Chattanooga, Blue Light still haven’t met to discuss security plan

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / Station Street, with the Blue Light night club in the background, is seen on June 20.
Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / Station Street, with the Blue Light night club in the background, is seen on June 20.

A Chattanooga Beer Board officer told board members Thursday that he has not met with Blue Light owners to work out a security plan as part of an agreement to keep the nightclub in compliance with Beer Board rules.

Officer Jason Wood said that co-owner Brian Joyce has not been responsive. The meeting and plan, he said, are required as part of a settlement between the city and Blue Light to address violations dating to late 2021 shortly after the Station Street club opened.

"I've reached out via emails and text and said, 'Hey, I'm available anytime,'" Wood said.

He said after the meeting that he got a text from Joyce saying a document was on the way, but that one never came.

As part of the agreement, which was signed on Oct. 28 by Chancery Court Judge Jeffrey Atherton, the club was required to pay $1,000 -- which Wood said it did -- and to meet with him to come up with a security plan by Nov. 30. That date has come and gone.

City staff attorney Kathryn McDonald, who represents the Beer Board, said the next step is for her to try to work with Joyce and his attorney, Scott Maucere, to compel them to meet. If that doesn't produce a meeting, she said she will explore other options, which could include sending the case back to court.

Board member Cynthia Coleman recommended sending Joyce a certified letter that included a reminder of the missed deadline and a hard deadline to meet and come up with the security plan.

"That is a high-crime area," she said. "It's a time bomb down there."

Both Joyce and Maucere told the Times Free Press in texts following the Dec. 1 Beer Board meeting when it was first noted that the deadline had been missed that it was the city that was causing the delay in setting the meeting.

"Blue Light has done its part reaching out to create a plan," Maucere wrote two weeks ago. "I know for a fact the city has been moving as slow as molasses. They're the ones taking so long."

The Blue Light opened in August 2021 inside the Chattanooga Choo Choo complex in a space once occupied by the live music venue Songbirds South and is now below the Songbirds Foundation space. It is across the street from clubs Westbound and Regan's Place and the recently opened Boneyard Bar.

In November 2021, the Chattanooga Beer and Wrecker Board found the Blue Light in violation of six separate code violations that reportedly took place between September and Oct. 31 of the same year. At the time, the board voted to repeal the bar's beer license, which the Blue Light appealed, sending the case to Chancery Court where it was heard by Atherton in June.

The violations include a staff member being intoxicated while on duty, selling alcohol off premises, operating a disorderly place and failing to report a disorder to police.

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354. Follow him on Twitter @BarryJC.

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