East Nashville Restaurant Owner Surprised By Raid - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

East Nashville Restaurant Owner Surprised By Raid

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by Adam Ghassemi

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An East Nashville business owner was surprised with a late-night raid when a group of armed officers with bullet proof vests charged into The Family Wash restaurant.

The business opened 11 years ago, and owner Jamie Rubin said he's never received a phone call about his restaurant like he did last Friday night.

"That I better get in because there were more cops than they could count in here," explained Rubin about the phone call.

Rubin said when he arrived he found an army of police, health and alcohol permit inspectors going through everything which forced guests out the door.

"What it meant on that night was everybody being scared and wondering what the Family Wash had done wrong," Rubin added.

NewsChannel 5 learned the group that raided the restaurant is made up of local and state agencies that randomly inspect businesses. Metro Police, Metro Codes, Metro Public Health, the Fire Marshall's Office, the Alcohol Beverage Commission and Metro's Beer Board are all part of the group. They all collectively form Metro's Environmental Task Force to take care of twice-yearly inspections all at once.

Rubin said one inspector told him he had to stop selling all his high-gravity beers.

"I said I sell high-alcohol beer, high gravity beer, with a wine permit and he said not anymore," explained Rubin.

After the beer mistake, The Family Wash passed without any critical violations and even scored a 93.

While Rubin said they lost roughly a $1,000 in sales, the money wasn't the biggest issue. It was how the inspection happened that made his business seem like it was being shut down.

NewsChannel 5 spoke to officials from Metro Police, Metro Public Health and the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission. They said there is usually only six to eight people during inspections, but last week they were training new ABC agents, so there were twice as many people.

Some do wear bullet-proof vests, and have weapons, while others are in plain clothes.

NewsChannel 5 was told Metro's Environmental Task Force has been around for years and does routine inspections together to be more efficient.

However, other long-time restaurant owners in the area said they've never heard of the group before.

Email: aghassemi@newschannel5.com
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