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It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine

11.04.12
The Tennessee ABC's stepped enforcement of food service requirements has led to claims that the ABC caused a high-profile casualty in Knoxville. The website for Knoxville venue the Valarium and CiderHouse has announced their closing due to "new rule changes from the TN Alcoholic Beverage Commission concerning minimum percentage [food sales]."

The club also claimed they could not meet the "minimum number of days they require us to be open per week."

The club says that: "since we cannot meet their requirements, we will relinquish and not renew our ABC license when it expires November 24th, 2012."

Read more here.

Although we are very familiar with the Tennessee ABC's recent increase in enforcement of food service requirements at bars, we are skeptical about the claims of Valarium and CiderHouse. We do not see a successful venue closing without trying to meet the requirements.

We have nightclub clients that have struggled with the 15% minimum food service requirement for years, but most have found ways to meet it and none have thrown in the towel without trying different strategies to make it work.

The ABC has been very flexible about accepting club marketing strategies to increase food sales percentages. There are lots of ways for bars to try to comply with the 15% food service rule.

The new ABC policy is going to wreak havoc among bar owners, but we don't think it will force folks out of business right away.

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