By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – An application for a new business in the county to sell cold beer was denied at a recessed county meeting Monday after the owner’s business plan did not comply with the requirements in the county’s beer ordinance.
Joey Turner appeared before supervisors requesting the permit for Joey’s Joint, LCC, a business proposed at the Yalobusha-Calhoun county line on Hwy. 330.
Turner told supervisors that his business would be a convenience store with a short order menu.
“It is going to be a convenience store, small restaurant,” Turner explained.
“Are you requesting to sell hot beer?” Board President Tommy Vaughn asked.
“Hot and cold,” Turner answered.
“In order to sell cold beer you got to meet a criteria in our ordinance that is quite a bit above short order,” Vaughn explained.
Turner said his menu would include appetizers, hamburgers and Philly steak, along with other items.
“I am trying to start out small and work my way up,” Turner explained.
“I had heard one time that you are proposing to open up a pool hall, is that correct?” Vaughn asked.
“I have pool tables in there. I want it to be a family place. I had pool tables in Bruce and I had to close it up,” Turner answered.
“What did you close in Bruce for?” District 3 Super-visor Lee McMinn asked.
“The smoking ordinance, it killed my business,” Turner answered.
Vaughn then traced the history of the county’s ordinance, explaining that the ordinance was passed following the 2007 beer election in the county.
“We felt the need for an ordinance to make sure that everybody that wants to sell beer that is in a legitimate situation can sell beer. We have issued several permits for hot beer, and for cold beer for restaurants that are full service restaurant businesses. We want to do that, we encourage people to go in the business. But from what I am seeing, a pool hall at the county line that is going to sell short order, hamburgers what have you, and sell cold beer – and that doesn’t fit our ordinance.
Vaughn added if he opened a family restaurant without pool tables, it would be different.
“So if I pull my pool tables out of there and make my menu more extensive?” Turner asked.
“Absolutely, you would be in the same bracket as your neighbor out there that is doing the same thing. As long as you serve a full meal and have a restaurant with a family atmosphere, I don’t think this board would deny you access to a permit,” Vaughn explained.
“Okay, that is what I will have to do then,” Tuner said.
“We would like to see any young man come into Yalobusha County and go into business. We are not trying to run people off. We have an obligation to every taxpayer in Yalobusha County,” Vaughn concluded, explaining that the intent is to create an atmosphere that everybody in the county can be proud of,” Vaughn said as discussion on the matter came to a close.