Booze News: Distilled in Room 215

A blog about the Baltimore City Liquor Board

What happened at the Liquor Board on March 13, 2014.

Written by Becky Witt

Chairman Fogleman and Commissioners Smith and Jones in attendance.

1:00pm cases

Applicant Corey Polyoka
Business Name Parts & Labor, LLC
Trading As Parts & Labor
Address 2600 N. Howard Street
Type of License Class “B” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Application for a second new Class “B” Beer, Wine & Liquor license under the provisions of Article 2B § 9-102(b-3A) requiring $500,000 in capital investment and seating capacity for a minimum of 125 persons.
Hearing notes Hearing was postponed.
Applicant Geoffrey Ott, Kelly Scott & Sandra Ott
Business Name Thundersnow, LLC
Trading As Snug & Evil
Address 1401 Decatur Street
Type of License Class “D” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Application to transfer ownership from secured creditor, request for outdoor table service.
Hearing notes

Mr. Prevas represented the applicants for the transfer. The name “Snug and Evil” is from an ee cummings poem — read the poem at the link here. Kelly Scott testified that the name is meant to suggest a cozy bar that’s “a little bit debaucherous” and “a little bit naughty.”

The establishment is at the former Banners bar in Locust Point. The Locust Point Civic Association supports the application. The applicants paid $45,000 for the license: $25,000 at settlement and $20,000 financed.

Zoning R-8
Neighborhood Locust Point
Area Demographics 90% White, 3% Black, 3% Asian; 3% Hispanic ethnicity; 15% households have children under age 18; median household income: $73,342; 8% households live below the poverty line.
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; Yes
Location of entity’s principal office 1401 Decatur Street, Baltimore, MD
Attorney for licensee Mr. Peter Prevas
# in support 3 (applicants)
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 1- Joann Martin
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 Leandra Jones
Business Name Jacob and Jones Enterprises, LLC
Trading As Lee’s Place
Address 322 N. Franklintown
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Application to transfer ownership from secured creditor.
Hearing notes

Mr. Melvin Kodenski, on behalf of his clients, explained to the Board that the applicants are seeking a transfer of a liquor license from a secured creditor. The Board had allowed the former licensee to transfer her license to her secured creditor because of some serious drug charges alleged against the licensee’s bartender. Baltimore Police had found a large quantity of drugs and drug packaging and sale equipment inside the establishment in May 2013. There had also been more than one violent incident at this establishment. Mr. Kodenski referenced these problems from the past but informed the Board that the new applicant had met with the nearby block association and thta the residents support the business, which has been in this location since the end of Prohibition.

Ms. Jones testified that she plans to change the entire atmosphere of the bar, including checking IDs and beefing up security to attract an older crowd. Commissioner Smith asked, to follow up, how she intends to attract an older crowd, and Ms. Jones responded that she would change the food and the marketing.

Zoning B-1-2
Neighborhood Penrose/Fayette Street Outreach
Area Demographics 17% White, 76% Black, 1% Asian; 4% Hispanic ethnicity; 37% households have children under age 18; median household income: $27,751.89
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? No corporate entity of such name found on SDAT search.
Location of entity’s principal office Entity does not exist.
Attorney for licensee Mr. Melvin Kodenski
# in support ~8
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 1 – Jeff Ray
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 The Board did not check the validity of the corporate entity for this case; the entity did not exist on the date of the hearing and still does not exist as of the date of this blog post (March 25, 2014).
Applicant Kunfang Xing, QiuGuo Wang, & Kyu Chan Lee
Business Name Peace Grocery, Inc.
Trading As King’s Korner
Address 1713 E. Federal Street
Type of License Class “A” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Application to transfer ownership.
Hearing notes

Mr. Chung represented his clients, the applicants, before the Board. Mr. Lee has been a licensee since 2008, without any violations of Board Rules and Regulations. The establishment will be a grocery store which will sell beer, wine, and liquor. Mr. Chung said that he sent a letter to the Broadway East community association and received no reply.

Zoning R-7
Neighborhood Broadway East
Area Demographics 1% White, 96% Black, 0% Asian, 1% 2 or more races; 1% Hispanic ethnicity; 35% of households have children under age 18; Median Household Income: $26,431.68; 21% households live below poverty line
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; Yes
Location of entity’s principal office 1713 E. Federal Street, Baltimore, MD
Attorney for licensee Mr. Chung
# in support 3
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 1 – Agent Mark Fosler
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 applicants have experience; it’s not their first time at the Baltimore City rodeo. Mr. Lee is a veteran liquor license holder with no violations.
Issues raised in audit present in this case None
Applicant Richard Soucy & Ronald Prochoren
Business Name 1700 East Fort Avenue, LLC
Trading As City Limits Sports Bar
Address 1700 E. Fort Avenue
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Request to add outdoor table service.
Hearing notes

Mr. Prevas requested a postponement of the hearing, because his clients and the Locust Point community association need more time to negotiate terms and conditions on the live entertainment.

Zoning B-2-2
Neighborhood Locust Point
Area Demographics 90% White, 3% Black, 3% Asian; 3% Hispanic ethnicity; 15% households have children under age 18; median household income: $73,342; 8% households live below the poverty line.
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; Yes
Location of entity’s principal office 1700 E. Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD
Attorney for licensee Mr. Peter Prevas
# in support 2
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 2+
# of inspectors 1 – Joann Martin
Result of hearing Postponed
Vote tally N/A
Portions of state law cited in decision N/A
Other reasons given for decision N/A
Issues raised in audit present in this case N/A
Applicants Lee Cohen & Steve Moorman
Business Name Bagel Boys of Baltimore, LLC
Trading As Tavern on the Hill
Address 900 Cathedral Street
Type of License Class “B” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Application to transfer ownership, request for live entertainment.
Hearing notes

Mr. Boozer represented his clients before the Board. The corporate entity was in good standing as of the morning of the hearing, and Mr. Boozer submitted the Certificate of Good Standing from the State Department of Assessments and Taxation to the Board.

There was a letter in the file from a neighbor, Thomas Krug, protesting the transfer of ownership because he doesn’t like the establishment’s loud karaoke. There was also a letter of support and MOU from the Mount Vernon Belvedere Association. Mr. Steve Johnson from MVBA was at the hearing and testified that the establishment has been very popular and that the licensees have been good neighbors so far. MVBA did request a few restrictions on the license, which are in the MOU.

Zoning B-4-2
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 2628 Quarry Lake Dr, Baltimore, MD 21209
Attorney for applicants Mr. Frank Boozer
# in support 2
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 1 – Agent John Howard
Result of hearing Approved
Vote tally Unanimous
Portions of state law cited in decision None
Other reasons given for decision None
Issues raised in audit present in this case None

2:00pm cases

Applicant Louis Principio, Dudley Taylor, & Martin Manescu
Business Name Whiskey Jacks, LLC
Trading As Voltage Nightclub
Address 5625 O’Donnell Street
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Numerous Violations
Hearing notes

This hearing was a continuation of the previous week’s very long violations hearing on many allegations of violence (including one shooting inside the establishment) and serving minors. You can find a summary of the evidence presented here. The Chairman summarized the evidence heard on March 6 and all of the holdings of the Board. He asked the licensee and his attorneys what they think that the Board should consider in terms of mitigation of the punishment for these violations.

Mr. Kodenski argued that the Voltage licensees were being treated unfairly and differently than other licensees in the past. He listed many other nightclubs in Baltimore’s history with far worse violations who were given small fines or suspensions of their licenses. He noted that Mr. Principio has a history in the business since 1976 and that he employs 90 people and pays his taxes. According to Kodenski, there are more arrests at Ravens Stadium than at Voltage.

Mr. Principio then had a chance to speak: here are some excerpts from his testimony:

“I’ve been working with officers for 40 years. All my friends are officers. There was an officer behind me, but when I saw a young man getting kicked on the ground, I maced the ground. The wind blew it back in my eyes. The officer was far behind me, I didn’t go over to him to mace him. It was totally an accident. I hardly ever use pepper spray, but I do if there is someone on the ground who is defenseless. I have had a police officer on my premises every minute since I’ve been open… Hammerjacks [Principio’s former, rather infamous, club] was way worse than this. This is the best behaved crowd I’ve had. At Hammerjacks, I had hundreds of lawsuits a year. Here, I haven’t been sued yet. I have big, intimidating guys on security. It’s run like a church. You can’t look left or right in there. In the parking lot, it’s one problem, you’re out. One incident, you get kicked out. There’s hell to pay. It’s a private parking lot. People come to my club to meet the opposite sex. That’s the dynamic. My bar sales are very little. It’s dance-driven, but it’s 800-900 people a night. I think the district was in shock about the size of the crowd. The shooting was an anomaly. Anything could have happened. Now I’ve added security. It’s like an airport. But the shooting was like a set-up, or someone smuggled the gun in. Police don’t do well in large crowds. They are intimidated by them. I can walk through a crowd and know instantly what’s going on. I’ve never been hurt. I don’t fuel the violence. There have been instances when the police are very violent. We are talking now about a few old-fashioned bar fights. Guys who didn’t meet a girl and blew off that energy. I had my own police who were trained at Hammerjacks, knew how to handle crowds, knew how to take control of the situation. When the [Baltimore City Police Department] took it over, it went to hell in a handbasket. … Compared to the number of people, there is not a lot of violence. There is a lot of energy. That energy upsets people. There has not been one fight inside since I opened.”

Mr. Principio told the Board that there had only been three fights in 14 months, serving 3,000 people a week. He spends $300,000 on security, which he estimates as 25% of his total budget. He’s installed alarms on exit doors to prevent people from smuggling in guns, like they did on December 2.

Zoning M-3
Neighborhood Medford
Area Demographics 49% White, 25% Black, 2% Asian; 20% Hispanic ethnicity; 32% households have children under age 18; median household income: $30,864.31; 22% of households living below the poverty line.
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; Yes
Location of entity’s principal office 1 North Charles Street, Suite 350, Baltimore, MD
Attorney for licensee Mr. Melvin Kodenski, Mr. Peter Prevas, Mr. Isaac Klein
# in support 1 (Louis Principio)
Attorney for community N/A
# of protestants N/A
# of inspectors N/A
Result of hearing License revoked
Vote tally Unanimous
Portions of state law cited in decision None
Other reasons given for decision

The Board is looking at a time period of between Halloween and December 2, full of violence. The Board doesn’t want to wait for more violence and arrests. There are homes 800 feet away from Voltage. The public safety of Baltimore requires that the license be revoked.

To watch the decision phase of this hearing, see the YouTube video:

Issues raised in audit present in this case None.
Applicant Von Hunter
Business Name Hunter’s Hide Out, Inc.C
Trading As Hunter’s Hide Out
Address 291 S. Pulaski Street
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for Hearing Application to transfer ownership.
Hearing notes

Chairman Fogleman opened the file and found a postponement request from the Carrollton Ridge Community Association, sent on the Sunday before the hearing (more than 72 hours ahead of time — the Board has a new policy of approving first postponement requests from community groups if received more than 72 hours before the hearing). The applicant plans to meet with the community association within the week. Commissioner Smith noted that the postponement request said that the group was planning on asking for legal representation from the Community Law Center. Chairman Fogleman apologized to the applicant that he was not notified of the postponement request beforehand.

Zoning R-8
Neighborhood Carrollton Ridge
Area Demographics 17% White, 76% Black, 1% Asian; 4% Hispanic ethnicity; 36% households have children under age 18; median household income: $28,513.80; 30% households live below the poverty line
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; Yes
Location of entity’s principal office 291 S. Pulaski Street
Attorney for licensee Mr. Shawn Harby
# in support 1
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 1 – Inspector Jeff Ray
Result of hearing Postponed
Vote tally Unanimous
Portions of state law cited in decision None
Other reasons given for decision None
Issues raised in audit present in this case None
Applicant James Glick & Wayne Haskell
Business Name Annoula Two Enterprises, LLC
Trading As trade name pending
Address 13 E. Randall Street
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing Application to transfer ownership
Hearing notes

The applicant for this transfer of ownership had negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the South Baltimore Neighborhood Association, and Michael Murphy from the liquor advisory committee at SBNA appeared at the hearing to present the agreement. Mr. Craig Schwartz represented both of the applicants, though only Mr. Glick could be present at the hearing.

Mr. Glick is a 50% member of the LLC and its managing partner. Ms. Anna Leventis is a 49% member, but is not an applicant for this license because she holds another liquor license in Baltimore City. Mr. Haskell is a 1% owner, and he lives nearby. Mr. Glick has a degree in hospitality management and ten years’ experience in the restaurant industry. Neither applicant has any plans to change the premises, except to introduce a light food menu. SBNA supports the transfer, under the restrictions outlined in the MOU.

Zoning R-8
Neighborhood South Baltimore
Area demographics 90% White, 3% Black, 3% Asian; 3% Hispanic ethnicity; 15% households have children under age 18; median household income: $73,342; 8% households live below the poverty line.
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; yes.
Location of entity’s principal office 8633 Tower Bridge Way, Lutherville, MD
Attorney for licensee Mr. Craig Schwartz
# in support 1
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 1 – Joann Martin
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 or other issues observed None
Applicant James Hubbard, III
Business Name Lobo, LLC
Trading As Lobo
Address 1900 Aliceanna Street
Type of License Class “D” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing Application of ownership
Hearing notes

Mr. Kodenski introduced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with both Fells Point community associations — the Fells Point Residents Association (FPRA) and the Fells Point Community Organization (FPCO). The applicant agreed to voluntarily take on all of the terms of the MOU as voluntary license restrictions.

Chairman Fogleman announced that he knows Mr. Hubbard personally as a bartender in an establishment that he frequents and asked both sides if they wanted him to recuse himself. Both sides said no.

Mr. Hubbard submitted a petition of residents in support of his application. He testified that he will hire 10-15 people and that he will try to hire from the community, if possible. He has worked in the restaurant business for 19 years.

Zoning R-8
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 1900 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD
Attorney for licensee Mr. Melvin Kodenski
# in support 3
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 1 – Agent Mark Fosler, on behalf of Karen Brooks. Mr. Fosler did not know whether the notice announcing the hearing had been posted for the required number of days.
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 or other issues observed None
Applicant Joseph Gardella & Joanne Mandato
Business Name JBENG, LLC
Trading As Joe Benny’s
Address 313 S. High Street
Type of License Class “D” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing Application to transfer ownership
Hearing notes

The applicants testified that they will be opening a focacceria, serving a spin on pizza. They submitted a letter of support from the Little Italy Property Owners Association. They plan to serve mostly neighborhood people, at six indoor tables.

Zoning B-3-2
Neighborhood Little Italy
Area demographics 58% Black, 29% White, 5% Asian; 7% Hispanic ethnicity; 29% of households have children under age 18; Average household income: $30,550.74; 35% households below the poverty line
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; yes
Location of entity’s principal office 313 S. High St, Baltimore, MD
Attorney for licensee Mr. Melvin Kodenski
# in support 2 (applicants)
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 1 – Agent Fosler
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 or other issues observed None
Applicant Scott Schleupner
Business Name SCS Holdings, LLC
Trading As Social
Address 25 E. Cross Street
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing Application to transfer ownership, request for outdoor table service
Hearing notes

Mr. Frank Shaulis, attorney for the applicant, requested a postponement. The applicant wishes to withdraw the request for outdoor table service and is in the middle of negotiations on an MOU with the SBNA.

Zoning B-2-3
Neighborhood Federal Hill
Area demographics 80% White, 12% Black, 4% Asian; 3% Hispanic ethnicity; 11% households have children under age 18; median household income: $78,578.
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; yes
Location of entity’s principal office 40 Amberstone Ct, Annapolis, MD
Attorney for licensee Mr. Frank Shaulis
# in support 1
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 0
Result of hearing Postponement granted.
Vote tally Unanimous
Portions of state law cited in decision N/A
Other reasons given for decision N/A
Issues raised in audit present in this case or other issues observed N/A
Applicant Michael Shott & Sean Mulcahy
Business Name Shotti’s Point, LLC
Trading As Paul’s
Address 701 E. Fort Avenue
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing Application to transfer ownership, requests for live entertainment, off-premises catering and outdoor table service
Hearing notes

Attorney Miriam Fuchs represented the applicants. Shotti’s Point purchased the liquor license from the previous owner. Michael Shott has worked for 11 years in Ocean City, MD in bar management and security and will be the primary owner and the one running the business. Sean Mulcahy has worked in restaurants in Little Italy. Riverside Neighborhood Association submitted testimony in full support of the application. The restaurant will retain its original character and will have, for live entertainment, acoustic guitar on Fridays and karaoke. The applicants have already received zoning permission for live entertainment. They are also request live entertainment – four tables of four seats each.

Zoning B-2-2
Neighborhood Riverside
Area demographics 90% White, 3% Black, 3% Asian. 3% Hispanic ethnicity. 15% households have children under age 18. Median household income: $73,342. 8% households live below poverty line.
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; yes
Location of entity’s principal office 701 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD
Attorney for licensee Ms. Miriam Fuchs
# in support 2
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors 1 – Joann Martin
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 or other issues observed None
Applicant Jennifer Whalen, William Spann & Michael Kirlin
Business Name SARJG, Inc
Trading As Le Garage
Address 911 W. 36th Street
Type of License Class “B” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing Application for a 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 facilities and seating capacity for a minimum of 75 people
Hearing notes

This case was not called on March 13.

Disclaimer Becky Witt, the author of this blog, represented the Canton Community Association in the case below.
Applicant Ginger Cornejo
Business Name Ginger, Inc.
Trading As Mustang Inn
Address 3203 Eastern Avenue
Type of License Class”BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing Violation of Rule 3.12 “Licensees shall operate their establishments in such a manner as to avoid disturbing the peace, safety, health, quiet, and general welfare of the community. “(Re: October 5, 2013, based on a 311 complaint, Liquor Board Inspectors observed front door of establishment open, music loud and several patrons outside smoking and disturbing the peace) Violation of Rule 3.12 “Licensees shall operate their establishments in such a manner as to avoid disturbing the peace, safety, health, quiet, and general welfare of the community” (Re: October 11, 2013, (Complaint Inspector observed loud music coming from the establishment) Violation of Article 2B Section 10-403(a)(1) (Re: May 1, 2013 to present), Petition signed by 119 citizens, residents, real estate owners and voters of the precinct in which the establishment is situated.
Hearing notes

Chairman Fogleman recused himself from the decision making. He recalled that he had received a videorecording from a community member regarding Mustang Inn and that he had watched the video, which may constitute ex parte communications. He left the hearing, turning the proceedings over to Commissioner Smith.

Rule 3.12 charges: Liquor Board Inspector Jeffrey Ray testified that he responded to a 311 complaint on October 5 regarding loud music and people standing outside the establishment, calling out to and bothering passersby. When he arrived on October 5, he found the door propped open, loud music playing, and loitering outside as described in the complaint. Mr. Ray testified further that on October 11, however, the music was not too loud. The Commissioners dismissed the second violation of Rule 3.12. Going back to the first violation, upon questioning from Mr. Kodenski, on behalf of Ginger Cornejo and Ginger, Inc., Mr. Ray testified that he took noise readings with a decibel reader and that the reader showed over 50 decibels, both inside and outside of the establishment. Mr. Ray did not take a reading of the ambient noise level in the area. Mr. Ray then testified that there were two men and a woman smoking outside and hollering across the street, calling out to people walking by.

Rule 3.12 holdings: the Board found the licensee guilty of one count of violating Rule 3.12 on October 5, 2013 and assessed a fine of $500.

Community petition: Kodenski objected to the community petition, arguing that the community does not have the authority to call a hearing under Article 2B section 10-403. He also objected to the petition in that it was vague and nonspecific, because there are no specific dates. Lastly, he argued that the community group should have to provide proof that the people who signed the petition are from the precinct, as required by the statute. Witt provided proof of property ownership and voter registration for 13 of the signatories to the petition. The text of Article 2B section 10-403 states, in relevant part: “The … Board of License Commissioners for … Baltimore City… may on its own initiative or upon the written complaint of ten or more citizens, residents, real estate owners and voters of the precinct in which any licensed place of business is situated … after a hearing upon charges to be framed by the officer or Board, or upon the complaint, notice of which shall be given to the licensee at least ten days before the hearing, revoke or suspend any license issued under the provisions of this article.” The remaining commissioners chose to move forward with the hearing.

Ms. Witt first called Mr. Dan Tracy of the Canton Community Association to testify about CCA’s relationship to this case. Mr. Tracy testified that he had heard from two community members that the Mustang Inn was a problem establishment and that the CCA Board had voted to retain the assistance of the Community Law Center in resolving the problem. Mr. Kodenski cross-examined Mr. Tracy, asking whether he had heard complaints from anyone else except the two community members, and Mr. Tracy said that he had not.

Witt then showed a video provided by Mr. Mark Mellett, who lives in the rowhouse directly adjoining Mustang Inn. He testified about how he gathered the footage for the video from cameras mounted inside his office and how he put the video together. He informed the Board that the footage was gathered late last summer (sometime in August 2013) but that the footage is typical of the kind of nuisance that the Mustang Inn is on the block. Ms. Dawn Mellett then testified that she and her husband, Mark, experience the nuisance noise of Mustang Inn every single night of the week. Finally, Lieutenant Colburn testified briefly about his experience with investigating the bar for drug activity; however, that investigation largely took place before May of last year, so it was excluded.

Mr. Kodenski called some other community members to testify in favor of the bar, including some business owners from nearby blocks. He also submitted a petition of community members in favor of Mustang Inn, though many of the addresses in the petition were far from the bar. Finally, he called the licensee herself, who testified that she had lowered the jukebox volume and tried unsuccesfully to work with the Melletts on the noise and other issues, including loitering. Ms. Cornejo testified that she has had security personnel at the bar before, but that she could no longer afford to do so.

Zoning B-2-2
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 3203 Eastern Ave. Baltimore, MD
Attorney for licensee Mr. Melvin Kodenski
# in support ~15
Attorney for community Ms. Becky Lundberg Witt, Community Law Center, for the Canton Community Association
# of protestants 4
# of inspectors 1
Result of hearing The Board continued the decision phase of the hearing for another week.
Vote tally N/A
Portions of state law cited in decision N/A
Other reasons given for decision N/A
Issues raised in audit present in this case or other issues observed Finding 16 of the Legislative Audit found that the BLLC did not use available technology to investigate and resolve noise-related complaints. Though the BLLC owns a sound meter, the inspectors did not regularly take it out on noise-related investigations. According to Chief Inspector Mark Fosler’s testimony, BLLC inspectors now do take the sound meter with them and use it. However, it is not their practice to actually record their meter readings on their inspectors’ reports. Then, when they are called to testify about a particular reading, they have to rely on their memories for the number of decibels that the meter registered. It seems as though it would be common sense for the inspectors to record this information on their reports.

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