Southside Social faces fine or suspension after employee gets DUI

Southside Social faces fine or suspension after employee gets DUI

September 20th, 2018 by Mike Pare in Breaking News

The Southside Social in downtown Chattanooga on Thursday was hit with a fine or three-day suspension of its beer license after an employee allegedly consumed alcohol at the site.

Josh Lang, general manager of the restaurant and bar located at 1818 Chestnut St., said at a meeting of the Chattanooga Beer/Wrecker Board that it likely will pay the $1,000 fine.

He said the employee and the manager at the time both were fired.

According to the Chattanooga Police Department, the employee was arrested for driving under the influence after her vehicle broke down on U.S. Highway 27 at about 2 a.m. on Aug. 17.

Police said the employee at the time stated that she had been drinking at the Southside Social the prior night after she had clocked out from work. Police said they went to the Southside Social the next day and saw a video of her drinking alcohol at the site, which is against the code.

Lang said Southside Social officials don't dispute what happened.

"We saw the footage that they saw," he said.

The general manager said Southside Social has reviewed the no-drinking policy with the staff.

"I was very hard on the management team," he said, adding that the manager who was fired had been employed there two and a half years.

Board member Dan Mayfield motioned for the three-day suspension of the beer license.

Christopher Keene, another panel member, sought the option of the fine.

Mayfield changed his motion, and the board approved it 5 to 1, with panel member Brooke Bradley-King voting no.

Keith Reisman, the board's attorney, told Lang that its alcohol by the drink permit had expired since February.

"You need to get that taken care of," he said.

In May 2016, the Southside Social was cited by the city for overcrowding and paid a $1,000 fine, according to the board. In July, the Southside Social was cited for allowing an employee to consume alcohol, but that was later dismissed.

In February, one woman was killed and another was injured in an apparent drive-by shooting on Chestnut Street near the venue.