Lawrenceburg Now

Friday, February 22, 2013

Public Hearing Set Regarding Issuance Of Beer Permit For Park Restaurant

   A public hearing has been scheduled regarding whether to allow the sale of beer at David Crockett State Park Restaurant.

   Members of the Lawrence County Beer Board will convene in March to hold a public hearing on the matter. The board has been asked to grant a beer permit that would allow the sale of beer inside the restaurant only.

   Several of the restaurants located inside Tennessee’s fifty-four state parks are already serving beer to patrons. Pickwick Landing State Park Restaurant was the first to gain a license allowing the sale of wine, as well. Some other parks to which beer permits have already been granted are Paris Landing, Montgomery Bell, Fall Creek Falls, and (most recently) Henry Horton State Parks.

   Officials with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation say that alcoholic beverages are still prohibited in all park areas except restaurants, with the exception of parks that have marinas and golf courses.

Boaters are permitted to purchase packaged beer at the marinas, and officials say that beer is sold at all nine park golf courses. Some, they said, have been allowed to sell beer for the past four years.

   As is the case with all permits, restaurant patrons are required to show a photo I.D. before being served.

Also, all employees who serve or handle beer and wine must participate in and pass a five-hour training course approved through the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. The sale of alcohol on Sundays is prohibited.

   Although in years past alcohol was strictly forbidden in all state parks, the passage of the 2005 Tennessee River Resort Act allowed for exceptions to be made. It allows local businesses situated within three miles of the Tennessee River to sell alcohol.

Since that time the sale of alcohol has been adopted at several park restaurants in an effort to make them profitable. Otherwise, officials said several would have been forced to close their doors.

   The public hearing is scheduled to be held at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 8 inside the public conference room at the Lawrence County Administrative Center on West Gaines Street.

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