By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — Several family members of a young man found dead along McKenna Road in September 2019 attended this month’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission meeting in opposition of a local restaurant’s alcoholic beverage permit being renewed.
Joel Stein, owner of Channel Side LLC, doing business as The Barbee Landing, 3687 N. Barbee Road, Warsaw, was at the meeting for a permit renewal. However, several relatives of Ty Sawyer Lee Brown, a 20-year old Indianapolis man, attended the virtual meeting to remonstrate against the permit being renewed.
At about 5 a.m. Sept. 2, 2019, Brown’s body was found along McKenna Road. Two hours prior to that, Brown was seen on video walking away from the Barbee Landing alone. His death was ruled accidental. Kosciusko County Coroner Tony Ciriello ruled that Brown died due to a subdural hematoma after apparently falling and striking his head. Toxicology reports indicated Brown had a blood alcohol level of 0.21.
Due to Board President Elim Smith’s absence and Board Member Dan Woods abstaining from voting on the permit due to conflict of interest, the permit was continued to the board’s January meeting for lack of quorum.
At the meeting, Brown’s relatives asked several questions, including how often a permit’s renewal can be continued, as well as if it’s possible for the permit to be remonstrated to the state commission. State Excise Officer April Tackett said the amount of times a renewal can be continued is dependent on the circumstances and that she would have to research the process of remonstrating to the state commission.
Stein did not reply or object to statements from any present remonstrators during the meeting.
In other business, Tessa Smalley, representing Oswego Mini Mart & Café, 2757 E. Armstrong Road, Leesburg, attended the meeting for a new alcoholic beverage permit for the business. The permit was continued from last month’s meeting due to no signage being posted in the storefront informing the public about the application. Signage has been posted since the board’s November meeting. The business currently has a permit for alcohol carryout at its mini-mart.
Tackett told Smalley that in order for the permit to be fully approved, the mini mart and café must either be completely separated by a wall or the business must get rid of its grocery carryout permit.
“You can’t have two permits under one roof,” said Tackett.
Smalley said she would speak with the business’s management to determine how they would like to proceed. The permit was approved pending final inspection at the business.
A transfer of ownership for Warsaw Bowl, 1702 E. Market St., Warsaw, was continued to the board’s January meeting due to no one from the establishment being at the meeting.
The following permits were renewed:
- Bar 13, 131 N. First St., Pierceton. Beer, wine and liquor – restaurant.
- Clouse Enterprise, Inc., doing business as Down Under, 801 N. Huntington St., Syracuse. Beer, wine and liquor – restaurant.
- Light Rail Coffee LLC, doing business as Light Rail Café, 1000 Park Ave., Winona Lake. Beer and wine retailer – restaurant.
- Side House Grill, 2604 Sheldon Drive, Warsaw. Beer, wine and liquor – restaurant.
The board’s next meeting will be held virtually at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7.