After meeting for more than 3 hours and hearing testimony from several witnesses, the Franklin Beer Board voted 2-1 Thursday to suspend the beer license for Tin Roof 2 for 30 days and fine it $3,000 after Franklin Police had padlocked the doors of the Cool Springs restaurant that has been labeled a “public nuisance.”
The city had asked to have the licensed revoked, a move that would have meant the owners couldn’t have reapplied for a license for possibly as long as a year.
But beer board member Pearl Bransford showed leniency and moved to suspend the beer license for a month and place a fine on the business. Board chair Clyde Barnhill voted to approve Bransford’s proposal, while member Margaret Martin voted against it.
Tin Roof 2 must also adhere to an agreement to close each night at 11 instead of what had been a 3 a.m. closing time and to hire more security to monitor the place.
The Franklin Police Department had shuttered the Tin Roof 2 Wednesday afternoon through a court order from the Williamson County Circuit Court, citing a drain on police resources.
"This year, patronage at that business has caused a drain on police resources resulting from more than 70 incidents including 13 assaults, rape, public indecency, theft, gun possession, theft, and DUI from January 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020," a release from Franklin Police read.
In a lengthy Zoom meeting that resembled a courtroom trial, assistant City Attorney Bill Squires presented a case for how owners of Tin Roof 2 violated the beer permit rules stated in the city of Franklin’s beer ordinance. He said incidents and arrests at the late-night establishment made it a public nuisance.
Squires called three Franklin Police officers and a special agent from the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission as witnesses. They substantiated Squires’ claims through data on arrests and incidents and firsthand observance of many of the incidents cited.
Kevin Thompson, the attorney for the owners — and the owners themselves, Kyle McPhee and Jason Sheer — countered by pointing out how beneficial Tin Roof 2 has been to Franklin since it opened nearly 15 years ago on Carothers Parkway. They said losing their beer license would be detrimental to the owners and their families and also the more than 40 employees at the restaurant.
McPhee listed a number of examples of how Tin Roof 2 has given back to the community, including through food drives, toy drives and jacket drives for homeless people. By participating in the Franklin Classic each Labor Day, the Tin Roof 2 running club raises more money for Mercy Community Healthcare than any other group, according to McPhee.
"We have been in business for close to 15 years without any major incidents,” Sheer said to the Home Page Wednesday night. “We have zero beer or TABC violations, so the sudden shutdown of our business is shocking. We are going to do everything in our power to work with the city officials to get our business open so our employees can get back to work and earn a living for their families in these grueling times."
Tin Roof still has a court hearing Monday morning on the matter of having its doors padlocked, and it faces a hearing with the TABC over its liquor license.