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The Chattanooga Beer & Wrecker Board unanimously suspended the beer license of the Fireside Grille at 3018 Cummings Highway for three days for selling a beer to an 18-year-old sent into the restaurant by members of the Chattanooga Police force on Sept. 8.

The board originally heard part of the case on Sept. 21 as it was one of four businesses in the Tiftonia area that sold alcohol to the same minor during the operation that included members of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. The board passed this particular case to the Oct. 7 meeting because of questions about who actually owned the beer license, and those issues were resolved prior to the meeting.

Michael Chapman represented Fireside Grille and said the waitress who served the minor admitted making a mistake and he said the restaurant will mandate that all of its servers go through proper training again as part of the board's decision. He said the restaurant is understaffed, like all restaurants these days, and she was in a hurry

The board has the discretion in such cases to require either a suspension of the beer license for a number of days or a civil fine of up to $1,500. Board member Chris Keene argued that a fine should be part of the motion both because it's what the board chose for two of the other four Tiftonia businesses found in violation at the previous meeting, and because it punished an entire staff for one person's bad decision.

The board voted 6-2 for the suspension without including the possibility of a civil fine in lieu of the suspension.

In other business, the board approved special events beer sales requests by the Creative Discovery Museum for the Drink and Discover fundraiser on Oct. 15, Tennessee River Gorge Trust's Chattajack paddleboarding event on Oct. 23 and the Chattanooga Motorcar Festival on Oct. 15-16.

It also approved catering licenses for Naked River Brewing Co. on Reggie White Boulevard and Old Gillman Grill on E. 8th Street, as well as consumer licenses for Painting with a Twist on Panorama Drive, Agave & Rye on Chestnut Street, El Norteno Tienda Mexicana on E. 8th Street and El Maguey Mexican Restaurant on Lee Highway. Carry-out licenses were granted to the Publix on Broad Street, El Norteno Tienda Mexicana on Brainerd Road and Tobacco & Beer Outlet on Cummings Highway.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.

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