Spencer police arrested Chris Burg, the owner of Southside Grill, Thursday afternoon on 25 charges, including 10 felony counts of fraudulent sales practices and 10 felony counts of sales tax evasion.
In a press release, police stated Burg, 36, was arrested at 2:24 p.m. after a traffic stop in the 700 block of Grand Avenue.
Police served Burg with an arrest warrant charging Burg with:
– Seven counts of fraudulent sales practices over $10,000 (class C felonies)
– Three counts of fraudulent sales practices under $10,000 (class D felonies)
– 10 counts of sales tax evasion (class D felonies)
– Four counts of sales tax violation – permit revoked (aggravated misdemeanors)
– One count of ongoing criminal conduct (class B felony)
In addition to Southside Grill, Burg owns Liberty Lanes, a bowling alley in Spencer, and A+ Carpet and Tile Cleaners.
Southside Grill, which bills itself as a gentlemen’s steakhouse, has been the focus of investigations into serving alcohol to minors. Officials also have said the establishment’s dancers have not properly covered their nipples as required by Iowa code.
The Spencer City Council in June voted to deny renewal of Southside Grill’s liquor license citing those investigations.
A day later, it was revealed that one of those investigations involved a double-fatality, single-car accident on April 26.
Authorities state surveillance footage shows 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. Both died as a result of the accident.
Authorities charged Jacoba Knight, a bartender at Southside Grill, with serving alcohol to the driver, Alfonso Adrian Maldonado of Graettinger. Knight pleaded not guilty in July.
Burg is also facing charges of serving alcohol to minors. He has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges in 12 separate cases.
Burg’s charges in those cases stem from incidents that authorities say occurred between April 12 and April 27, according to court documents.
Police stated Burg’s arrest on Thursday is part of a joint investigation by the Spencer Police Department, Iowa Department of Revenue, Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division and the Clay County Attorney’s Office.
As of Thursday evening, Burg was being held at the Clay County Jail. Bond was set at $200,000.