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Oxford

Brown Bag Permit Temporarily Suspended for new Oxford Restaurant

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

The Oxford Board of Aldermen suspended a brown-bag permit for a new restaurant Friday after the ABC cited the restaurant for allegedly providing alcohol to customers.

The Board called a special meeting Friday afternoon at City Hall where they heard from Oxford Police Chief Jeff McCutchen and the owner of Flames Seafood, Tyler Young.

The Board approved a brown bag consumption permit for Flames restaurant last week during its regular board meeting. Flames is a seafood and streak restaurant located at 1801 West Jackson Ave.

A brown bag consumption permit allows customers to bring in wine/beer or liquor to a restaurant to drink while they are sitting at a table and ordering and eating food. Establishments are not allowed to sell or provide alcohol to customers and customers must be sitting and eating while drinking, not walking around the establishment.

According to McCutchen, the Alcohol Beverage Control received a tip that people were purchasing bottles of alcohol while at Flames. ABC sent in an undercover informant on Thursday night who received liquor from someone operating through the business.

“ABC got a search warrant and found an open bottle of vodka and Crown Royal bottle behind the corner,” McCutchen. “They charged Mr. Young with possession of liquor with intent to distribute.”

McCutchen said OPD had also received complaints that people were not sitting and eating while consuming alcohol.

Young told the Board that he wants to work with the city to make sure everything is done right and that the violations of the brown bag permit were misunderstandings and that he didn’t fully understand what the brown bag permit meant.

He told the Board he has applied to ABC for his alcohol sale permit and is waiting to hear back from ABC.

He said the bottles found behind the counter were brought in by customers and were just being held on ice for them. However, McCutchen said anyone allowed behind the counter is then considered to be “operating through the business.”

“We did not knowingly sell or give anyone liquor that was our,” Young said. “I didn’t know people needed to be eating while drinking.”

Young, who is 23 years old and a recent Ole Miss graduate, said he never intended to break rules and wants his restaurant to be a place that remains in Oxford for many years.

“This establishment is something I want to be a positive thing for Oxford,” he said. “I don’t want it to be a nuisance or a hindrance to the city. That’s not what we’re aiming for or striving to be.”

Young said he will meet with police and city officials to make sure everything is in compliance before the brown-bag suspension is lifted in two weeks while he awaits word from the ABC on his liquor license.


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