Como board OK’s continuation of club 8/14/2015

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 14, 2015

Como board OK’s continuation of club

By Rupert Howell
Como Billiards and Restaurant is the new name for an establishment that received permission, night during the regular meeting of Como’s board of mayor and aldermen, to continue to operate Tuesday.

But the process wasn’t simple.Como’s police chief Earl Burdette and several citizens were critical of activities and hours of operation during the hearing that was included during Tuesday’s meeting.

The local eatery/pool hall has six pool tables and previously had music playing loud enough to keep neighbors awake at the Main Street and Highway 310 location.

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Business operator William Lewis and building owner Faheed Khan assured Como’s board and a room full of citizens that the business would abide by town ordinances, the same law as other eateries on the popular Main Street.

Problems had obviously arisen and a complaint of underage drinking was lodged. Chief Burdette explained that management countered that with having arm bands issued to identify those old enough to buy beer, but that just encouraged those eligible to make the purchase for those not.

Late hours and loud music including a deejay were included in complaints voiced during Tuesday’s hearing and the building owner and manager assured those gathered that loud music would no longer come from the business.

Early on in the discussion Burdette asked what kind of establishment he was supposed to be policing, “A pool hall, night club, restaurant or what,” and later stated, “It’s a club. Let’s use the correct name.”

Burdette said the business started with two pool tables. “Next thing they had a deejay and dance floor . . .”

He explained that after underage drinking complaints continued his department put up roadblocks stating, “Next Earl is getting blasphemed,” Burdette said.

Mentioned during the meeting was that people were seen leaving the building as late as 4 a.m.
Letters of non-compliance were sent to the building’s owner who apologized for putting information about the roadblocks on Facebook and also apologized to Burdette stating, “If I have caused you pain, I ask you for forgiveness.”

Burdette said he had avoided the problem by staying away.

“To avoid an issue, I was staying away from the problem . . .My job is to put out fires, not start fires,” he said.

Burdette also explained that while trying to enforce the law, rumors begin that, “Earl is trying to close him down—until someone loses a life.”

The business was allowed to operate under standard city and state ordinances which allows beer to be served until 1 a.m.

New Como resident Joel Little had little resistance from being approved to open a beer store at Highways 310 and 51, formerly Still’s Package Store. Little explained that he was applying for a state permit, but first wanted to get the Como board’s approval to operate a business at that location.