Church loses court battle to beer garden over alcohol licence. A judge has ruled a new beer garden in Lexington is just far enough away from a church to get its alcohol license.
The Navy Yard on Main Biergarten and Restaurant was sued by St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church. The church claimed the Navy Yard on Main Biergarten and Restaurant was closer to the church than the 300 feet (91 meters) permitted by state law.
The church also informed the judge that people who drink at its soon-to-be neighbor will use drugs, have sex or get ill in its parking lot.
However, Administrative Law Judge Shirley Robinson ruled in favor of the beer garden this week stating that the business is just far enough away from the church to be within state law and that the church failed to produce facts to support the probability of drunken disruptions.
It came down to two experts to solve the distance problem. According to a current State Law Enforcement Division agent, the distance between the door at the church’s statuary building and the front entrance of the beer garden is 310 feet (94 meters).
According to a former state agent, the distance from the church to the beer garden’s back entrance is 208 feet (63 meters), but the beer garden’s lawyers successfully claimed that the back door is walled off by a fence and is for staff and an emergency evacuation rather than the general public.
Construction of the beer garden was put on hold while the alcohol license was in limbo.
Following the judge’s verdict, they pledged to the church that they would not plan live music concerts during Sunday or Wednesday services or other occasions such as funerals or weddings as they had done before the case went to court.
They also intended to tidy up the church grounds and ensure that no customers parked on the property.
In a statement released following the judgment, bear garden spokesman said “this is our home and we’re looking forward to breaking ground in the coming weeks on what we hope will be a welcoming setting where visitors can spend time with friends and family while enjoying wonderful food and beverages.”
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