The owner of a Myrtle Beach pool hall whose business license was suspended last week said he has no plans to reopen in another location.
The Myrtle Beach City Council voted July 9 to revoke the business license of Elite pool hall after the city’s business license inspector said the business, located at 641 Robert Grissom Parkway, was illegally operating as a nightclub.
“They already took my life savings when they revoked the license,” said owner Javon Kennedy.
In a June 25 hearing, Myrtle Beach business license inspector Mary McDowell said the business license had been obtained deceptively and the business was operating as a nightclub, which is not allowed in that zone. The business owners, Kennedy and his wife, Brooke, said Elite operated as a pool hall.
The council voted 3-2 to revoke the license, with Councilmen Wayne Gray and Mike Lowder and Councilwoman Susan Grissom Means voting for revocation with Councilmen Randal Wallace and Michael Chestnut voting against. Mayor John Rhodes and Councilman Philip Render did not vote because they were not present for the hearing in June.
Council members also disagreed over whether they should allow evidence that was provided to the city by Elite’s lawyer after a deadline set during the hearing. Gray, Lowder and Means voted against allowing the evidence, while Wallace and Chestnut voted for it.
Attorney Mike Battle, who represented the city’s business license department, said that the Kennedys initially had applied to operate a nightclub at 641 Robert Grissom Parkway. Zoning administrator Kenneth May told the Kennedys they could not operate a nightclub or lounge in that zone and they instead applied for a gaming license to operate a pool hall, a food license and an alcohol license.
Attorney Howell V. Bellamy III, who represented Elite, asked the council to consider giving the Kennedys an opportunity to conform to any guidelines the council sets, suggesting the business enter a written agreement with the city.
“I’d like you to at least give them the opportunity to do that,” he said.
Chestnut said during last week’s City Council meeting that he did not think it was necessary to revoke the business license.
“I still feel like there’s room for compromise,” he said. “I realize everyone’s got a job to do … but I feel like there are ways to work out our differences without taking away someone’s livelihood.”
McDowell suspended the license on June 10, at which point Elite stopped operating.
Javon Kennedy said he was disappointed the city wasn’t willing to compromise.
“We feel like we were violated and they took [the license] because they can,” he said.