A new restaurant will be opening at 2 North Shore at 313 Manufacturer’s Road, Suite 119. Tuesday morning, Stephen Arnsdorff told the Chattanooga Beer Board that Elemental will have a soft opening Feb. 12. He described the business as a “farm-to-table” restaurant with modern Southern food and original beers. It is large enough to seat 160 customers and currently employs 48 people.
Mr. Arnsdorff assured the board that all employees will be trained with the TIPS program which teaches procedures to prevent intoxication, drunk driving and underage drinking. Week days, Elemental will be open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. On Friday and Saturday night the hours are from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. The vote was unanimous to approve the business for a beer license.
Another new business with a new concept will soon be opening downtown. David and Marsha Strum’s new store will be called StrumHaus Beer Market and will be located at 1120 Houston St., Suite 120 in the old Fleetwood Coffee Company building. Growlers and pints of craft beer will be sold to go at the new store. The owners told the board that they were starting out with food in a small way to accompany the bottled beers that will be available for consumption on site. They also said that pints and growlers would be sealed before leaving the store. Hours of operation will be from 1 p.m-10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and from 1 p.m.-midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Hixson Pike Diner located at 3514 Hixson Pike applied for and received a permit from the board for selling beer along with barbecue during the summer months, on the patio that is adjacent to the restaurant. This eatery specializes in typical American fare with some Hawaiian styled food, said Sharan Prashant who was making the application. Beer will be served only along with food with a limit of two-three per person. The board was assured that all 10 employees would have the TIPS training.
Don Driscoll, representing the new owners of Bonefish Grill at 2115 Gunbarrel Road, appeared before the board to apply for a new beer permit. This is necessary when ownership of a business changes. At the meeting he surrendered the old license and was unanimously approved for the new one.
It was also necessary for the owner of Sweeney’s Bar-B-Q at 5928 Highway 58 to apply for a Chattanooga beer license. “We sell barbecue”, Kenneth Webb told the board, and have been in business for a long time. The new permit was required because the location of his business was annexed into the city. He said that he had thoroughly read and understands the beer code, and was approved for the license.
The Hamilton County convention and Trade Center at 1150 Carter Street, represented by Executive Director Mike Shuford applied for and was granted a license to sell beer at that location. “They have passed all their inspections” said Chattanooga Police Officer John Collins, with a chuckle. Mr. Shuford said he was not familiar with the requirements for selling beer, but that his food and beverage manager was. He added that within the next day, he would be too.
Legends Sports Bar located at 3001 Rossville Blvd., represented by Edward Harrison, applied for a license on behalf of his business. This bar is in the previous location of Scully’s, which had problems with the beer board within the past year. The new business will have TVs and serve snack food with beer, the board was told. There are four employees to serve a capacity of 53 customers with plans to be open from 9 a.m.-2:30 a.m. Mr. Harrison had been employed by Scully’s in the capacity of doorman, and he told the members that he had done that same job for other business for many years in Chattanooga. He was asked why then were there problems when he was working at Scully’s last summer, and why the board should not expect the same to occur at Legends. He replied that he had been in the military for 19 years and that he was not present at Scully’s all the time. He also assured the board that all four of his employees will be TIPS certified. The license was approved.
A carry-out beer permit was given to two convenience stores. Triya Inc. located at 7640 East Brainerd Road applied and received a license because of a name and ownership change. Pravin and Sumitra Patel, owners of the Tobacco Outlet at 5510 Highway 153, Suite 192 also were approved for a beer permit despite the problems they had communicating with the board members. Mr. Patel who seemingly spoke no English, and did not understand when asked what his name was. A translator was required in order to continue the questioning. This led to board member Forestine Haynes and Vice Chairman Phillip Sallee to vote against granting the business a license.
Ms. Haynes wanted it to be on the record that she believed when an applicant cannot understand the language; she feared that person also would be unable to understand the beer codes and could not read and interpret IDs or be unable to communicate with customers. She also said that the board might be setting that person up for a violation, if they couldn’t understand English.
Chairman of the board James Hobbs said that with a bar or club, it would be more of a problem because of safety issues. He also said that the board must follow the parameters of the law set forth in the beer code and that the code does not specify that the applicant speaks English. Assistant City Attorney Keith Reisman told the board that through the translator, it is recorded that Mr. Patel had testified he understood the code and so the board could not deny a license.
Hugh Reese, community outreach coordinator of the Hamilton County Coalition, gave an update to the board about an issue he is working on. The purpose of the coalition is to reduce drug abuse and underage drinking and violence. Mr. Reese told the beer board members that he has asked state legislators and the city attorney to make server training through TIPS or The Responsible Vendor program, mandatory. He said that hopefully, they will upgrade these requirements.