Blue Water Grill Gets Penalty For Sale Of Beer To Minor

Thursday, June 21, 2018 - by Gail Perry

Blue Water Grill, 224 Broad St., was penalized by the Chattanooga Beer Board Thursday morning for selling beer to a minor. On April 3 the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and the Hamilton County Coalition conducted an undercover compliance check at the restaurant and the server sold a beer after checking the underage buyer’s ID. That cost her a job and cost Blue Water Grill a choice of suspending its beer license for three days or paying a $500 fine. If the suspension is chosen, it will begin on July 5.

The ABC will also be notified since the establishment serves alcohol and wine.


That day, Big River Grill next door was closed because of a gas leak, said General Manager Cain Weathers and it was a hectic day at Blue Water. The waitress was only two days out of training for the job and said she had just miscalculated the date. Since then, the restaurant’s policy has been changed. Everyone who buys alcohol must show an ID, and if a license has a red box around it, which indicates the holder is underage; it must be shown to a manager, even if the owner’s age has changed to 21 within the year.


HB Lounge, 2716 Dodson Ave., was cited to the beer board for the third time in less than a year. The charge was overcrowding, which is part of the ordinance that deals with operating a disorderly place. The bar received a written reprimand for reporting and telephone disorders on Nov. 26, 2017, and for operating a disorderly place on Jan. 20, 2018. There were multiple dates included in the latest charge, April 1, May 6 and May 12, all for overcrowding.


The occupancy was recently increased from 63 to 80 due to remodeling the interior of the building. The fire department does not consider parking when the occupancy is determined. Officer John Collins told the board that the two parking lots used by the bar should have sufficient parking in combination with legal parking spaces on Dodson Avenue. However, cars park illegally along nearby residential roads, blocking residents’ driveways and not leaving sufficient room for emergency vehicles to get through. They are ticketed, but it continues to happen. The outdoor security officers hired by the club are told to monitor parking when a problem is reported, and Keveon Kennebrew, the owner, has bought cones to prevent parking where it is illegal and has ordered tow away signs. Ultimately, the board members and police involved acknowledged that the parking problem must be taken care of by the city.


But police are constantly being called, said Officer Collins. Besides parking problems, other complaints include loud noise from the parking lot and shots fired. Once a car drives out of the lot, the bar’s security has no control. “The neighbors are asking for help,” said Officer Collins, “and in turn we’re asking the beer board for help.”


HB Lounge was given a two-day suspension that will be effective Tuesday, July 10, and Wednesday, July 12.


The beer board discussed in the future notifying neighborhoods when a hearing will be of interest to them, so residents can testify at the meeting.


Two special events were issued beer permits on Thursday morning. Pops on the River, the city’s Fourth of July celebration that takes place each year at Coolidge Park on July 3, was approved for a beer license. The event will open with Operation Song by song writers who are veterans from 5-7 p.m. The Chattanooga Symphony will perform from 8-9:45 p.m. and it will end with fireworks.


The Creative Discovery Museum, 321 Chestnut St., was given a beer license for its fundraiser Drink & Discovery on July 19 from 7-10 p.m.  Denise Karnes told the board that it will be for people 21 and up to play with no children around. Both beer and wine will be served.


Scarlett Bowman received a beer permit when Scottie’s On the River at 491 Riverfront Parkway opened recently. She came back to the beer board to expand her license to include take out beer to have it available for boats.


 The beer board chooses officers each year and on Thursday, elected Ron Smith to remain as chairman, and Dan Mayfield as vice chairman. Cynthia Coleman was elected to be secretary.

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