Alcohol sales can continue at Happy Stop after ownership stake sold

Published 10:53 am Thursday, August 17, 2023

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County officials and a local business owner have come to a resolution for beer and wine sales at the Happy Stop convenience store at 2911 Hamilton Road after it was determined that one of the co-owners of the location wasn’t allowed to have an alcohol license.

Sami Uddin was denied a separate beer and wine license for the Super G store at 2744 Hamilton Rd. on June 6 after it was discovered that he had previously been charged with selling alcohol to a minor. When Uddin applied for the license for location, it was discovered that he had provided false information on a sworn statement in the application indicating that he had not been convicted of a misdemeanor within the last 10 years.

When Uddin was told by county staff that he would likely not be approved for the license, he informed county staff that he already has a license at the nearby Happy Stop. Staff then discovered that Uddin made the same false statement on the previous application, which somehow was not caught before the license was issued.

Uddin and his representatives have claimed that the false statement on both alcohol license applications were mistakes due to language barriers and his misunderstanding of the law.

Uddin was asked on both applications, “Have you ever been convicted of any misdemeanor offenses during the past ten (10) years?” He answered no on both applications, according to County Planner Ruth West.

County policy is to deny alcohol licenses to individuals with underage sales convictions within 10 years.

Uddin was denied the alcohol license at the Super G and was sent a letter on June 21 indicating that the license that he inadvertently received for the Happy Stop would be under consideration for revocation.

During the subsequent hearing, Uddin’s Attorney Lonnie Haralson asked for a delay in the revocation so that the ownership of the business could be restructured because the way county ordinance is written, Uddin would not only be precluded from holding the license, it would also preclude the business because it is a member-owned limit liability corporation (LLC).

Under Troup County ordinance, every member of a member-managed LLC needs to be qualified to sell alcohol.

The commissioners later postponed the decision on the license until the Aug. 15 meeting so that the applicant could come back with information on restructuring the business and producing a manager as the applicant.

West said since then Uddin was removed as part of the business, and he sold his portion to Abreen Uddin.

West explained that since the license was already issued in Sami Uddin’s name, it would need to be revoked so that the new manager could take over it, which the commissioners unanimously approved.

The board later approved a beer and wine license for Rahim Minsariya, the other owner of the business.