Booze News: Distilled in Room 215

A blog about the Baltimore City Liquor Board

What happened at the Liquor Board on December 19, 2013.

Written by Becky Witt

Chairman Fogleman and Commissioners Jones and Smith in attendance.

The Board announced before hearings began that the transfer application hearing for Juan Moreno T/a Las Tejitas, 422-26 S. Macon Street, had been administratively postponed.

Applicant Larry Rohleder, Jr.
Business Name TBN Aduio, LLC
Trading As Cardinal Tavern
Address 901 S. Clinton Street
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Request to add second floor for business and outdoor table service
Hearing notes

Mr. Kodenski, for his client, submitted a letter in support of Mr. Rohleder’s application from the Canton Community Association, signed by Vice President Mr. Dan Tracy. The CCA supports the application, under the condition that the applicant agree to follow CCA’s standard outdoor table guidelines. Mr. Kodenski also submitted a petition with around 200 signatures in favor of the application. Mr. Rohleder plans to use half of the second floor as a kitchen and half for tables and food service. The capacity of the upstairs portion of the building is around 25-30 people.

Zoning R-8
Neighborhood Canton
Area Demographics 86% White, 4% Black, 3% Asian; 5% Hispanic ethnicity; 9% households have children under age 18; median household income: $82,130
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; Yes
Location of entity’s principal office 517 S. Ellwood Avenue, Baltimore, MD
Attorney for licensee Mr. Melvin Kodenski
# in support 1
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 0
Result of hearing Approved
Vote tally Unanimous
Portions of state law cited in decision Article 2B section 10-202(a)
Other reasons given for decision The Chairman pointed out that Mr. Rohleder had asked for outdoor tables and to use the second floor when he had submitted his original application but that the Board had told him to reapply in six months, after he had a longer alcohol mangement track record. Mr. Rohleder came back two and a half years later and has been a responsible licensee.
Issues raised in audit present in this case None.
Applicant Margaret McFadden
Business Name M & J 6804 Property, LLC
Trading As Glass Grill
Address 6804 Eastern Avenue
Type of License Class “B” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Application to transfer ownership
Hearing notes

Ms. McFadden appeared before the Board unrepresented. She explained that there had been some ownership changes at this address, and the application before the Board is to return the liquor license to a previous liquor licensee. Ms. McFadden had been scheduled to give a presentation before the Eastwood Community Civic Association, but the meeting had been rescheduled for January 2014 due to winter weather. She personally went door-to-door to gather signatures for a petition in favor of the license. She made sure to gather signatures from within a few blocks of the restaurant’s address, and she told the Board that not one person that she talked to declined to support the license.

The Chairman checked the active status of the LLC and the voter registration and property ownership of the character witnesses.

Commissioner Jones asked about the parking situation nearby, and Ms. McFadden informed him that there is plenty of street parking nearby and that she does not foresee parking being a problem for the community.

Ms. McFadden referred to the restaurant as Herb and Soul, which currently has one location in Parkville. It was unclear how Herb and Soul is related to the corporate entity on the docket and application, M & J 6804 Property, LLC.

Zoning B-3-1
Neighborhood Eastwood
Area Demographics 52% White, 12% Black, 3% Asian; 30% Hispanic ethnicity; 30% households have children under age 18; median household income: $38,987.50; 18% households live below the poverty line
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; Yes
Location of entity’s principal office 5503 Boxhill Lane, Baltimore, MD
Attorney for licensee None/unrepresented
# in support 1
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 0
Result of hearing Approved
Vote tally Unanimous
Portions of state law cited in decision Article 2B section 10-202(a)
Other reasons given for decision Chairman Fogleman instructed Ms. McFadden to keep her appointment with the Eastwood Community Civic Association in January.
Issues raised in audit present in this case None.
Applicants Carroll Singleton and Victoria Rothgeb
Business Name Canton Waterfront Restaurant, LLC
Trading As Boathouse Canton
Address 2809 Boston Street
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Application to transfer ownership
Hearing notes

Mr. Stanley Fine and Ms. Caroline Hecker of Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLP represented the applicants, and Mr. Al Barry, a development consultant, represented the real property owner.

Ms. Hecker described the history behind this application, which is a bit convoluted. The applicants first applied for a transfer of ownership for the BD7 license currently at this location (the currently-closed Bay Cafe). However, the applicants realized that there was significant debt attached to the license, so they changed their minds and decided to instead apply for a new Class B restaurant license. In the meantime, Liquor Board inspectors posted a sign at the property for a public hearing regarding the Class BD7 ownership transfer (The posted sign did not mention the new Class B application.). The applicants changed their minds a second time and decided to go with their original plan, having come to an agreement with the license holders on the debt attached to the BD7 license. Ms. Hecker stated that her clients were not yet ready to withdraw their Class B application but were proceeding on the BD7 transfer application at that time.

She went on to explain the concept of the new establishment. The new restaurant will be a change from the Bay Cafe; they plan to remove the palm trees and sand pits in favor of a more community-oriented restaurant, focusing on the neighbors in the Canton community. Mr. Dan Tracy, Vice President of the Canton Community Association, testified in support of the project.

When Ms. Hecker mentioned that the restaurant would provide poolside service of alcoholic drinks, Commissioner Smith expressed concern about the clientele of that part of the business, who would likely be young residents of an adjacent apartment building.

Chairman Fogleman noted that the LLC on the application is in good standing, and that the character witnesses are property owners and registered voters in Baltimore. Mr. Fine and Ms. Hecker signed the application as character witnesses on behalf of their clients.

Zoning B-3-2
Neighborhood Canton
Area Demographics 86% White, 4% Black, 3% Asian; 5% Hispanic ethnicity; 9% households have children under age 18; median household income: $82,130
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; Yes
Location of entity’s principal office 2943 Broad Court, Annapolis, MD, 21401
Attorney for licensee Mr. Stanley Fine and Ms. Caroline Hecker of Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLP
# in support ~5
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 0
Result of hearing Approved
Vote tally Unanimous
Portions of state law cited in decision Article 2B section 10-202(a)
Other reasons given for decision None
Issues raised in audit present in this case None
Applicant Kenneth Plante, Jr.
Business Name Dead End Bar & Grill, LLC
Trading As Dead End Bar & Grill
Address 933-35 Fell Street
Type of License Class “D” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Application to transfer ownership
Hearing notes

Mr. Kodenski explained to the Board that the application before them was a change in licensee due to a change in the ownership of the corporate entity/LLC; there have been no changes to the establishment other than swapping one licensee for another.

Chairman Fogleman checked the character witness voter registration and property ownership and the current status of the LLC on the application.

Zoning B-2-2
Neighborhood Fells Point
Area Demographics 70% White, 8% Black, 5% Asian; 15% Hispanic ethnicity; 11% households have children under age 18; median household income: $69,105; 11% households live below the poverty line
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; Yes
Location of entity’s principal office 1820 Lancaster Street, Suite 120, Baltimore, MD
Attorney for licensee Mr. Melvin Kodenski
# in support 2
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 0
Result of hearing Approved
Vote tally Unanimous
Portions of state law cited in decision Article 2B section 10-202(a)
Other reasons given for decision None.
Issues raised in audit present in this case None.
Applicant Gerald Pellegrino, Charles Nabit, & Galen Sampson
Business Name Mission-Driven Dining II, LLC
Trading As Farmstead Grill
Address 3721 Boston Street
Type of License Class “B” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Application for new Class “B” BWL under provisions of Article 2B 6-201(d)(vii), requiring $700,000 in capital investment in restaurant fixtures and facilities and a seating capacity exceeding 150 people; request for outdoor table service
Hearing notes

Farmstead Grill will be a new restaurant in the Canton Crossing shopping center. Mr. Kodenski submitted a menu, a floor plan, a capital budget of $2.3 million, other relevant drawings, and a business plan. Mr. Dan Tracy, Vice President of the Canton Community Association, informed the Board of CCA’s support of the project.

The licensees plan to open the restaurant in April 2014. The restaurant will go in one of two free-standing buildings in the shopping center; and there will be an 80-foot long green space in front of the restaurant where there may be live music and other family-friendly events in the summers (like the summer concerts at Belvedere Square), and the other small free-standing building will house “The Shack,” which will serve food in a more fast-casual atmosphere. Both the Farmstead Grill and The Shack will be managed by the same entity; in fact, The Shack will not have its own kitchen.

Commissioner Smith expressed confusion about how the licensees will have two freestanding buildings under the same license.

Zoning B-2-2
Neighborhood Canton Industrial Area
Area Demographics 86% White, 4% Black, 3% Asian; 5% Hispanic ethnicity; 9% households have children under age 18; median household income: $82,130
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; Yes
Location of entity’s principal office 17 Commerce Street, Baltimore, MD
Attorney for licensee Mr. Melvin Kodenski
# in support 4
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 0
Result of hearing License approved
Vote tally Unanimous
Portions of state law cited in decision Article 2B section 10-202(a)
Other reasons given for decision The Board mentioned that they have concerns about the grassy stretch and that people gravitate toward grassy stretches with alcohol.
Issues raised in audit present in this case None.

As the above hearing was finishing, dozens of children from the Union Baptist Church’s Head Start program filed into the back of the hearing room. When the hearing finished, the children sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” for everyone assembled in Room 215, to much applause.

Applicant Scott Dorsey & Devon Dohony
Business Name Round Robin Cafe, Inc.
Trading As Merritt Athletic Club Downtown
Address 210 East Centre Street
Type of License Class “B” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Request to add live entertainment
Hearing notes

Mr. Keith Goodson, the accountant for the Merritt Athletic Club, appeared on behalf of the business. Mr. Scott Dorsey was not present at the hearing, but Devon Dohony, general manager, was present. The cafe is applying for live entertainment in order to have karaoke and a DJ on Friday and Saturday evenings (8PM – 1AM). Mr. Dohony explained also that the Round Robin Cafe regularly has Peabody Conservatory students who want to play music at the cafe. He submitted menus to the Board as well as seating plans.

The cafe has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Jason Curtis of the Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association regarding the prospective live entertainment. Chairman Fogleman pointed out that Mr. Scott Dorsey’s absence from the hearing creates a problem for the Board with respect to the voluntary restrictions in the MOU. The Board cannot be sure that Mr. Dorsey is voluntarily agreeing to these restrictions if he is not present at the hearing. Chairman Fogleman asked Mr. Goodson to tell Mr. Dorsey to submit a letter to the Board indicating his assent to the restrictions on the liquor license in the form of the MOU.

Zoning B-2-2
Neighborhood Canton Industrial Area
Area Demographics 86% White, 4% Black, 3% Asian; 5% Hispanic ethnicity; 9% households have children under age 18; median household income: $82,130
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; Yes
Location of entity’s principal office 210 East Centre Street
Attorney for licensee None.
# in support 2
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 0
Result of hearing Approved
Vote tally Unanimous
Portions of state law cited in decision Article 2B section 10-202(a)
Other reasons given for decision None
Issues raised in audit present in this case None
Applicant Steve McMurray
Business Name St. Mary’s Liquors, Inc.
Trading As St. Mary’s Restaurant & Bar
Address 120 East 25th Street
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Request to add outdoor table service
Hearing notes

Mr. McMurray represented himself at the hearing. Sharon Guida also testified before the Board as the Chair of the Land Use Committee of the Charles Village Civic Association (CVCA). The licensee and the CVCA, along with the Old Goucher Community Association, came to an agreement regarding outdoor table service. They’ve recorded the restrictions as covenants that attach to the real property, and they have also entered the restrictions into the record at the Zoning Board. Ms. Guida read some of the restrictions into the record, including: no outdoor seating after 9pm, patrons at outdoor tables must order food (not just alcohol), and noise levels must be kept under control. Chairman Fogleman made sure that Mr. McMurray understood that he was undertaking voluntary liquor license restrictions by agreeing to the MOU and submitting it to the Liquor Board. Councilman Carl Stokes submitted a letter in support of the application, subject to the community’s restrictions.

Zoning O-R-2
Neighborhood Charles Village
Area Demographics 44% White, 35% Black, 3% 2 or more races, 13% Asian, 5% Hispanic ethnicity; 11% households have children under age 18; median household income: $30,130.79; 14% households live below the poverty line
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? St. Mary’s Liquors, Inc. does not exist; its charter was forfeited by the state of Maryland in 2011. St. Mary’s Liquors, LLC does exist and is not in good standing with the state.
Location of entity’s principal office 120 West 25th Street
Attorney for licensee None
# in support 2
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 0
Result of hearing Approved
Vote tally Unanimous
Portions of state law cited in decision 10-202(a)
Other reasons given for decision None
Issues raised in audit present in this case The Board did not check the corporate entity’s good standing before or during this hearing.
Applicant Jennifer Bunkley & Robert Arthur
Business Name Restaurant Magdalena, LLC
Trading As Magdalena
Address 205 East Biddle Street
Type of License Class “B” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Application for new Class “B” Beer, Wine & Liquor restaurant license under the provisions of Rule 2.08 requiring $200,000 in capital investment in restaurant fixtures and facilitiesand seating capacity for a minimum of 75 people
Hearing notes

Mr. Stanley Fine from Rosenberg Martin Greenberg representing the licensees described the project to the Board. The Ivy Hotel, at the intersection of Calvert and Biddle Streets, will open in September 2014. The hotel will cater to sophisticated social and business travelers and will charge “an expensive nightly rate.” The suites at the hotel will be private and luxurious. The restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel will serve high end American cuisine, and the liquor license will cover alcoholic beverage service to patrons of the restaurant as well as to hotel guests in their rooms. The restaurant will be open from 5pm to 10pm nightly; room service will be provided between the hours of 6am and 2am. Mr. Fine submitted a capital investment estimate of $18 million; there will be 18 guest suites. There may be live entertainment of a piano, a string quartet and/or an acoustic guitar, and the hotel does plan to host parties, receptions, and “life cycle events” (i.e., weddings, bar mitzvahs). Of course, there will be “absolute controls” in place to ensure that these events and live entertainment do not disturb the “sophisticated social and business” guests.

The Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association is in support of the application.

Commissioner Smith asked if the hotel guests will have access to mini bars in their rooms, and Mr. Fine replied that the guests would not, that they would have to order alcohol via room service.

Zoning O-R-4
Neighborhood Mid-Town Belvedere
Area Demographics 53% White, 32% Black, 8% Asian, 3% 2 or more races; 4% Hispanic ethnicity; 6% households have children under age 18; Median Household Income: $38,331; 5.5% households live below poverty line
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; Yes
Location of entity’s principal office 1205 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD
Attorney for licensee Mr. Stanley Fine and Mr. Eric Kunimoto of Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, LLP
# in support 5-10
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 0
Result of hearing Approved
Vote tally Unanimous
Portions of state law cited in decision Article 2B section 10-202(a)
Other reasons given for decision None.
Issues raised in audit present in this case None.

Comments are closed.

Disclaimer: While the author makes every effort to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information on this blog, the accuracy of some information is subject to change and cannot be guaranteed. Neither the author nor the publisher is responsible for any errors or omissions. All information in this blog is provided “as-is,” with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness, or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied. This blog is not intended to do harm to, defame, libel, or malign any religious or ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, or government entity. In no event will the author, her employer, or the publisher be liable to you or anyone else for any action taken in reliance on the information in this blog or for any consequential, special or similar damages incurred, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

The materials contained on this website have been prepared by Community Law Center, Inc. for informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

Copyright: Text, photos and other materials found on this website are the property of CLC, except where otherwise noted. Such materials may not be reproduced without CLC’s written prior consent.