Officer Jacob Simpson told the board he was sent to the club after a caller said owner Raulston Combs was at the scene and intoxicated.
Simpson said he had been to the club on four other occasions on similar calls and noted that in his opinion Combs appeared to have been drinking, although he told the officer he had been drinking at the house and had returned to attend to necessary business. .
Combs said he admitted to the officer that he drank one beer and part of another at home on the night in question, but returned to the club to change staff. Combs and his lawyer argued that Combs was not intoxicated that night and was in fact drinking water at the club. They also pointed out that he suffered from diabetic neuropathy and that it could interfere with his walking.
The council voted to suspend the license for 10 days from July 1.
The latest breach in the meeting involved Alan Gold’s nightclub, which was found to be in violation of overcrowding on February 22, 2020. Officer John Collins told the board that the club is certified to the time to not have more than 201 people, including staff, in the building at the same time.
After clearing the place and counting how many people came out, Collins said there were 324 inside. He recommended the bar manager go back to the county to call that number, which she did and the occupancy rate was raised to 251.
He also recommended hiring a licensed security agency and using a second clicker to count the number of people leaving, in addition to the number entering to count better.
She told the council that these changes had been implemented.
Council member Trevor Atchley stressed that overcrowding is something the council must take “very seriously for security reasons”.
The board granted the club a three-day suspension effective July 1.
Contact Barry Courter at [email protected] or 423-757-6354.