Last week, I blogged a story about a Knoxville, Tennessee music venue called The Valarium. Its owners claimed they were shutting down in part because of state liquor laws. From the owners' letter on the matter:

Due to new rule changes from the TN Alcoholic Beverage Commission concerning the minimum percentage of food an establishment must sell in relation to its gross sales, our venues will be closing.... Since we cannot meet their requirements, we will relinquish and not renew our ABC license when it expires November 24th, 2012.

In response to my post, a reporter at an area alt-weekly, the Metro Pulse, got in touch with me offering information that complicates the owners' version of events:

Sorry, Mr. Gillespie, although Tennessee's alcohol laws are quite insane and restrictive, they actually had nothing to do with the Valarium closing.

I actually did the research, instead of just taking a club owner at his word, and it turns out the laws he mentions went into effect in 2010 and are actually LESS restrictive than the ones in place before then. See my blog post here:

And article here:

You might want to throw up a correction.


Cari Gervin

I'm happy to throw up a correction for failing to explore more fully the larger context of the club's difficulties.

And I'm also always happy to shed light on regulations that "insane and restrictive," even when they are not the immediate cause of a business's demise.

The Metro Pulse reports now that a "local tiki entrepreneur" in Knoxville has taken over the space and has already booked two acts in the space.