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Muddy’s dance hall permit nixed by Chase City

SoVaNow.com / March 21, 2018
Dancing is out at Muddy’s Wing House Bar & Grill in Chase City now that the town has revoked the restaurant’s dance hall permit.

The decision was made following a oftentimes testy public hearing Tuesday, March 13 during the monthly meeting of the Chase City Town Council. Council members voted 6-0 in favor of the revocation.

The Council meeting, normally held on the second Monday of the month, was rescheduled due to weather issues.

Town Manager Angela Lawrence said at the outset of the hearing that the town was not seeking to revoke Muddy’s permit because of a March 4 incident in which Deliandre R. Alexander is accused of firing a gun in the parking lot next to the restaurant. The parking area is owned by Wells Fargo Bank but is often used by patrons of the restaurant.

Instead, Lawrence cited several violations by the restaurant of its dancing permit, including complaints of loud music heard outside the establishment, repeated violations of the occupancy limits, and failure to comply with building and fire prevention codes.

Lawrence said Muddy’s Wing House and Hot Dog Hut, also known as Muddy’s Wing House Bar & Grill, first opened on Main Street in Chase City in May 2016. The county granted an occupancy permit for 49 people. As a condition of the restaurant receiving its liquor license, Virginia ABC (Alcohol and Beverage Control) required owner Carl Pasko Jr. to obtain a dance hall permit. This was issued by the town in August.

It was later discovered during discussions between the town manager and county building inspector that Pasko made modifications to the building without obtaining a building permit or the required inspections. These concerns were discussed with Pasko in early March, according to Lawrence,

At that time Lawrence said she also advised Pasko that he would not be able to operate a dance hall without a sprinkler system in the building since the crowds there often exceeded 100 persons.

The building does not have a sprinkler system, and Pasko claimed it was not needed because the bar and grill never has more than 100 people inside at one time.

Pasko admitted to making modifications to the building that were never approved by the building inspector, but he denied playing loud music, excessive crowds or any other violation of the permit provisions. He suggested the town’s motivation for revoking his permit had to do with race — because the white residents stopped coming to the Main Street bar and grill once African American patrons began congregating at Muddy’s.

Pasko also repeatedly denied operating a dance hall, claiming the wooden floor where dancing could take place was covered by tables and chairs used by people eating at the restaurant. When asked by Mayor Eddie Bratton why then did he need or want a dance hall permit, Pasko responded, “Because the town said so.”

A preliminary review by the fire marshal turned up no violations, according to Pasko, and he said the county building inspector is ready to issue appropriate permits as soon as a new set of doors are installed between two rooms in the restaurant.

Nevertheless, Council voted, without opposition, to revoke the dance hall permit due to violations of the town code.

In other business, Lawrence said the town’s airport and community park sustained some damage during the wind storm that took place in early March. Repairs are taking place, but Lawrence gave no time frame for when they might be completed.

The town is once again applying for a Community Development Block Grant from the Virginia Department of House and Community Development for the Endly Street Community Improvement Project in the amount of $1.25 million. In 2017, the town applied for grant funds for the project, but was denied. Instead, the town received a planning grant and used the money to prepare for resubmission of its original project. The goal is to rehabilitate or substantially reconstruct 10 substandard units, replace deteriorating sewer lines, make improvements to the 5th Street pocket park, and clear debris and trash throughout the project area.

Council approved an ordinance for electronic summons. State code allows localities to collect an additional $5 for each criminal or traffic case in the courts from any violation that arises within the town. The monies collected can be used solely to cover the cost of installing and maintaining the software, hardware and associated equipment of an electronic summons system for law enforcement. The fees collected would be retained in a special fund dedicated to the system.

Council also approved a policy that authorizes the town to hire and retain auxiliary police officers. Adoption of this policy took place ahead of the swearing in of the town’s first such officer, Ricky Lee.

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Comments

Is this a a sequel to the movie FOOTLOOSE?! You can have drugs down on 5th street and murders all over town but no one can formerly dance? What's next, are ya'll gonna revoke the dance permit for the American Legion?

Comments

By playing the race card this man lost any respect that I had for him. If you cater to blacks, then you have a black hang out joint. White people will not go to place where lots of young blacks hang out. Especially after some of the incidents that have happened there. I've been down Main street on Friday or Saturday night and all I've seen were blacks hanging out there.


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