When the manager of a bar crosses the street to unwittingly ask a table of city of Atlanta employees, including an off-duty cop, to come on over to his bar and enjoy all-you-can-drink beer for $10 after the official bar closing time of 3 a.m., he probably has only himself (and maybe his boss) to thank for being raided.
At about 4:30 a.m. on June 9, the East Atlanta bar named Asylum, owned by Brian Michael Sawyer, was investigated by the Atlanta Police Department. Many in Atlanta's LGBT community may remember Sawyer from other shenanigans, including bilking LGBT organizations out of promised donations.
The only person charged on June 9 was Asylum's manager, Couri Antonio Williams, with selling liquor after hours. The APD police report states 83 patrons exited the club after Williams shut down the club.
Gay-owned bar in East Atlanta cited for serving booze after hours
On Wednesday, the East Atlanta Patch reported on a raid that occurred Wednesday morning. Williams was arrested and the bar was cited for: operating outside allowed hours of operation, selling alcohol without a license, storing alcohol without a license, hours of operations.
From the APD report on the Wednesday investigation provided to GA Voice:
On 6-12-2013 around 7:15am officers were dispatched to 543 Flat Shoals Ave regarding the Asylum lounge being open after hours. Upon arrivalofficers approached the front door of the location and observed people inside sitting at a booth with drinks on their table. Officers knocked on the door and the people at the table got up, went to the back door and fled on foot.
Officers continued to knock on the door and the manager finally came to the door and opened it. Officers asked the manager for his business license and he provided his business license and an expired permit to serve alcohol.
Officers contacted APD license and permits and confirmed that the business had no permit to serve alcohol. Inside the location officers found evidence that alcohol was being served and the lounge was operating after hours. The manager, Couri Williams was placed under arrest and transported to Atlanta City Jail.
The key witness that led to the raid was Stephanie Ramage, a former reporter who was hand-picked by Mayor Kasim Reed to serve as the newly minted position of Citizens’ Advocate. She told police that Williams approached her table at the Midway Pub late Sunday where she was sitting with an off-duty police officer and a member of the neighborhood association and asked to come over to his bar where the party started at 2:30 a.m. but “would really be rollin’ around 4” according to the police report.
From the June 9 police report:
[Williams] then appeared and stated he was the manager and he thought the club had a special 24-hour party permit. Williams could only provide a copy of his business license and alcohol license. We then informed Williams he was in violation of the city ordinance for selling alcohol for consumption during unauthorized hours. Williams then stated he was not selling the alcohol, however while outside of the club while patrons were walking to the club Williams told them to hold off on paying because the club might be shut down.