Friday, 20 December 2019 11:53

Printers Alley to Reopen With Conditions

Dec. 20, 2019 – A Midtown bar closed as a public nuisance since September because of drug trafficking, illegal liquor sales and other criminal activity was given approval Thursday to reopen after agreeing to address problem areas, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.
Owners of Printers Alley Bar and Grill at 322 S. Cleveland acknowledged the nuisance allegations and agreed to 12 corrective conditions, including hiring a full time security officer, adding surveillance cameras inside and out accessible to police, perform criminal background checks on employees, and limiting hours of operation to 7 p.m. to 3:15 a.m.
The owners also agreed to prohibit customers from lingering on the premises after 3:30 a.m., to keep the sidewalk outside the bar free of broken bottles, drug paraphernalia and trash, and to terminate any employees involved in nuisance activity before resuming business.
Printers Alley has been the site of at least 61 calls to police regarding drug sales and usage, assaults, burglaries and weapons from 2015 through 2018. The establishment also was open for business nearly around the clock.
The bar is less than a half mile from Bellevue Middle School, St. John’s Methodist Church, Central High School, E.H. Crump Stadium, and 1st Class Montessori School. The business also is adjacent to the Broadmoor Apartments.
Printers Alley was closed this summer after the Memphis Police Department Organized Crime Unit made multiple undercover purchases of narcotics and illegal liquor from employees and patrons of Printers Alley over an extended period of time.
Although the bar had no liquor license, customers could purchase whisky by using code words such as “cinnamon” for a shot of Fireball served from a red ketchup bottle or “gravy” for a shot of Jameson served from a yellow mustard bottle.
The bar also sold gummy bear candies soaked in tequila or vodka, officers said.
Owners Anthony McVay and Peter Wofford also agreed to require all employees complete a seminar regarding their duties and responsibilities regarding drug prevention and compliance with state and local laws and regulations. The seminar will be conducted by the District Attorney’s Office and MPD.
The consent order agreement was approved by Environmental Court Referee Lisa Harris on behalf of Judge Patrick Dandridge.
The case is being handled by Asst. Dist. Atty. Paul Hagerman and Asst. City Atty. Will Gibbons.
The parties will return to court Jan. 30 to report on the bar’s compliance with the conditions, which also may include reimbursing MPD for expense of the investigation.