John Markell claims he is the most honest restaurateur in Roanoke, in one particular way. And that’s what landed him before the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on Wednesday, pleading for his liquor license.
It wasn’t a problem with alcohol. Markell didn’t serve anyone who was three sheets to the wind, or who was underage. Nobody stripped off their clothes at Markell’s Bar & Grill, his place on Williamson Road just south of 10th Street.
Roanoke police have never been called there to break up a fight. He says he has the cleanest bathrooms in town because he’s a neatnik.
Markell is in trouble because of food. He does not sell enough of it. He’s not going to lie, he said.
He has a small neighborhood bar with two pool tables, darts, a karaoke machine and a nonsmoking area nobody uses. It’s called a restaurant because technically there is no such thing as a bar under Virginia law.
But it’s a bar.
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