Council again denies ‘Chick-A-Dee’ business license request, declares matter closed

Published 9:34 am Wednesday, February 4, 2015

During a special called meeting Wednesday morning, the Atmore City Council once again rejected Mary Frye’s request to reopen the former “Chick-A-Dee Club” as an assembly hall, and declared the matter closed.

Frye had previously requested a business license to reopen the Carver Avenue establishment during the regular council meeting on Monday, Jan. 12. At that meeting, the council unanimously rejected this request.

Atmore Mayor Jim Staff said Wednesday that Frye was allowed 10 days to request an appeal hearing, and she ultimately did so. She was unable to make the first hearing date last Friday, but agreed to show up to the second date on Wednesday morning.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

However, when Frye arrived Wednesday, she declined the hearing. She stated that she had not had enough time to research and defend her position.

Even so, Atmore Public Safety Director Glenn Carlee requested to put “on the record” some of the problems his department had faced when the business was previously open.

According to Carlee, during the 11-month period of October 2009 through September 2010, after the business had re-opened, the APD responded to 79 complaints and made 15 on-view arrests. Those reports included felony assaults, drug possession charges, domestic violence incidences, disorderly conduct charges, resisting arrest charges, shots fired calls and fight calls.

In addition, he noted that the Alcohol Beverage Control Board conducted two separate inspections, including one on Feb. 5, 2010, in which 16 juveniles were arrested for minor in consumption of alcohol, and one adult was charged with consuming while serving.

Carlee also said that the building’s maximum capacity was 140 people, and he believed that door receipts proved crowds of 500 or more were common.

“Myself and Chief [Jason] Dean have met with Bobby Frye, Mary Frye and John Earl Frye on numerous occasions before the business opened and during its operations, trying to resolve these situations,” wrote Carlee, in the prepared remarks he read before the council. “We have heard the same promises that have been made before the council, but no satisfactory results. What is sad is that the majority of the officers that responded to these calls have resigned due to this business.

“We had trouble hiring officers during this time period, and if it is re-open, there will be additional departures from the department.”

After Carlee completed his report, Staff asked for a motion “to deny the appeal” and “that it’s no longer called before the city council.”

Council member Webb Nall made the motion, which was seconded by council member Susan Smith. The motion was unanimously approved to deny Frye’s appeal. Council member Chris Harrison was not present at Wednesday’s meeting.

Staff said that he would not be adverse to Frye opening the business as grocery store, furniture store, or similar retail establishment, but the council would never approve it reopening as a lounge or assembly hall.