ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD)- The post commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post on Isle of Palms is calling for the governor to rethink requirements for a liquor liability policy.
On Saturday, the post had to a temporarily close its doors, the owner saying he wasn’t sure when they would be able to reopen.
The VFW Post 3137 has been around for over 50 years, serving as a place for vets to come hang out.
“We call it comradery,” Post commander Bo Stallings said.
It’s one of the top veterans’ posts in the country, with a wall of awards to prove it.
Stallings said, “The All-American award here that you see, the All-American post is very hard to get.”
For the first time since it opened, the post had to temporarily shut down for three days.
“We had to close the doors Saturday at midnight,” Stallings said.
The uncertainty of if and when it would reopen raised concern among the more than 1,200 members.
“My phone and email have been blowing up,” Stallings said.
Stallings says the closure was because they couldn’t afford their liquor liability insurance.
“As of this morning, I was told 66 VFWs across the state have had to close because of this insurance policy,” Stallings said.
In South Carolina., bars must maintain at least $1 million of liquor liability insurance.
It’s a bill that passed in 2017.
Stallings says this law is killing bars, and his neighbor at the Windjammer agrees.
“There’s plenty of local establishments and bars that are feeling the blunt of this and don’t have the money to pay this insurance,” Owner of Windjammer, Bobby Ross said.
Stallings says its time to rewrite the law, to make it less stressful for bar owners to have insurance, and he’s calling on the governor to make the change.
“It’s just out of hand with this insurance. I don’t know what the remedy would be other than the governor taking his pen and saying hey let’s make it go away,” Stallings said.
Stallings says they were able to secure a new policy they can afford, so they’ve opened their doors back up for service.