By Kayla Carter
Despite concerns it could be setting up another round of litigation repeating a 2011 battle, the Carter County Beer Board denied the new owner of a Hampton business a beer license on Wednesday.
Georgia Crowell was seeking the license for her new establishment, the Tennessee Tavern and Grill, at 813 Highway 321.
While Carter County Attorney Keith Bowers said there is always potential for litigation against the county, this issue already has a court ruling in the files: Chancellor Richard Johnson previously ruled the establishment in question was “grandfathered in” and allowed to sell beer, despite violations of state law with its proximity to homes, churches and the like.
The only way around the court ruling, Bowers said, is if the establishment went more than 6 months without a permit to serve beer.
“There is a court order in place,” Keith Bowers said in response to a citizen’s comments during the public hearing portion of the meeting. “I’ll be glad to take this back to court, if that is what the beer board orders me to do.”
Early in the meeting, board member Tom Bowers said the board voted in 2011 to have the former owner ineligible to sell beer.
“We were taken to court,” Tom Bowers said. “A chancery court judge reversed us on that, but we would do it again if we thought we needed to.”
After Crowell presented a copy of her lease agreement with property owner Dexter H. Hicks to the board, she dispelled the rumor that her business would include adult entertainment.