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Petition filed to ban beer from bar

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By Damon Lawrence

Roane County Attorney Tom McFarland has filed a petition to revoke the Grill & Pub’s beer permit.

“This is a situation that has gone too far,” he said. “It’s dangerous to the public.”

A man was killed outside the Grill & Pub on July 23. Officials say that’s just one of many incidents that have occurred at the bar, which is on Hwy. 61 between Harriman and Oliver Springs.

“Law enforcement has recently responded to various criminal activity regarding the subject premises,” McFarland wrote in the petition. “In the last several months there have been voluminous 911 calls regarding violence, drug activity and/or other criminal acts.”

McFarland said he filed the petition on the recommendation of Sheriff Jack Stockton.

Grill & Pub owner Grover Norton said he wasn’t surprised by the county’s actions.

“I’m going to fight it,” he said. “I’m not just going to give up. I got too much money tied up in it.”

The Roane County Beer Board has the authority to revoke the Grill & Pub’s permit.

The board will hear the petition during a meeting on Aug. 15 at 6:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held at the Roane County Courthouse in Kingston.

McFarland said the Grill & Pub can continue to operate as usual until the hearing.

“Then it depends on what the beer board decides,” he said.

County commissioners Copper Bacon, Chris Johnson, Randy Ellis, Steve Kelley and Nick Forrester serve on the five-member beer board.

“I have received numerous calls from people in my district complaining about the (Grill & Pub),” Ellis said by email.
Should the beer board decide to revoke the permit, McFarland said the Grill & Pub could reapply in a year. 
   
Norton said he believes the county is coming down hard on him because of the homicide that occurred on July 23.

Someone called 911 that morning and said they found a man outside on the ground.

When police arrived, they found 46-year-old David Harvey dead.

Eric Glenn Gallaher has been charged with reckless homicide in his death.

Gallaher, who has a lengthy rap sheet, punched Harvey after a minor fender bender in the parking lot, according to court records.

“If there was something I could do to change what happened, I would,” Norton said. “But there ain’t nothing I can do about it.”

Following the homicide, Norton vowed to get rid of the people who cause trouble at the bar.   

“Unfortunately he’s not been very successful,” McFarland said. “We can’t wait on those kind of promises anymore. If he does, maybe he could reapply in a year.”