SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The city of Savannah has suspended the liquor license of a downtown bar following a New Year’s Day murder.
Council members voted Thursday to keep Tree House’s license suspended until at least April 1. It will only be reinstated if the owner provides a security plan approved by the city manager and council.
“You have been given something a lot of people don’t get, which is a second chance,” Mayor Van Johnson told owner Stu Putman. “What you do with it is up to you.”
Putman would also have to meet with Alderman Detric Leggett, who represents the district the bar is located in, and the neighborhood association.
Johnson earlier said it appears from several incidents that the Tree House can’t provide a safe environment.
Putman says he takes reasonable precautions, including employing off-duty police officers on weekend nights and private security guards who use a portable metal detector.
The owner says he’s now hired more off-duty officers and will use a metal detector on every customer who enters.
If the liquor license is reinstated, Tree House would be on probation for 90 days. If there’s another violent incident, the license would be permanently revoked.
Putman says the bar’s 26 employees are now out of work.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.