Callawassie manager says alcohol permit mix-up led to restaurant raid by SLED agents

All alcohol was removed from a Callawassie Island restaurant earlier this month after S.C. Law Enforcement Division agents raided the River Club for operating without a liquor permit, SLED officials said.

The island’s food and beverage manager was charged Aug. 8 with operating without a permit, unlawful sale of beer and unlawful possession of liquor during the execution of a search warrant, Kathryn Richardson, spokesperson for SLED, said Monday.

SLED agents entered the club and purchased alcohol on Aug. 1 and obtained the warrant on Aug. 2, Richardson said.

Callawassie Island is a private community in the Okatie area.

The Callawassie Island Member’s Club didn’t realize the restaurant was operating without an alcohol permit until the raid, said Jeff Spencer, club general manager. He said officials believed the restaurant could sell alcohol via a member’s club permit.

The restaurant has operated for about 30 years using the Member’s Club permit, but the restaurant opened in a new building Memorial Day weekend, Spencer said.

”We reopened a restaurant that was down there,” Spencer said. “We thought we were in compliance with DHEC, and we thought we went through all the steps.”

Restaurant patrons are allowed to bring their own wine or beer as club officials work to correct the problem.

“We are going to get this fixed,” Spencer said.