JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen discussed a permit request Monday night that would allow Tennessee Hills Distillery to add tables and chairs to its outdoor area.

During the board’s meeting, there was a heated discussion over the possibility of drinking outside.

Alderman Terry Countermine voiced concern over allowing the distillery to host outdoor patrons.

“My heart tells me that this, having a bar there where people go just to drink, is not something that’s good for the quality of life in Jonesborough,” Countermine said.

“What’s the difference between that and a brewery, Terry?” Alderman Stephen Callahan asked in reply.

Eventually, the board went into an executive session to talk about the options.

After returning, the board said they had decided to table a vote on the permit until August 19.

A spokesman for Tennessee Hills says the business continues to invest in Jonesborough.

Stephen Callahan, the Owner of Tennessee Hills Distillery, and partner Scott Andrew, CEO of Rugged American Spirits, purchased the Parson’s Table location earlier in 2021. They intend to convert the property back into a restaurant.

Distillery leadership says they are also looking to open a boutique and hotel in Jonesborough.