Alcohol license for new Savannah music venue up for consideration again, amid opposition

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A brand new concert venue, set to open its doors for the first time this weekend, is counting on a vote from Savannah City Council members Thursday to allow the business to sell alcohol to music fans.

The Stage on Bay already has acts booked into April, but the CEO of the venue says to be a success, they need a majority "yes" vote from the council.

Several crews were at the business on Wednesday, working to make sure The Stage on Bay is ready for a big opening weekend.

Friday, The Marshall Tucker Band will be the first act to perform at The Stage on Bay, followed by a long, eclectic list of artists through this month and next, all the way to April.

One of the last goals for the venue was put on hold nearly two weeks ago, though, which is getting the license to sell alcohol to patrons inside.

"There's gonna be problems. I guarantee there's gonna be problems," cautioned Ronald Williams.

As the leader of the West Savannah Community Organization, Williams was one of the driving forces behind the stall.

"Like I said, a lot of folks that's gonna be his patrons are gonna be coming out here, and they don't know how to deal with the people who live out here," said Williams.

At the last Savannah City Council meeting, opponents of The Stage on Bay selling alcohol said noise, traffic and the fact that there is already a half-dozen businesses selling alcohol between East and West Lathrop on Bay Street are reasons enough to deny the license.

Council members asked the CEO of The Stage on Bay to meet with neighborhood leaders again to work out any issues before Thursday's council meeting.

Williams said that meeting still left a lot to be desired.

"He still wants to go, he feels he has the law on his side. But that same law he's relying on, we have the same law," Williams said.

Savannah lawyer Will Claiborne is representing the music venue and will speak at Thursday's meeting, as will several community members in favor of The Stage on Bay getting the beverage license.

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