Well-known Evans business gets its alcohol license revoked

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 11:27 PM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Dozens of people showed up at the Columbia County Commission meeting to support a popular local business at risk of losing its alcohol license.

Stay Social Tap and Table is right across from the Lady A Amphitheater in Evans. They opened the doors as the pandemic hit and managed to stay afloat.

Customers and employees are furious with the county after they voted to revoke their alcohol license, effective immediately.

It was a vote that left everyone in the room stunned and silent. As soon as county commissioners voted to revoke Stay Social‘s alcohol license, dozens of people there for the hearing got up and left.

We spoke before the meeting to Kris Price who hosts trivia at Stay Social and overall this didn’t sit right with him.

“It just didn’t seem fair for a business that seems to be so ingrained and so a part of this community in such a short time,” said Price.

Stay Social is a food and beverage restaurant. Along with your meal, you can pay for drinks by the ounce, so you can sample different kinds or buy a drink by the glass.

It’s the same restaurant that drew some backlash for hosting a drag show they called family-friendly back during pride month. The community sold out the shows in support.

“We’re right here across from the Evans Towne Center Parks. It’s right here. In the midst of all the action between a park and the performing arts center, and it’s just kind of a focal point here in this in this new downtown area,” he said.

To have an alcohol license in Columbia County, 50 percent of business sales have to be food.

The owner says she got an email, checking on her revenue numbers. She sent them a loose estimate, not thinking much of it without the yearly books closed out, showing 47 percent of her sales being food.

The county set a public hearing to review her license.

Columbia County Commissioner Doug Duncan said: “We can’t choose which laws we obey and don’t obey. Some things may not work out well. But again, we have to do the best we can to apply the rules evenly across the board.”

The vote to revoke was 4-1. The one on the fence was Duncan. He wanted to give the business more time.

“Well, first of all, the will of the commission was to revoke it. I would have been in favor to extend some time to work through, but that’s just not the way the vote fell,” he said.

Price knows what this decision means for the future of the business. No alcohol sales could mean a death sentence.

“Loss of liquor license means lots of a lot of other things and it’s just kind of the first domino effect, unfortunately,” he said.

The vote to pull the license left the owner unable to make a statement. Her mother told us she will have a statement in the coming days.