Big Chill, After Move To North Chattanooga, Gets Penalized By Beer Board For Overserving

Thursday, April 17, 2014 - by Gail Perry

One week after opening in a new location, The Big Chill and Grill was penalized by the Chattanooga Beer Board for serving alcohol to an intoxicated person. Before moving, this bar had been in business for 16 years on Market Street without receiving a citation.

In response to complaints from neighbors about over-serving, over-crowding, and parking issues in the new site, Chattanooga Police Officer John Collins made a bar check of the business at 103 Cherokee Blvd. on March 29 at 1:30 a.

m. He was talking to owner Scarlett Bowman in the parking lot when a man exited the bar being almost carried by his girlfriend. The customer was unable to stand, had slurred speech and had an alcohol level of .183 which is over double the legal limit of .08. His girlfriend was judged to be sober and they were allowed to leave with her driving.

Ms. Bowman admitted to serving the man alcohol but said she misjudged his condition. His bar tab totaled $50 which included one daiquiri which he drank and a round of double shots of Jack Daniels for himself and four friends. She said the man “did not appear to be overly intoxicated.” The police arrived and observed him leaving 45 minutes after he had last been served.

Ms. Bowman said her new landlord had been aware of potential issues with locating a bar in his building that has two floors of apartments above, and that he had discussed it with his other tenants before allowing The Big Chill to move there. The problems leading to the complaints were attributed to the increased capacity from 140 on Market Street to 250 in the new building. She told the board that initially, she was unprepared for the large crowd but has since hired additional employees.  Because of her long history in the area Ms. Bowman was given the option to either pay a $1,000 fine or to have the beer license suspended for three days beginning next week. 

A new beer license was given to Chris Hunt, owner of Moccasin Bend Brewing Company at 4015 Tennessee Ave. A group of neighbors and previous customers of the business came to the meeting to show their support prompting board member James Hobbs to say, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard so many people talking in favor of any place.” The building that houses the business is 100 years old and for many months Mr. Hunt has attempted to bring it up to the current building, health and fire codes.

In an effort to help get the business open, the fire marshal told the board that it would be allowed to open with an indoor capacity of only eight including employees, until all the needed modifications were complete. Service will be permitted on the outside patio which is not under the jurisdiction of the fire marshal. That outdoor area will be defined from the public area by stanchions and planters in order to control access. The brewery/bar was described as a place to meet friends and one that attracts hikers, bikers, boaters and people that just like good beer. Live traditional Irish music is often available. Assistant City Attorney Keith Reisman said that once the building was complete there would be no need for Mr. Hunt to appear again before the board.

A consumer and manufacturing license was also given to Mark Marcum of Chattanooga Brewing Company that has relocated from Frazier Avenue to a larger facility. The new location is 1804 Chestnut St., across from Finley Stadium and the new trampoline park. Food and beverage service will be available as well as the sale of growlers.

Five convenience stores were approved for carry-out beer licenses Thursday morning. Three existing business are being acquired by MACS Retail, LLC from Richmond, Va. Faith Ann Smith, who is in operations support at the company, applied for and received permits for the stores at 3504 Hixson Pike, doing business as Tiger Market #216, The Market #218 at 3725 Jenkins Road and The Market #225 at 5010 Hunter Road.

 Andy Chaudhari was given a license for his business, Kanku’s Express #1 at 7640 East Brainerd Road, as was Asif Parbatani for Citgo Food Mart at 101 Glenwood Dr.

Chip Baker, executive director of Friends of the Festival, received permission to sell beer at the special event, The American Dream Concert. It will take place May 2 from 5-11:30 p.m. at Engel Stadium. The affair will consist of six color presentations, a full military presentation and music from a local band Here Come the Mummies. This will be a benefit for the Veterans Entrepreneur Program at UTC and for the Engel Foundation whose mission is to preserve the past and future of Engel Stadium.




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