Dierks Bentley’s Nashville Bar, Whiskey Row, Fined For Employing Unlicensed Security Guards After Man’s Death

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Dierks Bentley’s downtown Nashville bar, Whiskey Row, is in more hot water in the wake of a man’s death on the rooftop bar in August.

Last month, six security guards and one non-employee were indicted for reckless homicide and aggravated assault in the death of Dallas Barrett after security cameras showed the men holding Barrett down after an altercation.

But of the six security guards charged with Barrett’s homicide – Dylan Larocca, Tarrell Gray, John Eustace, Jaelen Maxwell, Mallet Meneese and Mark Watkins – only Larocca and Meneese were properly licensed security guards.

Larocca has since agreed to a suspension of his security license, and a hearing is scheduled for January 19 on Maneese’s license.

After Barrett’s death, the four unlicensed security guards applied for their licenses. One was granted before his alleged involvement in Barrett’s death was known, but has since been suspended. The other three licenses have not been granted.

Earlier this week, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance suspended Whiskey Row’s license to employ private security guards, and will now require the bar to hire a separate, outside company to provide security guards for the establishment.

And in addition, documents from the Department of Commerce and Insurance show that Whiskey Row was fined $9,000 by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission in December 2021 after being issued citations for failing to maintain adequate security and employing security guards without the required license.

This isn’t the first time Whiskey Row has been fined for employing security without the proper licenses: In 2018, the bar was fined $250 for the same thing.

The bar also didn’t employ a qualifying manager for its security licensing at the time of Barrett’s death, a position whose responsibility it is to ensure that the bar is in compliance with state security licensing requirements. Records show that a man told investigators he became qualifying manager on August 17, one day after Barrett’s death, but the previous qualifying manager hadn’t been employed at Whiskey Row since July 2020.

A spokesperson for Whiskey Row, which is run by Riot Hospitality Group, provided the following statement after the suspension of their security license:

“The safety and security of our guests and employees is our top priority. Due to privacy issues, we will not address individual personnel matters and we will not comment at this time on ongoing administrative proceedings.”

And attorneys for Barrett’s mother, Tammy Barrett, blasted the bar for the violations:

“It is difficult to fathom that Dierks Bentley and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row Nashville cared so little for the safety of their patrons that four of the six security guards who murdered Tammy Barrett’s son were not even properly licensed.

While the decisive actions taken by the Department of Commerce and Insurance certainly will do nothing to alleviate the suffering, pain, and grief experienced by Ms. Tammy Barrett following the murder of her son, it is our sincere hope that the Department’s action will make Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row Nashville a safer environment for all patrons in the future.”

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