Vendors Gear Up For Riverbend Festival Beer Sales

Thursday, May 17, 2018 - by Gail Perry

Friends of the Festival is gearing up for Riverbend 2018. This will be the 37th year that the music festival has been held on the riverfront in downtown Chattanooga. The Chattanooga Beer Board at its Thursday meeting approved Karen Shostak, director of sales for the organization, for a special events beer permit on behalf of Friends of the Festival for the event that will take place this year from June 8 through June 16. Gates will be open each day from 4:30 p.

m. until 1 a.m. Almost 100 bands will perform on various stages during the festival.


One evening of the festival is moved away from the river front to East Martin Luther King Boulevard for the Bessie Smith Strut that will take place this year on Monday, June 11. Paula Wilkes, president of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L.King Blvd., was given a special events permit for that night. The gates will open at 4:30 p.m. and close at 11:30 p.m. The area from Georgia Avenue to Magnolia, where the strut will take place, will be fenced and there will be just two entrance/exit points. At the entrance there will be an ID tent with Chattanooga Police present to double check any questionable IDs. Wristbands will be issued at these tents.


Three bars that specialize in craft beers and which have permanent locations on M.L.K. will be selling their beer in special marked cups while other vendors along the street will only be allowed to sell beer in16 oz. cans during the event. The beer board gave special events permits to Barley’s Chattanooga taproom, 235 M.L.K., which will not have an outside tent, but will sell from the tavern at the bar where all sales will be ID’d by the bartender.  Hutton & Smith Brewing Co, 431 E.M.L. King, will also be selling beer from inside the bar. They will limit sales that night to beer with an alcohol content of seven percent or lower. Oddstory Brewing Company is scheduled to apply for a permit at the next board meeting.


Three other bars were issued permits to allow beer sales during the Bessie Smith Strut. Champy’s Fried Chicken, 526 E.M.L. King will set up a tent in the parking lot and will also be selling beer along with food inside. Roshanna’s Hair & Beauty Bar, 320 M.L.K., will be selling beer on the street and beer can be bought inside the store at Kanku’s, 301 M.L.K.


Barley’s was also approved for another special events permit for its First Anniversary party on June 2 from 5 p.m. until 12 a.m.


Jason Hill has held a fundraising event for six years to benefit Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). It started with a golf tournament but he said three years ago it changed to The Cornhole Classic competition and has had great success. This year it will be held at the First Tennessee Pavilion/Finley Stadium, 1826 Reggie White Blvd., on Saturday, June 2 from noon until 10 p.m. The proceeds from all alcohol sales will be sent to ALS. There are expected to be 200-300 people playing at the beginning of the day at the singles tournaments taking place from noon to 4 p.m. and even more participants for the multi-player teams competing from 6-10 p.m.


The 2503 Station Grill, located at 2503 Westside Dr. across the street from Sugar’s Ribs, was given a consumer/carry-out license. This restaurant will serve salads, sandwiches and grilled foods and will also serve breakfast. The focus of this establishment will be food, said owner Lawrence Mills, with beer sold to complement the food.


Scottie’s on the River, 491 Riverfront Pkwy., will open on June first, but will not be able to sell beer until it obtains a beer license at the next Beer Board meeting, which is on June 7. Owner of the restaurant, Scarlett Bowman who also owns the Chill, was unaware that a health inspection was one requirement for getting a beer permit, so the board was unable to approve the restaurant for beer sales at the meeting Thursday morning.


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