The owner of Southside Grill has been charged with serving alcohol to a minor in 12 different cases in Third Judicial District Court in Clay County.
Court records show the gentlemen’s steakhouse owner, Chris Burg, appeared in court Wednesday. He pleaded not guilty to all counts of licensee supplying alcohol to a minor.
Each of the 12 cases includes a single count of supplying alcohol to a minor. All 12 counts occurred on different days between April 12 and April 27, according to documents.
Burg was charged in the cases on August 20.
Southside Grill has been the focus of an investigation into a double-fatality, single-car accident on April 26. Authorities state surveillance footage show that the 19-year-old male driver and a 21-year-old passenger in the car were both served alcohol at Southside Grill on the night of the accident.
Authorities have charged Jacoba Knight, a bartender at Southside Grill, with serving alcohol to the driver, Alfonso Adrian Maldonado of Graettinger.
Knight pleaded not guilty July 1. She has admitted to serving Maldonado and not checking his ID because she believed the bouncer had checked his ID.
A trial is pending in that case.
Court records do not indicate whether any of Burg’s recent charges are directly related to the April accident.
Southside Grill liquor license status undecided
Before the establishment’s connection the accident was revealed, the Spencer City Council denied Southside Grill’s liquor license renewal in June.
The council cited 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.
Burg appealed the denied license renewal, which triggered a review process with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD).
Southside Grill can and has continued to serve liquor throughout the appeals process.
The ABD forwarded the case to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals Administrative Hearings Division for a hearing that was held via telephone on August 28.
A decision in that hearing is pending.
Burg faces boating while intoxicated charge in Dickinson County
While he is facing charges in the Clay County court cases, Burg also faces a boating while intoxicated charge in Dickinson County.
Burg was charged in that incident on July 6. He pleaded not guilty on August 14.
A trial is scheduled for October. 8.
Factors such as whether a liquor license holder “has convictions for selling alcoholic beverages to under aged or intoxicated people” or “has a history of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs” could disqualify a person from holding a liquor license or wine or beer permit, according to the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division.