The beer licenses for two bars were suspended on Tuesday by the Chattanooga Beer Board. Both bars have had previous suspensions for the same offense of over-serving customers.
During a bar check done by Chattanooga Police in conjunction with the Tennessee Alcohol and Beverage Commission, Officer John Collins said he observed a female with slurred speech having trouble standing, staggering and being helped out of 75 Sur, 6175 Airways Blvd.
This was on the night of Aug. 2 at 1:45 a.m. She had a wrist band showing she was 21, however her ID showed she was 19. Her breathalyzer test measured .19 - two and a half times the legal limit.
Attorney Doug Cox, representing the bar, told the board that J. Hall Security provided the doorman that night and gave her the wristband despite seeing her underage ID. He said her Facebook page showed her bragging about drinking. “She was there to party,” he said. Legal capacity for the bar is 500 and that night it was extremely crowded with 460 customers and only 13 bartenders, servers, managers and security personnel to watch and monitor the crowd.
The woman was seated where cameras were not placed so how she obtained the beer and who served it is unknown. However, said Assistant City Attorney Keith Reisman, the concern is knowing that with all the bartenders and servers being TIPS trained, none of them recognized the woman was intoxicated and she was able to continue getting beer. She entered the bar at 11 and was drinking until the bar check took place. The procedure, said manager Monica Delgado, is call security and a taxi if it is noticed someone is drunk. Yet, no one caught it.
The bar is open only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Thursday, two violations were under consideration, Over-serving and serving alcohol to a minor. This was the second violation of over-serving for this business - the first took place in October 2017. The board passed a motion for a six-day suspension, specifically naming the days to coincide with the nights that the business is open. The beer license was suspended from Sept. 20-22 and Sept. 27-29.
The Leaping Leprechaun Pub and Eatery, 100 Market St., was also penalized for over-serving a customer. The bar had received a three-day suspension for the same violation in January, 2019. On Aug. 4, Officer Collins responded to a call reporting a fight at the bar around 10 p.m. A group hung out at a big table for eight hours that day. The fight broke out when one man was accused of inappropriately touching another man’s wife. The accused man was extremely intoxicated, said Officer Collins, and tested .19 on a breathalyzer test. He had been cut off from beer service after being served three between 8-10 p.m. but there is no record of what he had consumed earlier. He was sent home on Uber.
The bar does a double check of IDs for age - once at the door and again by the bartender. The establishment also has a policy of shaking hands and asking “How you doing?” said owner Brendan ODoherty, to be able to look customers in the eye, identify demeanor and make a judgment about sobriety. That procedure failed on Aug. 4, and the concern of the second violation for the same thing led the board to issue a five-day suspension of the beer license. It will begin Sept. 19 and end at 3 a.m. on Sept. 24.
Dustin Todd Choate already holds beer permits for Tremont Tavern, The Feed Company and Parkway Pourhouse. At the beer board meeting he was approved for another consumer beer license for an event space that is adjacent to Tremont Tavern at 1209 Hixson Pike. It will be known as Tremont Tavern, Event Space. Mr. Choate said that Southern Squeeze recently moved out of the building. It is a small room of 1,000 square feet and will be perfect for private parties, he said.
Several special events permits were issued at the beer board meeting.
BRA-VO, a fundraiser for he Breast Cancer Support Center, will take place Sept. 22 at Stratton Hall, 3146 Broad St., from 2-5 p.m. There will be a fall fashion show featuring breast cancer survivors as models. A special events beer permit was given for the event that will have food and a cash bar.
Melanie Krautstrunk with Hutton & Smith received a special event beer license for the Crabtree Farms Holistic Festival that will be held Sept 7 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Crabtree Farms, 1000 E. 30th St. Organic foods, beer and health care products will be on display and available, along with alternative health providers, chiropractors, and massage therapists. There will also be group yoga classes.