Booze News: Distilled in Room 215

A blog about the Baltimore City Liquor Board

What happened at the Liquor Board on March 24, 2016.

Written by Becky Witt

1:00 p.m.

I. Regular Items:

The Wharf Rat case on the docket was not heard.

Applicant Maria Alvarado & Aura Sanchez
Business Name Los Amigos Bar & Restaurant, Inc.
Trading As Los Amigos
Address 5506 Harford Road
Type of License Class “B” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing Application to transfer ownership; request for live entertainment
Hearing notes

Mr. Paul Schuman, attorney for the applicants, proffered the case on behalf of his clients. He told the commissioners that Ms. Alvarado has restaurant experience at other local establishments, including Los Amigos and TGI Friday’s. Ms. Sanchez has worked as a self-employed cleaner for the past ten years. Both have completed alcohol awareness training. Regarding the live entertainment application, the Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals for Baltimore City (BMZA) has already approved live entertainment, and the business has been inspected by the fire marshal and other relevant city agencies.

The commissioners pointed out that the original application submitted did not indicate that Ms. Sanchez, who is the qualifying Baltimore City resident, had any ownership interest in the business. There was a letter in the file updating the application, stating that Ms. Sanchez owned a 0.01% interest in the business. At the hearing, Mr. Schuman explained that she has a 0.05% interest.

Mr. Michael Hilliard from the HARBEL Community Organization testified in favor of the transfer, under the terms and conditions contained in a written Memorandum of Understanding. Hamilton Hills Community Association and Hamilton Lauraville Main Street were also in support of the transfer, under the terms of the MOU.

Zoning B-2-2
Neighborhood Hamilton Hills
Area demographics 37% White, 55% Black, 1% Asian; 2% Hispanic ethnicity; 33% households have children under age 18; 5% households below poverty line; median household income: $57,951.01
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; no.
Location of entity’s principal office Baltimore, MD
One applicant reside in Balt for 2 yrs? Yes
Pecuniary interest of Baltimore City resident Either 0.01 or 0.05%
Attorney for licensee Mr. Paul Schuman
# in support ~5
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors/police officers 0
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 or other issues observed There was a discrepancy in the hearing between the testimony that the Baltimore City resident owned 0.05% of the business and the letter submitted, saying that she owned 0.01%.
Licensees Young Sun Hong & Yong Smith
Business Name New Liquor Doctor, Inc.
Trading As Liquor Doctor
Address 2442 E. Monument Street
Type of License 2442 E. Monument Street
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.01(a) Sales to Minors- February 19, 2016- At approximately 9:10PM, The Baltimore Sheriff’s Office, and the BLLC conducted random, joint investigations of establishments to determine if licensees would sell alcoholic beverages to minors. The joint task force responded to the establishment and sent Baltimore City Sheriff volunteer/cadet Christina Barrios-Lopez, who is under the age of 21, into the establishment to attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage(s). At that time Ms. Barrios-Lopez entered the establishment and purchased a 12-pack of “Bud Ice.” Utilizing a departmental $20 bill, Ms. Barrios-Lopez purchased the alcoholic beverage for $13.00. Ms. Barrios-Lopez was then provided the 12- pack of “Bud Ice” by the bartender/store clerk. Ms. Barrios-Lopez then communicated to the task force of the sale. Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage had just been sold to a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC. The task force then recovered the marked currency and returned both the alcoholic beverage to the bartender and the change that was provided to Ms. Barrios-Lopez.

Hearing notes

The licensees did not show up for the hearing. Executive Secretary Michelle Bailey-Hedgepeth checked the file to see if they had been properly served with notice, but there was nothing in the file to prove that they had been served.

Zoning B-2-2
Neighborhood Milton-Montford
Area demographics 3% White, 90% Black, 1% Asian. 4% Hispanic ethnicity. 51% households have children under age 18. Median household income: $33,352.
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; yes.
Location of entity’s principal office Baltimore, MD
One applicant reside in Balt for 2 yrs? N/A
Pecuniary interest of Baltimore City resident N/A
Attorney for licensee None
# in support 0
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors/police officers 2
Result of hearing Not held
Vote tally None
Portions of state law cited in decision None
Other reasons given for decision None
Issues raised in audit present in this case or other issues observed None
Licensee None listed
Business Name Maryland CVS Pharmacy, LLC
Trading As CVS/Pharmacy
Address 6828 Reisterstown Road
Type of License None provided in docket
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.01(a): Sales to Minors February 17, 2016- At approximately 8:17PM, The Baltimore Sheriff’s Office, and the BLLC conducted random, joint investigations of establishments to determine if licensees would sell alcoholic beverages to minors. The joint task force responded to the establishment and sent Baltimore City Sheriff volunteers Tyler White and Christina Barrios-Lopez, who are both under the age of 21, into the establishment to attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage(s). At that time Mr. White entered the establishment and purchased a “Corona Extra” 12-pack of beer. Utilizing a departmental $20 bill, Mr. White purchased the alcoholic beverage for $16.34. Mr. White was then provided the “Corona Extra” 12-pack of beer by the bartender/store clerk. Mr. White then communicated to the task force of the sale. Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage had just been sold to a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC. The task force then recovered the marked currency and returned both the alcoholic beverage to the bartender and the change that was provided to Mr. White.

Hearing notes

CVS District Manager Terra Breeding admitted the violation. She told the commissioners that the employee had been terminated, they posted signs requiring ID in English and Spanish, and retrained their whole staff on alcohol management.

Zoning B-2-1
Neighborhood Reisterstown Station
Area demographics 28% White, 63% Black, 1% Asian; 5% Hispanic ethnicity; 27% households have children under age 18; median household income: $37,372.32; 18% of households living below the poverty line.
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? Yes; yes.
Location of entity’s principal office Baltimore, MD
One applicant reside in Balt for 2 yrs? N/A
Pecuniary interest of Baltimore City resident N/A
Attorney for licensee None
# in support 1
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors/police officers 2
Result of hearing Responsible. $500 fine.
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 or other issues observed None
Licensees Louis Burch, III & William Packo, Jr.,
Business Name Po Do Pac, Inc.
Trading As Greene Turtle
Address 718-22 S. Broadway
Type of License Class “B” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.01(a): Sales to Minors- February 19, 2016- At approximately 9:55PM, The Baltimore Sheriff’s Office, and the BLLC conducted random, joint investigations of establishments to determine if licensees would sell alcoholic beverages to minors. The joint task force responded to the establishment and sent Baltimore City Sheriff volunteer/cadet Christina Barrios-Lopez, who is under the age of 21, into the establishment to attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage(s). At that time Ms. Barrios-Lopez entered the establishment and purchased 1 bottle of “Bud Light.” Utilizing a departmental $20 bill, Ms. Barrios-Lopez purchased the alcoholic beverage for $4.00. Ms. Barrios-Lopez was then provided the 1 bottle of “Bud Light” by the bartender/store clerk. Ms. Barrios-Lopez then communicated to the task force of the sale. Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage had just been sold to a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC. The task force then recovered the marked currency and returned both the alcoholic beverage to the bartender and the change that was provided to Ms. Barrios-Lopez.

Hearing notes

Mr. William Packo, unrepresented, admitted the violation. He explained that the bartender was distracted by food service and served the underage cadet by mistake. Packo said that this bartender had been a good employee for four years and a personal friend. The commissioners noted that Mr. Packo’s business had recently received a violation for allowing customers to leave with open containers. The Green Turtle was also found responsible for a sale to minors in 2013, and it was the same employee who served the underage cadet that time, too.

Chairman Neil noted that he thinks that licensees need to do a better job policing their clients.

Zoning B-3-2
Neighborhood Fells Point
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 Baltimore, MD
One applicant reside in Balt for 2 yrs? N/A
Pecuniary interest of Baltimore City resident N/A
Attorney for licensee None
# in support 1
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors/police officers 2
Result of hearing Responsible. $1,000 fine.
Vote tally 2-1 on the punishment (Hafey suggested a $1,200 fine)
Portions of state law cited in decision None
Other reasons given for decision None
Issues raised in audit present in this case or other issues observed None
Licensee Kyung Ok Chun
Business Name K & C Liquors, Inc.
Trading As Big Bill Liquors
Address 1232 N. Caroline Stree
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.01(a): Sales to Minors- February 19, 2016- At approximately 8:45 PM, The Baltimore Sheriff’s Office, and the BLLC conducted random, joint investigations of establishments to determine if licensees would sell alcoholic beverages to minors. The joint task force responded to the establishment and sent Baltimore City Sheriff volunteer/cadet Christina Barrios-Lopez, who is under the age of 21, into the establishment to attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage(s). At that time Ms. Barrios-Lopez entered the establishment and purchased a 12-pack of “Bud Ice.” Utilizing a departmental $20 bill, Ms. Barrios-Lopez purchased the alcoholic beverage for $12.75. Ms. Barrios-Lopez was then provided the 12-pack of “Bud Ice” by the bartender/store clerk. Ms. Barrios-Lopez then communicated to the task force of the sale. Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage had just been sold to a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC. The task force then recovered the marked currency and returned both the alcoholic beverage to the bartender and the change that was provided to Ms. Barrios-Lopez.

Hearing notes

Licensee, with a translator, admitted the violation. The licensee’s daughter translated the hearing for her mother. She told the Board that the employee who sold to the minor has been terminated, though he had worked for them for three years. They are putting up more signs and working more hours to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

Zoning R-8
Neighborhood Oliver
Area demographics 2% White, 96% Black, 0% Asian, 1% 2 or more races; 1% Hispanic ethnicity; 34% of households have children under age 18; Median Household Income: $21,224; 29% households live below poverty line.
Does corp entity exist, in good standing? No; no. SDAT does not show any valid corporation registered as K & C Liquors.
Location of entity’s principal office See above.
One applicant reside in Balt for 2 yrs? N/A
Pecuniary interest of Baltimore City resident N/A
Attorney for licensee None
# in support 2
Attorney for community None
# of protestants 0
# of inspectors/police officers 2
Result of hearing Responsible. $250 fine.
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 or other issues observed None

At the end of the hearings on March 24, Commissioner Hafey asked to take a few moments to say a few words. She said that March 24 may be her last set of hearings on the Liquor Board, because the commissioners’ term may end on April 11. Hafey said that it has been an honor and a pleasure to serve on the Board and that she believes that they have had some successes and done some good. Issuing and updating the Rules and Regulations was one huge success. She noted that there are only eight Liquor Board inspectors, and that the agency has been doing a lot more with those eight inspectors. They have done some outreach to the community. Hafey stated that she is very proud of her record and service. She ended by thanking the community, licensees, and Liquor Board staff.

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