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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