Play By Play bar sold

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 17, 2003

The Play By Play Sports Bar And Grill building has been sold.

According to documents at the Lawrence County Auditor's Office, Play By Play Inc. transferred the 410 South Second Street building to Nathan D. Bricken of Pikeville, Ky.

Bricken, who has a post office box for his address, paid $60,000 cash for the building on May 15. The Ironton Tribune attempted to contact Bricken about his future plans for the building, but his telephone number was unlisted.

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When contacted by The Ironton Tribune, former co-owner Patricia Davis confirmed she sold the building.

In December 2002, the Ohio Liquor Commission revoked Play By Play's liquor license because bartender and then-part-owner Chris Rudman was convicted of selling crack cocaine on Jan. 23, 2002, and because bar employees were selling alcohol to teenagers, according to Mark Anderson, executive director of the commission.

Davis appealed the license revocation in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, which hears cases dealing with the Ohio Liquor Commission. The bar remained open pending the outcome of the appeal.

On Feb 7, the Ohio Department of Commerce's Division of Liquor Control sent a letter to Play By Play Inc. indicating it had not submitted a renewal application of its permit to legally sell alcoholic beverages. In this letter, if a renewal application, fee and a 10 percent penalty fee were not postmarked and received by March 4, the business's permit would be cancelled.

The business did not renew its permit, and it was cancelled March 17, Matt Mullins, a spokesman for the Division of Liquor Control, said.

If the Bricken decides to sell alcoholic beverages, the previous owners' problems could cause him problems as well. Ohio has a law commonly referred to as "Rule 8," which states that a permit holder cannot have a permit for one year from the effective date of his/her permit revocation, Anderson said. Further, this law states that another liquor license cannot be issued for the same premises for another year.

The case of Play By Play's revocation has yet to be resolved and is still pending in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Anderson said. The new owner could request a waiver from the Division of Liquor Control. The request would be automatically denied and sent to the Ohio Liquor Commission. He would then be granted a hearing to explain what special circumstances should allow him to have that waiver.

Ironton Tribune staff reporter Teresa Moore contributed to this report.