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Kingsport orders Hog Wild Saloon to be demolished

Matthew Lane • Aug 12, 2018 at 8:30 AM

KINGSPORT — The fate of the Hog Wild Saloon is now known. Kingsport is ordering property owner Paul Bellamy to demolish the building within the next 60 days.

Bellamy does have the right to appeal the decision to Sullivan County Chancery Court, but in a recent interview with the Times News, Bellamy said he would comply with the city if it wanted the building torn down.

Earlier this month, Keith Bruner — Kingsport’s building official — held a hearing to determine the fate of the Hog Wild Saloon. Information offered at the hearing did not paint a pretty picture of the condition of the building.

It has a myriad of problems, from numerous leaks in the roof, unsanitary cooking facilities, a non-working sprinkler system, and a rapidly deteriorating interior. Because of these issues, a building inspector with the city recommended the saloon be demolished without delay.

Less than a week after the hearing, on Aug. 6, Bruner issued his order, saying the building shows extreme signs of deterioration, is unsafe and is a hazard to the health and safety of the public. Bellamy has 60 days from the date of the order to tear down the building and clear the property or appeal the decision to Chancery Court.

If Bellamy does neither, Bruner said the city would bid out the demolition work, tear the building down and then place a lien on the property for the cost of the demolition.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Hog Wild Saloon has been closed since March after a deadly shooting took place inside the building, claiming the life of a 20-year-old Kingsport man. 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, Kingsport pulled the power and gas meters 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 officials estimate the Hog Wild Saloon is valued at $203,000, but due to the issues facing the building, its value is approximately $180,000. City officials say it would take at least $235,000 to repair the Hog Wild Saloon and make it fit for public use.

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