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Beer board approves on- and off-site permit for cigar/pizzeria store

Posted on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 9:12 am

By David Knox

The Metro Moore County Beer Board on Tuesday afternoon approved the application for a permit for off-site – and on-site — beer consumption to Lynchburg Cigar Company/Stave and Stone Pizzeria and Baking Company.

The business at 10 Hiles Street, owned by Jim Clinton, is the first to be approved for on-site beer consumption.

It was noted by Beer Board Chairman Buford Jennings that this was a major change and of great significance. He and the other board member, Amy R. Cashion, questioned Clinton at some length at the meeting. They expressed the importance that Clinton’s servers did not serve minors unintentionally and the consequences that would come with that – hefty fines and suspension of license for first offense, and of course the possibility of losing the license.

Clinton assured the board members that he took the “privilege,” as Jennings put it, very seriously and promised his servers would be well-trained and that he simply wanted to offer what many pizza places did – a beer with pizza. He said his business idea had always been a pizza place – which is not yet up and running, but he plans to be open this weekend for the Lynchburg Music Fest with at least a limited menu, likely serving pizza by the slice. The cigar shop, he said, was always intended to be a complementary business.

Clinton said he was committed to running a family-type pizza place.

Cashion said that this was new and different for Lynchburg, and as such it made people uneasy. She was also concerned about all the foot traffic on the square and the possibility of impaired drivers.

Ultimately, with the current laws in place, there were no grounds to deny the permit.

More applications for on-site consumption are set to be considered at next Monday’s 4:30 p.m. beer board meeting. That meeting will be at the American Legion building. Already set to be considered are Barrel House BBQ and Lynchburg Winery.

The board is currently just two members; the third, Tommy Brown, resigned from the board immediately after Monday night’s council meeting. Mayor Bonnie Lewis was in attendance to serve as ex-officio member to vote if there was a tie, but the permit was approved 2-0.

Lewis said she hopes to have a third board member added by next Metro Council meeting. The goal is to have five members in the immediate future.