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Pouring licenses revoked at Porterdale Bar & Grill

PORTERDALE -- A local restaurant lost its licenses to serve alcoholic beverages due to failure to pay excise taxes following a hearing before the City Council last week.

According to draft minutes from the July 26 hearing, the council voted unanimously, with Councilman Tim Savage absent, to revoke pouring licenses for the Porterdale Bar & Grill. The restaurant's malt beverage and wine pouring license and its distilled spirits pouring license were revoked.

According to City Clerk Megan Reid, Porterdale Bar & Grill owes $507.03 in excise taxes to the city in addition to $1,650 for a distilled spirits license. Porterdale Bar & Grill had made a partial payment on its distilled spirits license, which totals $2,500 per year. The $1,650 is the balance owed.

Porterdale Bar & Grill owner Lindsay Crawford was not present for Thursday's hearing and did not respond to numerous notices sent to the restaurant in advance of the hearing, according to Reid.

Reid said Monday that the Porterdale Police Department has posted a sign inside the restaurant notifying patrons that alcohol can no longer be sold there. In addition, crime scene tape has been placed around the beer taps.

According to the state Department of Revenue, an excise tax of 3 percent on mixed drinks may be charged by a local jurisdiction; the state excise tax on distilled spirits is paid at the wholesale level.

Excise taxes came to the attention of the City Council in April when the city notified the Elks Club Lodge that it owed three years worth of back excise taxes on mixed drinks sold at the lodge on Crowell Road, plus a penalty. The Elks petitioned for a waiver on the penalty, but the council denied the appeal.

At the time, the Elks maintained that they were unaware of the city excise tax and thought it was paid at the state level.

The Elks Club has since become current on its excise tax payments. Two other establishments in Porterdale that sell distilled spirits -- Jimbo's Grill at the Mill and The Oaks golf course -- are both current on their excise tax payments, according to the city.