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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Lester E. Kelly d/b/a 599 Meeting Place vs. SCDOR

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Lester E. Kelly d/b/a 599 Meeting Place

South Carolina Department of Revenue

James Harrison, Esquire for the Applicant



This matter came before the Administrative Law Judge Division upon the application of Lester E. Kelly for an on-premises beer and wine permit at 599 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina. After notice to all the parties, a hearing was conducted on November 14, 1994. The sole protestant, Reverend B.J. Whipper, pastor of St. Matthews Baptist Church failed to appear at the hearing and the protest is deemed abandoned. The file of the Department of Revenue and was made a part of the record. Based upon the preponderance of the testimony and evidence presented, I make the following:


1. The applicant, Lester E. Kelly, is 28 years old and has been a resident of South Carolina for 26 years. He has never been convicted of a crime other than traffic offenses. His driving record reveals two convictions for driving under the influence of intoxicating beverages or drugs or a combination of them (DUI). These convictions occurred in 1988. Applicant admits a problem with alcoholic beverages in 1988 due to stress and coping with personal relationships. Since that time there have been no further DUI problems. He is a person of good moral character. No permits or licenses to sell beer and wine or alcoholic beverages have ever been issued to the applicant.

2. The applicant leases the property from which he operates a restaurant. The restaurant currently serves food and has been operating since April 1994. The hours of operation are Sunday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. If the license is granted, the restaurant would be open until 12 midnight and may close on Sunday.

3. St. Matthews Baptist Church is located on Huger Street within the same block as the restaurant. The map drawn by the special agent investigating the application did not indicate distance. The written protest by the Church is based upon the proximity to the proposed location. The distance between the location and the church is 150 yards.

4. Notice of the application was published in the Post and Courier and posted on the premises for the time period prescribed by law.

5. The sale of beer and wine is estimated to provide 30% of the revenue derived from the operation of the restaurant. The location is in a residential area with some commercial space occupied in the same block. There were no protests from the residents.


1. The Administrative Law Judge Division is vested with the powers, duties and responsibilities exercised by the former Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission and hearing offices pursuant to Chapter 23, of Title 1. S.C. Code of Laws § 61-1-55 (Supp. 1994).

2. S.C. Code § 61-9-320 (Supp. 1994) provides eight (8) statutory requirements for the issuance of beer and wine permits. The applicants meets all eight (8) criteria.

3. The location is a suitable one. It is located in a residential area and operates primarily as a restaurant. The sale of beer and wine is incidental to the operation of the business. No one from the church appeared to protest the application which is therefore abandoned.


Based upon the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the application of Lester E. Kelly for the issuance of an on-premises beer and wine permit for the restaurant located a 599 Meeting Street in Charleston, South Carolina is GRANTED. The Department shall issue the permit upon the payment of the appropriate fees.




Administrative Law Judge Division

November 18 , 1994

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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