Beer Licenses Issued By Beer Board For Special Events And 2 Restaurants

Thursday, May 02, 2013 - by Gail Perry

Two special events are planned for Chattanooga beginning in May. Green/Spaces, the organization whose purpose is to raise awareness of environmentally smart options and to care for natural resources and quality of life, is sponsoring “The Floatila.” Beginning at 10 a.m. on May 18, the fundraising event will start at Rivermont Park, with around 100 rafts, inner tubes, kayaks, canoes and “make-your-own-vessels” participating in a float down the river that will end at Coolidge Park. The awards ceremony and after-party will have food, beverages and music. At the Thursday morning meeting of the Chattanooga Beer/Wrecker Board, Anj McClain representing Green/Spaces was granted a special event beer permit for the occasion which will take place from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Friday night begins the 25th year of Nightfall, the free concerts held at Miller Plaza. This year, the shows will be held weekly without interruption during the Riverbend festival. Opening acts that showcase local musicians will start each performance at 7 p.m. followed by the headliner at 8 p.m. As in the past, IDs will be checked at one location where wristbands will be issued, and beer sales will take place at another. The beer board gave unanimous approval to the producer of the concerts, Chattanooga Presents, for a permit to sell beer at the concerts each Friday night from May 3-Aug. 30, from 6-10 p.m.

The beer board also gave a beer license to two Mexican restaurants. Mojo Burrito has three locations. It has been in business for 10 years at 3815 St. Elmo Ave. Because of a name change, the owner Eva Joyner Williams was required to apply for a new license which was unanimously granted. This restaurant has occupancy of 35 with additional seating outside. Hours of operation are from 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The new owner of La Bamba Mexican Restaurant at 5425 Highway 153 was also given approval to sell beer. The restaurant has been reconfigured to separate the bar from the restaurant area in order to create a family-friendly atmosphere. From Sunday through Thursday, hours will be from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday it will close at 10:30 p.m.

Members of the beer board showed consideration for Yasser Thabet-Ahmed Hasan who purchased Smoke 1 Tobacco on 2101 McCallie Ave. two weeks ago. He made the considerable investment of $50,000 down on the sale of $120,000 for the business, unaware that a violation is pending for the previous owner at that location. In July an undercover agent was able to buy synthetic narcotics at the business and the case has now been bound over to the Grand Jury. Mr. Hasan made application to the board Thursday, for a permit to sell beer at the business that also sells tobacco products.

The beer code specifies that a pending violation for the location of the business must be resolved before a new license is issued. It may take anywhere from three months to a year for the case to be decided in the court system. Attorney Mike McMahan told the board that because the new owner has no association or relationship to the previous owner, that issuance of a permit will be up to the discretion of the board. Vice Chairman of the Beer Board Phillip Sallee made a motion to table the matter until the next meeting on May 16, saving Mr. Hasan the cost to reapply.

Mr. McMahan will make contact with the District Attorney and Chattanooga Police Officer Mark Haskins said that the original owner will be cited to come to the beer board meeting on May 16 or June 1 to be questioned along with Mr. Hasan in order for the board to make a decision.

Discussion of the status of a name change from Envy Ultra Lounge at 5647 Brainerd Road to La Pachanga Mexican Hill and Cantina followed the beer applications. The business is remodeling and changing the occupancy along with changing the name. Officials with the fire department and Chattanooga police department told the board that they have reason to believe the changes are an attempt to circumvent the fire sprinkler ordinance which is very costly and is not required of a restaurant. They also believe the business is trying to operate under the existing beer permit. It was noted that because of the remodel, additional inspections will be needed in addition to a health department certification. The matter was deferred to the meeting on May 16.

To be granted a license for selling beer, a business must meet health and safety requirements from the fire, building and health departments. It is common for an establishment to apply for a permit before all conditions have been satisfied. In certain circumstances in the past, the beer board has issued a license contingent upon completion of the missing requirements, such as possession of a land line telephone. After discussion of this practice, Mr. Sallee made a motion to deny the issuance of contingency licenses in the future. This new policy received a unanimous vote of approval.


Woman's Body Found Floating In Hiwassee River

A woman's body was spotted floating in the Hiwassee River in Polk County on Saturday afternoon. Crews said it appeared the woman had been dead for some time. The 911 call came in shortly before 4:30 p.m.. The TBI was called in to help in the investigation. The body has not yet been identified.. (click for more)

Woman Whose Car Landed On Tracks Below Wilcox Boulevard Viaduct Sues City

A woman whose car went off the Wilcox Boulevard Viaduct and landed on railroad tracks below has sued the city of Chattanooga. Rebecca Thomas-Winkler said the bridge is in poor and substandard condition and the guard rail was inadequate.  The suit says on Aug. 24, 2013, Ms. Winkler was traveling east on Wilcox Boulevard at about 12:30 p.m. She was crossing the bridge that ... (click for more)

Better Plan For Walnut Street Hotel

Mitch Patel and his Vision Hospitality Group have unveiled a revised plan for a hotel on Walnut Street. It is much better than the one proposed two years ago. By having no curb cuts on Walnut Street, it makes that special block near the bridge more inviting and safer for pedestrians. Deliveries would be off Riverfront Parkway and hotel access (valet parking) would be off Aquarium ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Ex-Ooltewah All-American Jacques Smith released By Falcons

Former Ooltewah Owls All-American and Tennessee Vols defensive standout Jacques Smith has been released by the Atlanta Falcons, who are 10 cuts from reaching their 53-man roster for the 2014 season. Wide receiver Jeremy Ebert and tight end Mickey Shuler were also released. Smith, an undrafted free agent, is said to be a "viable candidate" for the Falcons' practice squad ... (click for more)

Baylor Comeback Swamps Webb, 34-7

Baylor lost a fumble on the third play of the game and the visiting Webb Spartans scored five plays later, but the Red Raiders came storming back to win their second-straight game, 34-7, over the D-II, Class A two-time defending state champions. Quarterback Nick Tiano, who has already committed to Mississippi State, hurled two touchdown passes and scored a third on a sneak from ... (click for more)