Hearing scheduled for Southside Grill liquor license status

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Southside Grill building in Spencer

Southside Grill Owner Chris Burg wants to open a strip club on the property, 325 11th Street SW.

A judge will hear arguments later this month that could determine whether Southside Grill retains its liquor license.

The Spencer City Council denied Southside Grill’s liquor license renewal in June citing evidence from law enforcement that Southside Grill’s employees had served alcohol to minors and intoxicated individuals and that dancers there had exposed their nipples in violation of state code.

At this month’s hearing, scheduled for August 28 via phone, an administrative law judge with the Administrative Hearings Division of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals will issue a proposed decision on whether the license should be denied based on the city council’s reasons.

Shortly after the council denied Southside Grill’s liquor license renewal, it was revealed that the establishment is involved in an investigation regarding a single-vehicle, double-fatality accident near Dickens in April.

Authorities say surveillance footage shows the driver in the April accident, 19-year-old Alfonso Adrian Maldonado, was served alcohol at Southside Grill earlier that night before the accident.

In June, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office charged Jacoba Knight, a bartender at Southside Grill, with serving alcohol to Maldonado and another minor who was employed as a dancer.

Knight pleaded not guilty to charges last month.

Spencer police also claim surveillance footage shows the establishment’s dancers several times violated Iowa code that requires their nipples to be covered.

Southside Grill owner Chris Burg has said he is pursuing legal action against the city.

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