South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

South Side Pub, Inc., d/b/a South Side Pub vs. SCDOR

South Carolina Department of Revenue

South Side Pub, Inc., d/b/a South Side Pub

South Carolina Department of Revenue

For Petitioner:
Tammy Moreland, Pro Se

For the Department of Revenue:
Excused from Appearing

For the Protestant:
R.H. Patterson, Pro Se




This matter comes before the Administrative Law Court (ALC or Court) pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§ 61-2-90 & 61-2-260 (Supp. 2005) and S.C. Code Ann. §§ 1-23-310 et seq. (Supp. 2005) for a contested case hearing. Petitioner seeks a nonprofit private club minibottle license and an on-premise beer and wine permit. Respondent Department of Revenue (Department) made a Motion to be Excused stating that but for the protest it received this application would have been granted. Finding “good cause,” the Department’s motion was granted by my Order dated February 10, 2005. A hearing was held on March 16, 2006, at the offices of the Administrative Law Court in Columbia, South Carolina.


Having observed the witnesses and exhibits presented at the hearing and closely passed upon their credibility, taking into consideration the burden of persuasion by the Petitioner and the Protestant, I make the following Findings of Fact by a preponderance of the evidence:

1. Notice of the time, date, place and subject matter of the hearing was given to the Petitioner and the Protestant.

2. Petitioner seeks a nonprofit private club minibottle sale and consumption license and an on-premise beer and wine permit for South Side Pub located at 6320 Augusta Highway, Greenville, South Carolina. South Side Pub is incorporated under the laws of South Carolina as a nonprofit corporation. Tammy Moreland is the director member of South Side Pub as set forth in the club's by-laws. Ms. Moreland is a legal resident of the state of South Carolina.

3. There are no churches, schools or playgrounds within five hundred (500) feet or in close proximity of the proposed location.

4. The qualifications set forth in S.C. Code Ann. §§ 61-4-520 and 61-6-1820 (Supp. 2005) concerning the residency and age of South Side Pub’s principal, Tammy Moreland, are properly established. Furthermore, Ms. Moreland has not had a permit or license revoked within the last two years and notice of the application was lawfully posted both at the location and in a newspaper of general circulation.

5. Petitioner’s principal, Ms. Moreland, does not have a criminal record and is of sufficient moral character to receive a nonprofit private club minibottle license and on-premise beer and wine permit.

6. R.H. Patterson is the sole Protestant against the issuance of this permit and license. Mr. Patterson’s main concerns regarding this restaurant are that:

a. The patrons of the location could be endangered by the proximity of railroad tracks running behind the proposed location, and

b. The location is a high traffic area on Augusta Highway, and

c. There is not sufficient parking for the patrons of the location, and

d. Allowing the sale of beer or wine at the proposed location or any other location in the Greenville area increases the rate of crime and is a burden upon law enforcement.

7. If permitted and licensed, South Side Pub will be a private club primarily catering to adults thirty years of age and older. They will open at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday to serve lunch and will serve a full menu including salads, sandwiches, hamburgers and pizza. On the weekends, they will open at 3 p.m.

The restaurant will be situated on Augusta Road, otherwise known as Highway 25. There are several businesses in the area including an industrial park and a commercial business park. A restaurant with an on-premise beer and wine permit was previously operated at the location. However, the building was destroyed by a fire. The current building was constructed after the fire and sits in the same location. Ms. Moreland has substantially renovated the structure and it is currently operative as a restaurant. Furthermore, if the location is permitted and licensed, Ms. Moreland intends to have a fence placed between the location and the railroad tracks.

Mr. Patterson’s arguments appear to be based on a sincere concern for the community. However, in order to deny this nonprofit private club minibottle license and on-premise beer and wine permit, direct evidence of an adverse impact on the community is necessary. Though the evidence raises “potential” concerns that this nonprofit business “may” change the integrity of the vicinity, the evidence did not establish that the granting of this nonprofit license and permit will have an overall adverse impact on the surrounding area. Additionally, the evidence did not establish that granting the permit and license would exacerbate crime in the area of the proposed location. Therefore, I find that Petitioner's proposed location is suitable for a nonprofit private club minibottle license and on-premise beer and wine permit.


Based upon the above Findings of Fact, I conclude the following as a matter of law:

1. S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-600 (Supp. 2005) grants jurisdiction to the Administrative Law Court to hear contested cases under the Administrative Procedures Act. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-2-260 (Supp. 2005) also grants the Administrative Law Court the responsibilities to determine contested matters governing alcoholic beverages, beer and wine.

2. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-4-520 (Supp. 2005) sets forth the requirements for the issuance of a beer and wine permit. Section 61-4-520 (5) provides that location of the proposed place of business must be a proper one. Furthermore, 61-4-520 (6) provides that in making that determination the Department may consider proximity of the location to “residences, schools, playgrounds, and churches.”

3. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-6-1820 (1) (Supp. 2005) sets forth that the Department may issue a license allowing the possession or consumption of alcoholic liquors upon the premises if an “applicant is a bona fide nonprofit organization or the applicant conducts a business bona fide engaged primarily and substantially in the preparation and serving of meals or furnishing of lodging.” Petitioner seeks a nonprofit private club minibottle license. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-6-20(6) (Supp. 2005) defines a “nonprofit organization” as “an organization not open to the general public, but with a limited membership and established for social, benevolent, patriotic, recreational, or fraternal purposes.” Only the members and guests of the nonprofit organization may consume alcoholic beverages upon the premises. Id. Furthermore, a nonprofit organization licensed to sell alcohol must comply with the organizational and operational requisites of 23 S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 7-401.4(D) (Supp. 2005).

In addition, a license for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages must not be granted unless an individual applicant is of good moral character or, if the applicant is a corporation or association, it “has a reputation for peace and good order in its community, and its principals are of good moral character.” S.C. Code Ann. § 61-6-1820 (2) (Supp. 2005). Section 61-6-1820 (3) further provides that a sale and consumption license shall not be granted unless the proposed location meets the minimum distance requirements from churches, schools, or playgrounds as forth in S.C. Code Ann. § 61-6-120 (Supp. 2005). Section 61-6-120 (A) requires that a location outside of a municipality licensed to sell liquor must be a minimum of five hundred (500) feet from any church, school, or playground. The distance is determined by following “the shortest route of an ordinary pedestrian or vehicular travel along the public thoroughfare from the nearest point of the grounds in use as part of such church, school or playground. . . .”

4. The Protestant argued that the location is in an unincorporated town or community that does not have proper police protection and that there are too many existing locations in the area. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-6-160 (Supp. 2005) provides that “the department may not license a retail dealer in any locality unless the department determines that the locality is under proper police protection.” Additionally, S.C. Code Ann. § 61-6-170 (Supp. 2005) provides that the Department may limit the further issuance of retail dealer licenses if it determines that the citizens who desire to purchase alcoholic liquors therein are more than adequately served by the existing licenses. However, these provisions apply to “retail dealers.” See S.C. Code Ann. § 61-6-20 (Supp. 2005). The applicant, in this case, is not seeking a license under Article 3 of Chapter 6 but, rather, under Article 5 of Chapter 6. Therefore, Section 61-6-160 and 61-6-170 are not applicable to this case.

5. Although “proper location” is not statutorily defined, the Administrative Law Court is vested, as the trier of fact, with the authority to determine the fitness or suitability of a particular location. See Fast Stops, Inc. v. Ingram, 276 S.C. 593, 595, 281 S.E.2d 118, 120 (1981). The determination of suitability of location is not necessarily a function solely of geography. Kearney v. Allen, 287 S.C. 324, 326-327, 338 S.E.2d 335, 337 (1985). It involves an infinite variety of considerations related to the nature and operation of the proposed business and its impact upon the community within which it is to be located. Id. at 327, 338 S.E.2d at 337. In determining the suitability of a location, it is proper for this Court, as the trier of fact, to consider any evidence that demonstrates the adverse effect the proposed location will have on the community. See Palmer v. S.C. Alcohol Beverage Control Comm'n, 282 S.C. 246, 249, 317 S.E.2d 476, 478 (Ct. App. 1984). It is also relevant to consider the previous history of the location. See Smith v. Pratt, 258 S.C. 504, 189 S.E.2d 301 (1972); Taylor v. Lewis, et al., 261 S.C. 168, 198 S.E.2d 801 (1973). Furthermore, in considering the suitability of a location, it is relevant to consider whether the testimony in opposition to the granting of a license is based on opinions, generalities and conclusions, or whether the case is supported by facts. See Smith v. Pratt, supra; Taylor v. Lewis, supra.

“A liquor license or permit may also be properly refused on the ground that the location of the establishment would adversely affect the public interest, that the nature of the neighborhood and of the premises is such that the establishment would be detrimental to the welfare . . . of the inhabitants, or that the manner of conducting the establishment would not be conducive to the general welfare of the community.” 48 C.J.S. Intoxicating Liquors § 121 at 501 (1981). Nevertheless, without sufficient evidence of an adverse impact on the community, the application must not be denied if the statutory criteria are satisfied. Furthermore, the fact that a Protestant objects to the issuance of a permit is not a sufficient reason by itself to deny the application. See 45 Am. Jur. 2d Intoxicating Liquors §162 (Supp. 1995); 48 C.J.S. Intoxicating Liquors §119 (1981).

6. Petitioner meets the above statutory requirements for holding a nonprofit private club minibottle license and on-premise beer and wine permit. Furthermore, no evidence or argument was presented that Petitioner is not in compliance with the requirements of Regulation 7-401.4 (D).


Based upon the above Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, it is hereby:

ORDERED that the nonprofit private club minibottle license and on-premise beer

and wine permit for South Side Pub, Inc. be granted upon the payment of the proper fees and costs.



Ralph King Anderson, III

Administrative Law Judge

March 17, 2006

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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