How The Government's Arbitrary Alcohol Rules Killed A Knoxville Club
Here's the letter to customers from The Valarium. I've italicized some of the most disgusting conditions they were unable to meet under the new Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission rules:
Dear Friends and Patrons,
The Valarium and CiderHouse will cease operation on November 25th. The last event will be Taboo on November 24th.
Due to new rule changes from the TN Alcoholic Beverage Commission concerning the minimum percentage of food an establishment must sell in relation to its gross sales, our venues will be closing. We also cannot comply with the minimum number of days they require us to be open per week. Since we cannot meet their requirements, we will relinquish and not renew our ABC license when it expires November 24th, 2012.
We have never received any citations for over serving or serving an underage. However, we have been told we will be fined, prosecuted, or subject to revocation procedure for not serving enough food. They do not recognize the fact that we are a big, fast-paced venue where people come to see shows, dance, drink and socialize on a large scale, not to eat dinner. This is as unreasonable as them passing a law stating that all restaurants must install a stage and dance floor.
Also, we cannot comply with the minimum number of days they require us to be open. Good business practices dictate that you don't open when it's not viable. Opening for the sake of just being open forces you to offer drink specials, steep discounts, ridiculous contests, and promotions that may encourage over serving. If the primary mission statement of the TN ABC is to promote temperance, what could be more temperate than not opening on off nights? We are not aware of any other state that has these rules.
As it happens, the timing of our license renewal date puts us in the forefront of any enforcement action. Our attorneys predict that a large portion of the nightclub venue licensees in TN will not be able to comply with these regulations. However, on their advice, our only recourse is to relinquish our license when it expires on November 24th, 2012.
We would like to thank all of our friends and patrons for supporting us and allowing us to bring such amazing national, regional, and local musical talent to our stages. We would also like to thank our employees who made it all possible.
Good luck to everyone as you move forward out in the world.
Valarium and CiderHouse Management
Nick Gillespie notes at reason:
And so dies a joint that was named Best Rock Club and Best Dance Club in the 2011 Best of Knoxville listings by the alt-weekly Metro Pulse.
via @walterolson and @reason