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Rink owners cheer BYOB ruling

The owners of a skating rink on County Line Road got the toast they needed Tuesday to run their entertainment complex as a bottle club during special events.

The okay from the Hernando County Commission means patrons can bring their own bottles of alcohol to concerts and private parties at the center in Spring Hill.

However, owners Nicholas and Salvatore Sessa will not be permitted to allow alcohol consumption when children and teenagers are skating at the 25,000-square-foot center, according to conditions set by commissioners.

They also cannot allow alcohol consumption between 2 and 6 a.m.

"There will never be skating when there's drinking," Nicholas Sessa, president of the Suncoast Entertainment and Skate Center, assured commissioners. "Teenagers will never be allowed to drink in our facility."

The Sessas said alcohol would be consumed at special events such as concerts, which would be held once or twice a month.

"I know it's difficult because a bottle club denotes a negative connotation of people partying," said attorney William Charnock, who represents the Sessas.

"This is not going to be a bottle club," he added. "This is for special events."

Commission Chairwoman June Ester expressed concern that teenagers would be skating when special events were going on. "I'm sure a lot of parents would not want these two things happening at the same time."

Spring Hill Civic Association President Tom Troisi said the Sessas, who own video stores in Spring Hill and Port Richey, have a fine reputation for offering activities for community youth.

"I think he'll do the right thing," said Troisi, who praised the Sessas for offering their complex for a Spring Hill Civic Association Christmas party for underprivileged children.

In April, the Sessas bought and renovated the center at 10451 County Line Road.