Sign outside Southside Grill with two women dancing on poles and text: Vote yes to developing business

Southside Grill: A timeline of events

[cmsmasters_row data_shortcode_id=”7uux0qmak” data_width=”boxed” data_padding_left=”3″ data_padding_right=”3″ data_top_style=”default” data_bot_style=”default” data_color=”default” data_bg_position=”top center” data_bg_repeat=”no-repeat” data_bg_attachment=”scroll” data_bg_size=”cover” data_bg_parallax_ratio=”0.5″ data_padding_top=”0″ data_padding_bottom=”50″ data_padding_top_laptop=”0″ data_padding_bottom_laptop=”0″ data_padding_top_tablet=”0″ data_padding_bottom_tablet=”0″ data_padding_top_mobile_h=”0″ data_padding_bottom_mobile_h=”0″ data_padding_top_mobile_v=”0″ data_padding_bottom_mobile_v=”0″][cmsmasters_column data_width=”1/1″ data_shortcode_id=”c4c20xzutf” data_bg_position=”top center” data_bg_repeat=”no-repeat” data_bg_attachment=”scroll” data_bg_size=”cover” data_border_style=”default” data_animation_delay=”0″][cmsmasters_text shortcode_id=”izheeqfvus” animation_delay=”0″]

Chris Burg’s plan to revive Southside Grill caused a stir in Spencer from the get-go. In September 2018, Burg, the owner of Southside Grill, shared with the Spencer Planning and Zoning Committee his plan to pivot what was then a traditional, American-style restaurant to what he called “a gentlemen’s steakhouse.” The establishment, he said, would have a limited menu and feature partially nude dancers. Some in the community were strongly opposed to Burg’s plans. Sensing the opposition, Burg put up a sign outside the business that read “Vote Yes Developing Business” and featured two female dancers.

Chris Burg, Southside Grill Gentlemen's Steakhouse owner

Investigation leads to Spencer business man’s arrest

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.

Southside Grill building in Spencer

Southside Grill owner faces serving alcohol to minor charges in 12 cases

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.

Southside Grill building in Spencer

Decision expected soon in Southside Grill liquor license case

Southside Grill may soon learn whether or not its liquor license will be renewed. City Attorney Don Hemphill told the Spencer City Council last week that he expects a decision from the state soon on the gentlemen’s steakhouse’s license. “I expect a decision probably before your next meeting,” Hemphill said. 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. Southside Grill owner Chris Burg appealed the denied license renewal, which triggered a review process with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD).

Southside Grill building in Spencer

Hearing scheduled for Southside Grill liquor license status

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.

Clay County, Iowa, courthouse

Southside Grill bartender enters not guilty pleas

A Southside Grill bartender entered written not guilty pleas on Monday to several charges, including one for serving alcohol to a 19-year-old who later the same night died in a double-fatality accident in April. Court records show Jacoba Knight, of Milford, in Third Judicial District Court entered not guilty pleas to a count of employee supplying alcohol to a person under the legal age, another count in a second case of employee supplying alcohol to a person under the legal age and a count in a third case of providing alcohol to an intoxicated person. Authorities in affidavits said all three charges stemmed from incidents that occurred at Southside Grill, an adult entertainment club in Spencer, at about 10 p.m. on April 26. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office last month announced the three charges against Knight, including one for serving alcoholic beverages to 19-year-old Alfonso Adrian Maldonado, of Graettinger, without determining whether he was of the legal age. Maldonado was the driver in an accident that occurred at about 11:45 p.m. that same night at the 280th Avenue and 350th Street intersection near Dickens.

Spencer City Council Chambers sign

City will allow state to rule on Spencer bowling alley’s liquor license

State officials will have to decide whether Liberty Lanes’ liquor license gets renewed as they review the case of the owner’s other Spencer business, Southside Grill, which two weeks ago had its license renewal denied by the city council. On Monday, the Spencer City Council voted to take no action on the Class C Liquor License for the bowling alley, noting in its motion that the application was “timely filed.”

“Which basically just means we’re passing the decision on to the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division and not taking a yes or no stance as a council,” Mayor Kevin Robinson said during the meeting. Liberty Lanes is owned by Chris Burg, who also owns Southside Grill. The “gentlemen’s steakhouse” is the focus of investigations into sales of alcohol to underage people and public indecent exposure. The city council denied Southside Grill’s liquor license renewal earlier this month, citing the investigations.

Southside Grill Gentlemen's Steakhouse building with logo of woman with swimsuit top holding fork with steak on top

Warrant claims tapes show underage drinking, indecent exposure at Southside Grill

Spencer law enforcement officials in court documents claim surveillance footage shows Southside Grill employees selling alcohol to people under the legal age, underage drinking and incidents of public indecent exposure. Southside Grill is being investigated by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office in connection to a double-fatality accident near Dickens in April. A warrant applied for by the Spencer Police Department and granted by a judge on May 30 suggests Spencer police have begun their own investigation. This is the first time since the Spencer City Council denied Southside Grill’s liquor license renewal on June 4 that authorities have mentioned allegations of indecent exposure by the establishment’s employees. The sheriff’s office has been in possession of surveillance footage from Southside Grill as it conducts its investigation.

Sign outside Southside Grill with two women dancing on poles and text: Vote yes to developing business

Southside Grill employee charged with serving alcohol to man who later died in crash

A Southside Grill employee faces charges that include supplying alcohol to a 19-year-old who later that evening was one of two men who died in an accident near Dickens on April 26. Late Tuesday afternoon, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office released more details about the incident, including the charges against Jacoba Knight of Spencer. Knight faces charges of selling alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person, supplying alcoholic beverages to Alfonso Adrian Maldonado and failing to exercise reasonable care to determine whether he was under the legal age. Maldonado, of Graettinger, was the driver in a double-fatality car crash late Friday April 26 at the 280th Avenue and 350th Street intersection. He later died of his injuries at Spencer Hospital.

Southside Grill Gentlemen's Steakhouse building with logo of woman with swimsuit top holding fork with steak on top

Southside Grill under investigation for providing alcohol to minor who died after accident

Southside Grill is being investigated for providing alcohol to a minor who died following an April accident near Dickens. Before he died, 19-year-old Alfonso Adrian Maldonado of Estherville told a paramedic in the back of an ambulance that he and his friend, who also died in the accident, were at a strip club in Spencer and had been drinking, according to a search warrant affidavit. The sheriff’s office has since charged Southside Grill employee Jacoba Knight with serving alcohol to Maldonado without exercising reasonable care to determine whether he was under the legal age, among other charges. Additional charges as a result of the investigation are pending, according to the sheriff’s office. The search warrant requests security cameras, surveillance footage, receipts or other information identifying or containing payment information for Maldonado and an employee list and contact information for those who worked any time from 5 p.m. Friday, April 26, to 12:15 a.m. Saturday, April 27.