On Thursday, the Chattanooga Beer and Wrecker Board handed down punishments to Alan Gold's and Lit Hookah Lounge.
Alan Gold's owner Gary Milligan appeared before the board for a violation of failure to report a disorder on the premises.
The violation stemmed from an incident that occurred on March 3, where two bar patrons got into a verbal altercation that required the bar's security to step in, Chattanooga Police Department Officer John Collins said. When security got involved, bar patron Billy Oliver was taken to the ground by security guard Tyler Taylor. According to Oliver, Taylor then proceeded to punch Oliver in the face repeatedly. He left the bar with a bloody face and missing tooth. His girlfriend and mother took him to the hospital and called the police.
It is required by the Chattanooga city code that beer license holders have to report all fights and other public disorders on the premises immediately to the Chattanooga Police Department.
Due to Oliver leaving immediately after the incident, Milligan said that he did not feel the need to call the police.
Milligan said that the security guard no longer works for him. Taylor has been charged with aggravated assault, but no arrest has been made, according to CPD Officer Cornelius Gaines.
Alan Gold's Bar, located at 1100 McCallie Ave., will serve a 14-day beer license suspension beginning May 18.
Lit Hookah Lounge owner Sujalbhai Patel appeared before the board for three violations—denying access to law enforcement, an employee drinking on the premises and litter on the lot.
The violations of denying access to law enforcement and litter on the lot stem from Collins and Chattanooga Fire Department Marshal Chuck Hartung arriving at the lounge to speak with the owner about an upcoming party. The owner arrived 20 minutes later, said he had a meeting to go to and drove away, Collins said.
"When I showed up at 2:30, I was picking up an employee to take to a meeting," Patel said. "Had I not been there to pick up my employee, they would have had no other way to get in."
Patel said he came back to the lounge at 5 p.m. and tried calling Collins and Hartung, but they did not answer his calls.
The third violation of an employee drinking on the premises stems from Collins and a Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission agent doing a check on the establishment two weeks later. When Collins arrived on scene he said that Brijesh Patel identified himself as the owner's brother. He was the only employee working and had been drinking beer.
The beer board suspended Lit Hookah Lounge's beer license for 30 days. Patel said that he was closing the lounge and immediately surrendered his beer license to the beer board.
Lit Hookah Lounge, located at 388 Sommerville Ave., can no longer serve beer and will be closing its doors.
Other news from the beer board meeting
At the April 20 beer board meeting, Ruth's Chris received a 3-day beer license suspension. That suspension was slated to start today but is currently on hold. Ruth's Chris parent company, Sizzling Steak Concepts, hired attorney Johnny Houston. He filed an appeal Monday in the Hamilton County Chancery Court.
Songbirds Guitar Museum site manager Jimmy Kelly appeared before the board again after his application for a beer license had been tabled for the second time. The board approved the application. The museum, located at 35 Station St., will be able to serve beer for their weekend events.
Tiffany Cox and Christopher Dortch II of the Palace Picture House had applied for a beer license in March. Due to missing paperwork and background check delays, their application had been tabled until today's meeting. Neither owner was present for today's meeting, and the application was tabled again until the May 18 meeting.
Kahled al Qad of 9 Brothers convenience store applied for an ownership change. The application was approved. 9 Brothers, located at 101 W. 38 St., will sell carry-out only beer.
John T. McDaniels of A Gentleman's Club applied for a beer license to serve beer at his soon-to-open piano bar on 830 Dodson Ave. The board approved the application.
John Lee Hawkins IV of Coachworks at the Club applied for a license to serve beer at the Hixson tennis club, restaurant and lounge. Hawkins has applied for a rezoning to allow the club to serve alcohol. The beer board tabled the application until all the zoning matters had been resolved.
Clifford Postell and Willie R. Cox of W and Y Sports Bar recently applied for a license to serve beer at 2716 Dodson Ave. The board approved the application since the sports bar has now passed its fire inspection.
Ae Ri Yim of Sekisui Japanese Restaurant applied for a license to serve beer at 1120 Houston St. The license was tabled until the next meeting because the restaurant has not passed a city building inspection.
Rakeshkumar Patel of Super Tobacco Mart applied for a license to sell beer at 1003 Ashland Terrace. The application was approved.
Sheila Agnew of Mac's Convenience Stores applied for the change of ownership for 18 Circle K beer licenses in the Chattanooga area. The beer board approved 13 of the licenses. The other five were not approved due to the need for building inspections. All of the Circle K's will remain branded as Circle K and can still serve alcohol during the ownership transition period.
The Chattanooga Beer and Wrecker Board, which meets biweekly, has the power to issue beer licenses and permits and to revoke or suspend beer licenses.
Eric Wise is a contributing writer. He is currently attending UTC, where he is a staff writer for the school newspaper, The University Echo. He also serves as the alumni relations chairman for his fraternity.