The Chattanooga Beer & Wrecker Board on Thursday found The Night Owl on Dodson Avenue and Chattanooga Billiard Club on Cherry Street in violation of its requirement to immediately report a disorder and unanimously voted to suspend their beer permits for seven days or pay a $1,000 fine.
The fight at the Night Owl involved several females on the morning of March 14 around 2:30. It was not reported until March 15 when the mother of the alleged victim called police who visited the club and retrieved video of the fight. Club owner J.T. McDaniel told the board he had been told by his security personnel that a fight broke out and that one of his staff did call police but hung up before giving details because police had just arrived on scene.
Officer John Collins told the board no such record of the call existed and to his knowledge police did not go to the club until the following Monday. McDaniel said he accepted full responsibility and the board unanimously voted to suspend the club's beer license for seven days with the option of paying a $1,000 fine instead. McDaniel said he would accept the former.
The same punishment was handed out to the Billiard Club after the club failed to call police following an incident on Feb. 5 when a female customer was forcibly removed by a female security person for refusing to wear a mask. The woman had been asked earlier to put her mask on and complied, but took it off later.
Video of the incident showed the customer being forced to the ground and dragged. She reported the incident to the police two weeks later, at which time Collins cited the club for failure to report.
The beer code requires that all disorders be reported to police immediately by the establishment.
At Thursday's meeting, the beer board also approved applications for a change of ownership for Exile Off Main Street, catering applications for Big River Grill Hamilton Place and Nic & Norman's, and consumer permits for Nic & Norman's, Fuji Steak & Sushi on Highway 58 and Party Fowl Hamilton Place.
It also approved a special events beer permit for the Kidney Foundation's "Taste" event to be held at First Horizon Pavilion April 29.
"I don't think we've ever approved every application since I've been here," joked city attorney Melinda Foster at the meetings' conclusion.
Incomplete applications prevented at least one application from even being heard at past meetings, and in fact, many had several applications that did not have one or more of the required permits, such as building or fire for opening. The Beer Board does not approve an application unless those permits have been issued.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.