The Chattanooga Beer Board on Thursday revoked the beer license of Glass Street Lounge, 2302 Glass St., known by regulars as “Pay Pays,” for the second time in in three months. On Aug. 15, the license was taken for the charge of operating a disorderly place and violations of not reporting the incident on a land line phone immediately. At that time, the owner of the establishment was involved in a stabbing there. The bar appealed the ruling and has been operating since that time on a temporary appeal.
On Thursday, the hearing was for a fight that again sent someone to the hospital and a delay before reporting it to the police.
On Sept. 9, a fight broke out between two female customers. The owner was assisting the bartender behind the bar and said he only noticed a “scuffle.” He did nothing to find the fight or to stop it, but told the board that the first thing he did was turn the lights on because he said the real problem was friends and relatives jumping in. He told the beer board that his two security guards had broken up the fight and the two women had just left on their own. Board member Vince Butler replied that he had never known a fight being broken up and those involved not being escorted out. Tyrone Brumfield said he saw no blood until one of the security guards told him there was blood outside. He told Assistant City Attorney Keith Reisman that he had made the call to 911 on a cell phone because the land line that is required by the city’s beer code was not charged.
Officer Chandler Cook had been called to Pay Pay’s earlier that night to deal with parking violations around the area and had just left when he got the call about the fight. He said he was told there was a stabbing or shooting involved. When he arrived the second time the bar was being closed and people were leaving. Shortly after that, Officer Cook got a call that someone had been admitted to Erlanger Hospital with multiple stab wounds on her head and chest. She had been found in the street at the corner of Glass Street and Crutchfield. She was unconscious that night and unable to give information to the officer. An investigator was sent back to the bar, and, after his in-depth inspection, found evidence of the fight inside.
The victim sent a letter to the beer board via her uncle Thursday morning. She was afraid to appear because she had just gotten out of prison, he said, had used a fake name at the hospital and has an active warrant, so she believed she would be arrested if she came. The purpose of the letter was to be compensated by the bar’s owner for costs incurred due to the injury.
A knife had been brought into the bar in one of the women’s bras, said the letter, yet it was also noted that hand-held metal detectors were being used at the door that night. "I disagree that a knife would have gotten through the detectors," said Board Member Christopher Keene. That was the responsibility of Curtis Green’s security company, said Mr. Brumfield.
Everything in the building is Mr. Brumfield’s responsibility, said Mr. Keene. The bar opened in 2013, and in five years it has been cited to the beer board five times, he said. Mr. Keene stated, "I think we have to help the people on Glass Street. It seems like he is not hands-on enough to run a club." Mr. Keene said he worries that someone will eventually be found on the sidewalk. We’re responsible to the neighborhood.
The motion to revoke the license for this latest incident passed unanimously. The attorney representing Pay Pay’s notified Attorney Reisman that the decision would be appealed.
The owner of Doc Holiday’s Bar and Grill, 742 Ashland Terrace, had no opposition to the charge that one of his bartenders was drinking at the establishment. It is against the beer code for an employee to consume alcohol at the place where they work at any time.
On Oct. 18, during a bar check, police noticed the bartender appeared to be intoxicated. She refused a breathalyzer test and tried to evade the officers. After consulting with Raulston Lamar Combs, the owner, she took the test and blew .19 - over double the legal limit, said Officer John Collins. “I trusted the wrong lady,” said Mr. Combs.
She drank after he had left for the evening and was in charge of the bar, serving as assistant manager during that time. She had a Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission card indicating she had been professionally trained in serving alcohol and had worked there over a year. She was immediately terminated, said Mr. Combs. Due to the record of no past penalties and the owner’s honesty, the minimal penalty was given by a letter of reprimand in the business’s file.