Monday, November 20, 2023–9:27 p.m.
-David Crowder, WRGA News-
The Rome Alcohol Control Commission is recommending a three-month suspension of the beer, wine, and liquor pouring licenses at Peaches on Broad Street following a hearing Monday regarding after-hours consumption of alcohol.
Rome Police Department body cam footage shown during the hearing showed customers in the establishment after 2 a.m. on October 22. Some appeared to be holding alcoholic beverages. Under Rome’s alcohol ordinance, last call is at 1:30 a.m. and consumption stops at 2 a.m.
Although no citation was issued, owner Stephanie Shaw was called before the ACC to give her side of the story. She told the ACC there was some confusion regarding whether the ordinance means that customers can or cannot be inside her building after 2, and added there were no bartenders serving drinks at that point.
“I was late picking up trash out of people’s hands and getting them out the door,” she said. “It was the last night of River Jam and people came downtown late that night. There were a lot of roadblocks out and people sitting there waiting on their cabs.”
ACC Chair Billy Cooper told Shaw that the video clearly showed alcohol consumption after 2 a.m.
“Given how long you’ve been in business and how you’ve been operating in the past, I personally feel like you have a fair understanding of what you’re supposed to do,” he said. “I hear your excuses, but it’s hard for me to get behind a warning, given your track record.”
In May, the Rome City Commission terminated the establishment’s liquor license on grounds that it was not meeting the 50-50 food-to-drink ratio. Peaches had just gotten the license back after it was reinstated by the city commission in late September.
“I think that downtown deserves a place like yours, I really do,” ACC member Taylor McMichael told Shaw. “But I do feel like you have a blatant disregard for how all of this works and all of the rules that everyone follows.”
The recommendation for a three-month suspension and a $2,000 fine will go to the full Rome City Commission for consideration.
The vote was 3-1, with ACC member Doug Phelps voting against. He had made a motion for a $2,000 fine with no suspension.
“This will shut me down,” Shaw said of the penalty. “The whole city knows this will shut me down.”
Also Monday, the ACC meeting approved a new beer and wine package license request at Sunny’s Food Mart at 1107 Turner McCall Boulevard and a new beer and wine package license request at Sunoco at 2039 Maple Avenue.