Restaurant Loses License To Sell Alcohol

By: Heather Haley Email
By: Heather Haley Email

An eastern Kentucky cafe owner is under investigation for allegedly selling alcohol to minors.

Those are not the only allegations against the Starlite Cafe in Whitesburg.

It has been nearly 8 months since the first alcoholic drink was poured in Whitesburg restaurants in 60 years now the Starlite Café, one of the 5 restaurants allowed to serve alcohol no longer has a city license to sell.

“We wanted everything to be a family atmosphere and actually it has been with maybe one exception,” Mayor James Wiley Craft said.

Letcher County Sheriff Danny Webb says after several complaints the Alcohol Beverage Control began an investigation.

Webb says on Saturday February 2nd an undercover ABC agent witnessed underage drinking and public intoxication at the Cafe.

“We sent one boy in that we knew was 19 years old and they didn't check his ID, they didn't ask him anything, he just went in and ordered a beer and they served him,” Sheriff Webb said.

Webb says between ABC, the Sheriff's Department, and the Whitesburg Police Department the café owner, 56-year-old Anthony Cowden, received several citations along with 1 of his employees and several customers were arrested.

“So when the citations came out we temporarily suspended his license, the city's license to sell alcohol, until those charges are resolved,” Sheriff Webb said.

ABC officials will determine what to do with the state alcohol license but they could not say when or if a hearing is scheduled.

The owner of the Starlite Café, Anthony Cowden, refused to comment.

• Anthony C. Cowden (owner)... 4 counts of disorderly premises, sales to intoxicated person
• Jimmy D. Morris ... alcohol intoxication charge
• David Collins ... alcohol intoxication charge
• Ashley N. Collier ... Possession of Alcohol by a minor
• Mathew B. Hatton ... Possession of Alcohol by a minor and Entering Premises to Purchase Alcohol
• Vanessa C. Cruz (employee) ... Sales to intoxicated persons and sales to a minor
• Cledith D. Montgomergy Jr. ... Possession of a controlled substance 3rd, Alcohol intoxication, and Prescription not in proper container
• Sarah Davidson .... Alcohol intoxication


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Coal-Man Location: Letcher Co. on Mar 4, 2008 at 10:24 PM
    I knew it was only a matter of time before that crazy place got shut down. I went in a couple of times to hear the band and the people were out of controll. If the people keep acting this way, Letcher co. will never have anything for us to do for fun. We'll all have to keep going to differsnt states and counties to spend our money which i find sad. The only things i found good about the place was the bands and the hot little blonde serving the drinks.
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Feb 8, 2008 at 08:28 AM
    @Mommy - I know a bootlegger that delivers and takes food stamps. I'll email his name and number if'n you're interested..;)
  • by Mommy on Feb 8, 2008 at 04:52 AM
    Dang, now where is I suppost to send my yunguns to buy my liqour? I cant leave the houise cuz I ain't got no shewz but my kidz do. Time to see the moon shiners agin.
  • by Tracy Location: KY on Feb 7, 2008 at 08:56 PM
    I think people should smoke a drink at public restraunt. What about people freedom and rights we shouldn't have our polition and government making our decision. If you don't like it get over it . Their are things you do that other people don't like should we ban you in public.
  • by Anonymous Location: letcher county on Feb 7, 2008 at 05:34 PM
    the guy had no comment, i guess the guilty cant speak, selling alcohol to under age kids,and Sales to intoxicated persons, this guy should never be able to run any business ever again,in the city limits or Letcher County.
  • by Steve Location: Lexington on Feb 7, 2008 at 02:45 PM
    I like Jane's comment from Letcher Co, says her and her family don't eat in any restaurant that serves alcohol. I guess she's never been outside of Letcher County, and eats at home a lot, because there are more restaurants that serve alcohol than do not. Only in very small towns that are still dry (very few, but some left) can you even find this kind of restaurant, and their food is so greasy that you'll die from that before you'd ever die from the alcohol. I would hate to be cooped up in the house all the time because I couldn't go out to a restaurant and enjoy a meal.
  • by donny Location: ky on Feb 7, 2008 at 01:57 PM
    i new if u voted on this what would happend. im glad its closed down dont need this here in letcher co..bad enuff as it is with drugs shore dont need beer to go with it
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Feb 7, 2008 at 01:14 PM
    Great. Now just where are my kids supposed to get their drink on?
  • by Jane Location: Letcher Co on Feb 7, 2008 at 12:07 PM
    They call Starlite Cafe a coffee house, get real. Wake up voters and "smell the coffee". It's time to take a stand against vices like the Starlite. My family and I do not eat at any restaurants, any where, that sell alcoholic beverages. How is this world does the mayor of Whitesburg see these as having a family atmosphere? Nothing good has ever come out of alcholic beverages.
  • by TONYA FROM WHITESBURG on Feb 7, 2008 at 11:23 AM
    maeks me laugh. Her grammar makes us people from West Virginia look smart. Keep it up girl. Maybe the thing they should have done is opened up a night school; not a night club.
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