published Saturday, December 10th, 2011

807 Fire and Ice club owner won’t say if club shut down


by Andrew Pantazi
  • photo
    The 807 Fire and Ice club is located on Market Street.
    Photo by Angela Lewis.
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ABC Violation Reports
ABC Violation Reports

After being told that the club could lose its licenses to sell beer and liquor, the 807 Fire and Ice club has been closed several nights this week.

On Friday, the club’s attorney, Arvin Reingold, said he didn’t know if the club was closed, and the club’s owner, Kelly Burkett, said his attorney told him not to talk about it.

But Reingold said there’s a simple way to find out if a business is open.

“If the premises is vacant, it would be obvious that perhaps [Burkett] is not operating out there any more,” he said in his office. “I have no idea what the people are going to do there.”

The club has been embroiled in controversy, with several fights in recent months and neighbors complaining.

At 6:30 p.m. Friday, Burkett and two others were sitting at the bar in the club. When asked if the club was closed for good, the man sitting next to Burkett said they were “cleaning out,” but Burkett quickly said “cleaning up.”

He said he could not say if the club was closed, even on a temporary basis, though it was not open Friday night.

“My attorney’s advised me not to say anything until we can have a press conference,” he said. “We’re under investigation right now.”

Chattanooga City Attorney Mike McMahan said he planned to file a nuisance suit to try to shut down the club until he heard Burkett was closing the club.

“That’s what their lawyer told me they’re doing,” McMahan said.

As of September, Chattanooga police had received 53 calls to Fire and Ice’s address.

The latest incident took place Dec. 4 when a series of fights broke out inside and outside the club. As Chattanooga police officers were dealing with the fights, shots were fired inside the club, police said, and additional officers had to be called in.

Special Agent Kim Boleyn of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission filed two violation reports against the club after fights outside the club Aug. 26 and Sept. 10.

The Chattanooga Beer and Wrecker Board suspended the club’s beer license after the first incident and unanimously revoked the license permanently after the second.

Reingold has appealed the decision to revoke the license, arguing the incidents happened outside the club and were not Burkett’s responsibility.

But according to one of Boleyn’s reports, on Sept. 10, police observed beer bottles “flying through the air inside the bar. Fights and disorders began to break out on the dance floor and around the door area.”

If the club is not closed, a representative will need to attend a Jan. 10 hearing in Nashville before the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, said Special Agent Jim Richardson of the ABC’s Chattanooga office.

about Andrew Pantazi...

Andrew Pantazi is an intern at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who says that when he was 7 he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life: play hockey for the Colorado Avalanche. Unfortunately, he says he wasn't any good at hockey, so he became a journalist instead. He writes about the lives we hide, like the man who suffered a stroke but smiled, or the football walk-on who endured 5 ...

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