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McKENZIE (October 10) — During Thursday’s meeting of the City of McKenzie Alcohol Board, Rene Enang, owner of the Red Cave Cafe and Hookah Lounge, agreed to surrendered his on-premises …
McKENZIE (October 10) — During Thursday’s meeting of the City of McKenzie Alcohol Board, Rene Enang, owner of the Red Cave Cafe and Hookah Lounge, agreed to surrendered his on-premises beer permit. Enang explained to the board members, which is comprised of the city council and mayor, he could not stay open without selling alcohol. In order to retain his permit, he would have to increase the building seating capacity to 75 persons.
Enang went on to say he has closed his business because he was not able to draw enough patrons in with food sales and hookah usage. He added the landlord has released him from the lease, and he is currently looking for a larger building.
The business’s sales taxes are not current because of an incorrect address on file with the State of Tennessee. Enang told the board he was working with the state to correct the issue and would pay the taxes once the state issued bills arrived.
Previously, the business, previously located on Cedar Street, had multiple violations that were brought before the board. Included in the list was over crowding, with an incident reports 84 persons in the building with a capacity that should not have exceed 48. Under the International Fire Code, since the building only has one exit in case of an emergency, its seating capacity is limited to 48 persons. Under the city’s alcohol ordinance, a seating capacity of 75 is required to consume alcohol on premises.
The city’s ordinance indicates patrons must purchase food to also be served an alcoholic beverages. The manager, Keyarra Williams, was unaware of the stipulation.
The on-premise permit is to be turned over to the City of McKenzie within a week’s time. If a larger building is used to reopen the cafe/hookah lounge, the owner can apply for a new on-premise permit.