The restaurant where missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham and Jesse Matthew allegedly went shortly before she disappeared could face legal trouble if it is confirmed that she drank there.
Surveillance footage from neighboring restaurants and witness testimony places 18-year-old Graham and 32-year-old Matthew in Tempo Restaurant in Charlottesville, Virginia, shortly after 1 a.m. on Sept. 13, according to police. But the owner said that none of the staff saw her inside.
The allegations could be very detrimental to the restaurant. Virginia's Department of Alcohol Beverage Control classifies serving someone underage a Class 1 misdemeanor that can be punishable by up to a year in prison and a possible $2,500 fine.
Brice Cunningham, the owner of Tempo Restaurant, said the restaurant is cooperating with the police investigation.
"I notice Mr. Matthews, as I told police. They ask me for his description, I came forward and gave them the information I had," Cunningham told ABC News. "We didn't see her, we didn't notice her. And she hasn't been here -- as far as we know and the staff knows, nobody saw her."
Even though he says none of his staffers saw Graham inside, Cunningham does know of one woman who was near the door who claims to have seen Matthew and Graham "leaving together." Cunningham said that woman saw Matthew "holding her with an arm around her. And she did look drunk."
The sales ticket indicates Matthews had beers, Cunningham said.
Charlottesville police have confirmed that they have witness testimony that contradicts Cunningham's version of events. Police Chief Timothy Longo said Thursday "we have at least one witness that will put her inside of that restaurant."
Though that could lead to potential legal action, the police focus remains on finding Graham and he deferred from going into too much detail about Tempo Restaurant's role.
"Well, clearly there's a conflict, and I'm not going to question the position of ... the owner of the restaurant," Longo said Thursday. "I'm not in a position to challenge his perspective and I'm not going to."
The Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control would not release any records relating to Tempo Restaurant's liquor license to ABC News, saying the information was unavailable at this time "in light of the investigation being conducted by the Charlottesville Police Department."
Cunningham said that the restaurant's alleged involvement in the timeline leading up to Graham's disappearance is already having a negative effect on sales and his staff.
"We have a heart too. We are really affected, I am, by the desperation of Hannah -- I am. It's really saddening me," Cunningham told ABC News.
"The mood that there is at this place is jovial ... and we don't want the sadness of Hannah's desperation to carry along to us. I mean, it's difficult enough to bear to be part of it," he said.