Play by Play liquor license revoked

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 19, 2002

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission has revoked the liquor license of the Play by Play Sports Bar and Grill in downtown Ironton.

Liquor Commission Executive Director Mark Anderson said the license to sell alcohol was revoked because bartender and part-owner Chris Rudman, was convicted of selling crack cocaine in the bar Jan. 23, and because bar employees were selling alcohol to teenagers.

Anderson said the drug trafficking took place when people requesting to buy drugs approached Rudman, who would then call a drug dealer from Detroit, Mich. known as "Heavy" who was nearby to make the sale. Rudman was sentenced to prison.

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Anderson said a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old bought mixed liquor beverages at the bar Jan. 7, 2001, and Play By Play employees did not check the identification of the people to whom they sold the drinks. The bar had a prior underage sale violation Oct. 5, 2000. At that time, state officials imposed a 2-day suspension or a $200 fine.

The permit was revoked a second time April 19, 2002 when a bar employee sold Jagermeister to an underage person, according to a release from the OLCC.

"With the three underage sale violations and the drug operation being run by one of it's owners, this place is a plague on the City of Ironton," said Eddie Edwards, chairman of the Ohio Liquor Control Commission. "The sooner it is closed down, the better off the police and law abiding citizens of Ironton will be."

Bar co-owner Patricia Davis told state officials she bought Rudman's interest in the bar in 1999, but Anderson said Division of Liquor Control records do not indicate she ever did so. Records indicate Rudman is still listed as a part owner.

She has filed an appeal of the license revocation in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

"We will oppose their appeal," Anderson said.

The liquor control commission is represented by the Ohio Attorney General's Office.