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Different treatment irks beer permit applicant

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By Damon Lawrence

Roma Christopher wasn’t on the Roane County Beer Board agenda this month, but she attended the Sept. 10 meeting to see what happened with Joyce Fulsom’s application for a beer permit.

The board approved it 4-0.

“There was a big difference in the way they treated her and the way they treated me,” Christopher said. “They were just as friendly as could be with her.”

Fulsom is operating under the name D&J’s out of the former Claudia’s Bar in Midtown.

The previous permit holder at the location, Claudia Norman, passed away in August.

No one from the public spoke against Fulsom’s application, and it took just five minutes for the board to approve it.

There was no discussion of the bar’s troubled past,
which includes reports of fights, assaults and drug activity.

The E-911 call history at the location is 44 pages long.

Several people were arrested at the bar within a matter of hours on Dec. 30, 2012.

The charges included public intoxication and resisting arrest.

“It just makes me mad in the way they treated her (Fulsom) trying to get a permit for a troubled bar and the difference with me going in and trying to open up what used to be a troubled bar,” Christopher said.

Christopher is hoping to re-open the Grill & Pub at 2224 Harriman Hwy. under the name 27/61 Grill-N-Pub.

The beer board revoked Grill & Pub owner Grover Norton’s permit for one year in February.

The move came less than a month after one of Norton’s employees allegedly sold beer to an underage informant.

Christopher said Norton planned to lease her the building to operate the 27/61 Grill-N-Pub.

Beer board members refused to hear Christopher’s application when she appeared before them in June.

She went back with her lawyer in July and the board voted 4-0 to deny her applica-
tion.

Several people spoke against Christopher’s application at the July meeting, including Sheriff Jack Stockton, Commissioner Fred Tedder and Roy and Rebecca Harvey.

The Harveys’ son, David, was found dead outside the Grill & Pub on July 23,
2011.

Eric Gallaher is charged with voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault-bodily injury in his death.

Gallaher allegedly punched Harvey after a minor fender-bender in the parking lot.

In a phone interview on Sept. 6, Fulsom insisted her establishment is safe.

She declined to discuss the E-911 records.

“I don’t know her, but she seems like a really nice lady, and I’m glad she got it,” Christopher said.

“It’s just amazing how they treated her compared to how they treated me.”