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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Sebastian A. Casbarro d/b/a Squat and Gobble vs. SCDOR

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Sebastian A. Casbarro d/b/a Squat and Gobble

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Sebastian Casbarro, Pro Se for Petitioner

Marion Cramer, Pro Se for Protestant.



This matter comes before the Administrative Law Judge Division on the application of Sebastian Casbarro for an on-premises beer and wine permit for the Squat and Gobble restaurant located on Highway 46 in Bluffton, South Carolina. After notice to the parties, a hearing was conducted on September 21, 1994. Based upon the testimony and evidence presented, I make the following:


1. The applicant is 41 years old and has been a resident of South Carolina since 1979. He has never been convicted of a crime and is a person of good moral character.

2. He has never held a license or permit to sell alcoholic beverages, beer or wine and has never had any citations issued against him for violating any alcoholic beverage laws.

3. The Squat and Gobble restaurant is located on Highway 46 in Bluffton. It serves food and beverages and is open from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Eventually, the restaurant will be open until 9:00 p.m. The location will be closed on Sunday. The applicant is the owner and manager of the business. He employs two full time waitresses. There are printed menus and the restaurant seats 42 people.

4. The business has never been licensed and is not currently licensed. Law enforcement agents have not been called to the restaurant for any problems.

5. There are no churches, schools or playgrounds in the vicinity of the location.

6. Notice of the applicant was posted at the location and published in the Island Packet newspaper for the required time period.

7. The sole protestant is Marion Cramer, a resident in the area. His house is approximately 150 feet from the location. There are only five or six residences in the vicinity. He objects to the sale of beer and wine so near his location. He fears fights and other incidents of violence or property damage and does not believe that this type of business should be near his house. Mr. Cramer also feels that there is no way to keep people off of his property which borders the restaurant. There is a small ditch at the property line and he fears liability issues if patrons fall in the ditch.

8. Other businesses in the area sell beer and wine for off-premises consumption. These include Scott's Mercantile, a bait shop and animal feed store; and Scott's Grocery, which is an IGA grocery store. There are no businesses which sell beer and wine for on-premise consumption.


1. The Administrative Law Judge Division is vested with the powers, duties and responsibilities exercised by the former Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission and hearing officers pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title 1. S.C. Code of Laws § 61-1-55 (Supp. 1993).

2. S. C. Code § 61-9-320 (Supp. 1993) provides the statutory requirements for the issuance of beer and wine permits. It states in part:

No permit authorizing the sale of beer or wine may be issued unless:


(6) The location of the proposed place of business of the applicant

is in the opinion of the department a proper one. The department may consider among other factors, as indications of unsuitable location, the proximity to residences, schools, playgrounds, and churches. This item does not apply to locations licensed before its effective date.

S.C. Code §61-9-320 (6) (Supp. 1993).

3. Although "proper location" is not statutorily defined, "rather broad discretion is vested in the Commission in determining the fitness or suitability of a particular location." Fast Stops, Inc. v. Ingram, 276 S.C. 593, 281 S.E.2d 181 (S.C. 1981). This determination of suitability is not solely a function of geography, but involves an infinite variety of considerations related to the nature and operation of the proposed business and its impact upon the community where it is to be situated. Kearney v. Allen, 287 S.C. 324, 338 S.E.2d 335 (S.C. 1985); Schudel v. S.C. ABC Commission, 276 S.C. 138, 276 S.E.2d 308 (S.C. 1981).

4. In addition, proximity of a location to a church, school, playground, or residence is a proper ground, by itself, on which the location may be found unsuitable for a permit to sell beer and wine. Byers v. S.C. ABC Commission, 305 S.C. 243, 401 S.E.2d 653 (S.C. 1991). The proposed location is not in close proximity to any of these entities.

5. The fears raised by the protestant are not supported by the evidence presented. There have been no incidents involving the restaurant and any patrons. No one has been injured going to the parking lot or to the restaurant. Although there are other businesses that sell beer and wine for off-premises consumption in the area, this is the only restaurant in the vicinity and the only location for on-premise consumption. The applicant intends to close the restaurant at a reasonable time. The location is suitable for the issuance of a permit.

6. The applicant and the location meet the remaining criteria for the issuance of a beer and wine permit.


Based upon the foregoing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the application for an on-premises beer and wine permit is GRANTED. Therefore, it is

ORDERED that the Department shall issue Sebastian A. Casbarro a beer and wine permit for the Squat and Gobble restaurant upon the payment of the appropriate fees.




Administrative Law Judge

October _____, 1994

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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