Local church opposes tavern next door

ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The Rock Ministry Center says a tavern opened last month. But it's not the business the pastor opposes, it's the location.

Pastor Perry Benson usually studies the Bible. Lately, he's also been studying Anderson County's beer laws. His research began when Silver Dollar Saloon opened just 300 ft from his church.

"We are a church and they have a set back rule from door to door. The distance is 810 ft," Pastor Benson said regarding a beer ordinance in Anderson County. '

But when the church opened four years ago, a convenience store was next door. Smoke and Boats moved around the corner and the tavern moved into the old location, right next door.

"The permit that had been issued in the law that was applicable to that peice of peroperty was for retail sales or over the counter sales, not an open beer permit. So they had to issue an open beer permit for that facility," Benson said.

The bar's owner could not comment for legal reasons but did question why the issue is being brought up now.

Pastor Benson told Local 8 News it's always been a concern.

"When I realized that they were going to put a saloon in, I contacted the president of the Beer Board," he said. "All I'm asking is that they apply the permit that's suppose to be there."

According to Anderson County's Attorney Jay Yeager, the county's beer board will hold a special meeting to address these concerns. They haven't set a date or time yet.

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