Grill-N-Pub push delayed again

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By Damon Lawrence

The Roane County Beer Board didn’t turn down Roma Christopher’s application for a permit on Tuesday. The board didn’t approve it, either.

Chairman Randy Ellis said Christopher’s attorney – Mike Ritter of Oak Ridge – asked for a continuance because he was sick under a doctor’s care. That was news to Christopher, who showed up and was prepared to present her case.

“I’ve been trying to get a hold of my lawyer for two weeks and I just now found out that it was postponed,” she said. “I had no clue.”

Ellis said Christopher’s hearing was rescheduled to May 13.

“I was hoping to get this over with today,” she said.

Tuesday wasn’t the first time Christopher has left a beer board meeting disappointed.

She appeared before the beer board twice last year. The first time the board refused to hear her application.

The second time the board voted 4-0 to deny her application.

She was scheduled to appear before the board on Jan. 14.

That meeting was postponed until Tuesday, when it got postponed again.

“It’s going to be the same (expletive) that it has been,” Christopher said, when asked how she thought the May meeting might go.

Christopher wants to operate at the Grill & Pub under the name 27/61 Grill-N-Pub.

The bar, located at 2224 Harriman Hwy., is owned by Grover Norton.

Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said the Grill & Pub had a long history of problems under Norton, including violence.

The board revoked Norton’s permit for one-year in February 2013 after one of his employees was cited for allegedly selling alcohol to an underage informant.

Christopher said Norton is planning to lease her the building, so she can operate the 27/61 Grill-N-Pub.

She insists he will have no involvement in her day-to-day operations.

Teresa Lynn Harmon appeared before the beer board on Tuesday. Her application to sell beer at 3015 Harriman Hwy., was approved.

Halftime is the name of her establishment.

“Are you sure you can keep peace?” board member Copper Bacon asked.

“Yes,” Harmon responded. “I will do it.”