Johnson City Commission Approves Freedom Hall Beer License | WJHL

JOHNSON CITY, Tennessee (WJHL) – A beer license approved by city officials Thursday night clears the way for beer sales inside the Freedom Hall Civic Center.

In a unanimous decision, the Johnson City Commission licensed beer at Bruce Miller Enterprises (d / b / a MaxDog’s Catering One-O-One).

Deputy City Manager Charlie Stahl told News Channel 11 last week that if the license is approved at Thursday’s meeting, it could mean beer sales “by the start of the basketball season or soon. soon after “.

Bruce Miller, the owner of MaxDog’s Catering One-O-One, told News Channel 11 that he plans to pick up the license on Friday morning, which means he will serve beer in some capacity during the game. ETSU men’s basketball exhibition Friday night against Catawba inside Liberty. Room.

However, Stahl said the decision to sell beer at Freedom Hall was a city-led effort and that there had been no direct involvement with the university.

“I think the ETSU and other shows and events have expressed an interest in seeing alcohol sales in terms of the fan experience at the games,” Stahl said.

27% of the revenue from Freedom Hall beer sales will go to the city.

The city is hoping that beer sales could bring Freedom Hall back to the Tri-Cities concert hub it was in the ’70s,’ 80s, and ’90s.

Freedom Hall director Mark Stone said touring costs have increased since then and artists have chosen to move to larger venues. He said alcohol sales may provide more incentive for artists to come back.

“We are looking for increased sales and promotional activity,” Stone said. “In my discussions with the promoters, they are very excited that we are having beer sales. “

Miller will also take over the concessions. He hopes to change the menu at the concession stand.

“We changed the food. We’ve added a few things, ”Miller said. “We are not where we need to be in terms of concession operations, but we will get there. “

Miller said in a previous interview with News Channel 11 that he plans to apply for liquor and wine licenses from the state.

The beer sale is the latest step in a decade-long project to revitalize the place. Stahl said the city has spent more than $ 17 million to improve the seating, bathroom and other amenities.

He added that the city will soon be looking for proposals to renovate the ground floor of Freedom Hall. Stahl said the space could be used for other events and conventions.

Aurora J. William