What is Columbia County’s ordinance for alcohol sales?

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 6:25 PM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s been about a week since Columbia County revoked the liquor license for Stay Social in Evans.

Since then, the business has been looking for a way to survive. Tuesday, the county told us the owner would have to wait 10 years before re-applying for the license in Columbia County.

We’re been looking into the ordinance that started it all.

Any complaint that ranges from a phone call or email to commissioners will start an investigation.

The county is holding firm on the belief it will do whatever it takes to follow the city ordinances as they are written.

Columbia County Manager Scott Johnson tells us the process with everything with the ordinance in question.


“Having an alcohol license is not an absolute thing. There’s a process for that because you have to go through. Commission gets a final determination on that,” he said.

The process for an ordinance dates back to 1992 when restaurants were able to serve alcohol, but only under a licensing agreement with the county where 50 percent of sales must be food, and food must be served during all hours of operation.

“We allow the sale of alcohol in Columbia County to kind of grow organically. So we did allow it to happen with restaurants. And we only had a few that have not been in compliance over the years. And those have been addressed immediately,” said Johnson.

The most recent is Stay Social Tap and Table. From the beginning, the domino effect wasn’t hard to start.

“Anybody can make a complaint about any establishment in Columbia County, as it related to their food, alcohol sales, then we could start an investigation from there,” he said.

Which then goes to a hearing where five commissioners have the final say.

“We’re going to call the license holder in, and then they’ll have an opportunity to present their case before the board commissioners. And then once they present their case, the board of commissioners will then rule,” he said.

They’re sticking to laying down the law when they see a violation.

“If you violate any of these rules, then you can’t hold an alcohol license in Columbia County,” said Johnson.