Kingsport aims to demolish Hog Wild Saloon

Matthew Lane • Aug 4, 2018 at 8:30 PM

KINGSPORT — The Hog Wild Saloon is in poor condition, the roof leaks and the interior of the building appears to be dilapidating rapidly. It should be demolished without delay.

This was just part of the testimony from a certified building inspector during a hearing last week on the fate of the structure.

The business has been closed since March after a shooting inside the building claimed the life of 20-year-old Kingsport resident Brett D. Rodgers. Kingsport police, fire and building officials went through the saloon and found numerous code and safety violations, including roof leaks, water running into electrical fixtures, kerosene heaters in public spaces and an inoperable sprinkler system.

In light of all these issues, the city pulled the power and gas meter from the building, and the business has remained closed since then. Soon after, the owners of the business agreed to surrender their beer permit and liquor license.


Kingsport building official Keith Bruner held a hearing on Thursday to determine the fate of the structure. Joel Spencer, a building inspector for the city, gave a report with the following findings:

— The building is in poor condition.

— Numerous leaks in the roof are contributing to rot and decay.

— The cooking facilities are in unsanitary condition.

— The automatic sprinkler system is currently inoperable.

— Emergency lighting and egress doors are in disrepair.

— The interior appears to be dilapidating rapidly due to the leaking roof.

Spencer estimates the Hog Wild Saloon should be valued at $203,000, but due to the current state of the building, its value is approximately $180,000. Spencer added that it would take $235,000 to repair the structure and make it fit for use.

Since the cost of repairs is more than 50 percent of the saloon’s value, Spencer said his recommendation is to demolish the building without delay.


Bruner said he has 30 days to render a decision on the fate of the Hog Wild Saloon, and then the owner of the building has 60 days to appeal his decision to Sullivan County Chancery Court.

Kingsport businessman Paul Bellamy, who owns the building, did not attend Thursday’s hearing. Reached by phone later that day, Bellamy said he was working with a Bristol, Va., Realtor to sell the property.

Bellamy went further and said he’s not interested in repairing or remodeling the building and that it probably should be demolished.

“My plan is I’m going to keep on trying to get it sold, to whoever is interested in it. Whatever the city wants me to do, I won’t have any other choice but to do that,” Bellamy said. “I need a little time though ... to get it sold. If I can’t get it sold, and if they want it torn down, I guess I’ll have to tear it down.”


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