Bar Featuring Bikini-Clad Dancers Finally Gets Beer Permit

Thursday, July 3, 2014 - by Gail Perry

Steve’s Puss N Boots Bar, 1514 E.26th St., won approval Thursday from the Chattanooga Beer Board for a beer license after being on the agenda for the fifth time.

Assistant City Attorney Keith Reisman said that it had finally been documented that the distance between the bar and a nearby church exceeds the 500 feet requirement. If the business operates the way the owner said it would, Mr. Reisman is also satisfied that it will not be run as an adult establishment.

With those two concerns satisfied, the owner, Stephen Allen Lanier, is entitled to get a beer permit.

Mr. Lanier described his business as a bar that would be selling beer and would have women who dance on the stage, but he assured the beer board members the performers would not be nude but would wear bikinis. His security plans include having a metal detector at the front door so guns and knives will not get inside. The security guard stationed at the door will not let them in, he said. There is also security in the parking lot. Smoking will be allowed so customers must be 21 to enter the building. The age limit also extends to employees, said Officer John Collins. The bar will open at 7 p.m. and close at 3 a.m. every day except Sunday when closing time is 1 a.m. and Wednesdays when it is closed all day.

Mrs. B’s Reggae Café, 3103 Broad St., is a full service restaurant that will serve 90 percent Jamaican food, and 10 percent International, said owner Marilyn E. Forsythe. She was issued a license to serve beer along with the food. This restaurant will be open Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. On Thursday through Saturday it will close at 9 or 10 p.m.

Hooters of Chattanooga, 5912 Brainerd Road, had to apply for a new beer permit because of a change in ownership. Manager Kevin Fuller said that every Hooters in the Central division is changing ownership to DW Restaurant Holder, LLC. This is a full service restaurant that serves both beer and liquor. Training is given in-house to all employees for selling alcohol.  A new license was given to this business.

 Three convenience stores were approved for a beer license. Dhiren Patel, owner of Raceway #6846 at 5455 Hixson Pike who has licenses at other Raceway stores, was given one for this location as well. Dollar General Stores #1443, 5934 Highway 58 and store # 15335, 4850 Highway 58 were both issued a carry-out beer permit.

Pops on the River, a city-wide celebration of the Fourth of July, will be held Thursday in Coolidge Park from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. The full Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra will start playing at 8 p.m. and fireworks will begin at 9:45 p.m. Chattanooga Presents represented by Carla Pritchard was given a beer permit for the event that will have private security in the park as well as off-duty Chattanooga police officers that will patrol the bridge and help with traffic flow. IDs will be checked and wrist bands issued for those 21 and over.  

Attorney Reisman updated the beer board on new state laws regarding the sale of beer. In a municipality that qualifies, enough people will have to sign a petition to allow a referendum in November for wine sales in grocery stores. A grocery store is defined as a business that has at least 20 percent food sales. If it is decided that wine sales will be allowed, that business will be governed by the state. The beer board will continue to regulate beer sales in grocery stores.

As of the first of July, liquor stores are allowed to also sell both regular and high gravity beer. High gravity beer has the same alcohol content as wine and is regulated by the ABC board. The beer board will not have any authority over regular or high gravity beer sales in these businesses.

The definition of beer will be changing in 2017, said Mr. Reisman. The alcohol content will increase from 5 to 8 percent, which now is the amount contained in most craft beers. High gravity beer will have an alcohol content greater than 8 percent.

Mr. Reisman also told the board that for the past two years a pilot program has been in effect to allow the beer board the option of notifying the ABC board when a beer license has been revoked. This notification is no longer optional. If the beer board has an adverse ruling it is required to send it to the ABC and vice versa.



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