This story was updated with more information at 5:41 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2019.
"Three violations in one year is too many. I see a bad moon rising." — Christopher Keene, a member of the Chattanooga Beer and Wrecker Board
Popular downtown Chattanooga restaurant and bar Citron et Sel had its liquor and beer licenses suspended for 28 days after it was cited a third time for selling alcohol to minors in 2019.
"Three violations in one year is too many," said Christopher Keene, a member of the Chattanooga Beer and Wrecker Board on Thursday. "I see a bad moon rising."
The alcohol license suspensions started Thursday and go to Dec. 18.
The West Village location at 212 W. Eighth St. also has incurred $16,000 in fines, said Nicole Watson, an attorney for Citron et Sel.
"We're taking remedial measures and paid fines," she told the city's beer board, asking that the suspension of the beer license occur at the same time as that of the liquor license by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Watson said in a brief to the beer board that the three instances of selling to a minor were Feb. 9, July 19 and Aug. 22 during underage compliance checks.
Dan Mayfield, another beer board member, said during the meeting that he wanted to hear from a new general manager hired at Citron et Sel about what's happening in the wake of the citations.
"This is pretty bad," he said.
Chris Adams, the new GM, said there has been "a cultural shift" at the restaurant.
"Everybody who walks in the door gets ID'ed," he said, noting they must show they are of legal drinking age if they consume alcohol.
Also, Adams said, there are daily meetings with employees to go over restaurant policies.
Matthew Youhess, the regional manager for the restaurant owner, said steps have been taken since the first citation in February.
But, he said, the former general manger wasn't "paying attention" and there was a recurrence. After the third instance, Youhess said, there needed to be "a culture change."
The former GM and two staffers have been fired, according to the restaurant.
Board member Vince Butler asked the panel's attorney, Keith Reisman, if the city could decide to make the 28-day penalty added onto the end of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission's 28-day suspension.
But, Reisman said, making the suspensions consecutive wasn't an option under state law.
Watson said the restaurant planned to close for remodeling for some of the 28-day period. When it reopens, it will serve food but not alcohol until the suspension ends, she said.
Contact Mike Pare at email@example.com or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.