Booze News: Distilled in Room 215

A blog about the Baltimore City Liquor Board

What happened at the Liquor Board on January 19, 2017.

Written by Becky Witt

Note: going forward, in the interest of time, Booze News posts will omit the zoning designation, neighborhood, area demographic information, and corporate entity status of each licensee/applicant. If you would like to look up that information for a case, please contact Becky Witt at beckyw AT communitylaw DOT org.

11:00 a.m.

I. Regular Items (New, Transfers, Expansions and Hardships):

Applicant Julieanna McGuire
Business Name Sangria, LLC
Trading As Sangria
Address 930 N. Charles Street
Type of License Class “B” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing Application to transfer ownership with continuation of live entertainment and outdoor table service.
Hearing notes

Justin Williams, of Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, represented the applicant in her request to transfer the ownership of the license and proffered the case on her behalf to the commissioners.

The restaurant and lounge will serve small plates and tapas, modeling itself after a popular restaurant in New York. Said Williams, Sangria will provide a sophisticated, trendy atmosphere for patrons to mingle. Williams submitted a letter of support from the Mount Vernon Belvedere Association.

The applicant has experience in the restaurant business in the DC area, both in Maryland and northern Virginia. She testified that she consults with venues between New York and Washington DC. She will be present at the restaurant at least five days per week.

Commissioner Greenfield asked about the ownership of the LLC associated with the license. Mr. Jones is a majority shareholder but not listed on the license; Ms. McGuire is a minority owner.

Commissioner Moore noted that she had just driven back from northern Virginia that morning and that traffic was difficult; she joked that she had considered driving in the breakdown lane. Williams joked back that a Prince George’s County liquor board commissioner had gotten in trouble recently for his driving, too.

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 None
Applicants Amy Miller and Stanley Freeman
Business Name Read-Park, Inc.
Trading As The Drinkery
Address 203-09 W. Read Street
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing Application to transfer ownership, request to add live entertainment.
Hearing notes

Mr. Melvin Kodenski proffered for his clients that they are applying for the transfer of ownership of The Drinkery from the former owner, Mr. Fred Allen, who can no longer manage the bar due to illness. He submitted an MOU signed with the Mount Vernon Belvedere Association as well as alcohol management certification.

Chairman Matricciani noted that the last time that the Drinkery was before them, the commissioners had been very concerned about the operations of the establishment, and he was relieved to see the transfer to a new operator.

Commissioner Moore asked Ms. Miller about her experience in the alcohol management industry. Miller responded that both sides of her family have been in the bar business, so she has grown up in it. She said that she is more hands on than her grandfather, the current licensee, had been. The staff knows to call her when there is a problem, and she has constant access to security cameras. She testified that the relationship between the Drinkery and the community has improved.

Commissioner Greenfield asked about better communication between the licensee and the nearby neighbors and asked Ms. Miller to do some proactive reaching out to specific people who had had problems with the bar.

Mr. Eric Evans, representative of MVBA, added that the community is willing to work with Ms. Miller in the future. Commissioner Greenfield asked Evans whether he owns any liquor licenses in Baltimore, because “this has come back to bite us in the past.” Evans replied that he does not.

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

Commissioner Greenfield’s question is worrying because it suggests a lack of understanding of state law and the rules and regulations. Under the Alcoholic Beverages article of the Maryland code, section 4-406, a written protest of the renewal of any license can be made by at least ten signatories who are residents, commercial tenants who are not licensees, or real estate owners in the vicinity. At the hearing scheduled after the written protest is filed, any person may testify, including licensees.

These provisions of law seem to be what Greenfield was referring to in his question to Mr. Evans. This shows a troubling lack of understanding that: (1) the hearing before the Board was not a protest of renewal; (2) those provisions refer to who may sign a written protest of renewal, not who may testify in a public hearing.

Applicants Evan Moritz and Richard Royer
Business Name World Theatre Company, LLC
Trading As Trade Name Pending
Address 404-06 N. Howard Street
Type of License Class “D” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing Application to transfer ownership and location of a Class “D” Beer, Wine and Liquor license presently located at 225 W. Read Street to 404-06 N. Howard Street with live entertainment.
Hearing notes

Mr. Melvin Kodenski informed the commissioners that his clients had previously been approved by the Board for the transfer, but they did not complete the transfer within 180 days of the approval, so they had to reapply. They submitted letters of support from the Downtown Partnership and other organizations. Mr. Royer testified that the concept is a mixed use arts space, within a very large building. There will be performances, including music and film screenings, six days per week. There are a lot of residential projects happening in the area, so they want to provide an amenity for downtown residents. They have received $600,000 from the Abell Foundation and the state of Maryland in grants for their arts programming and projects.

The commissioners then expressed gratitude for the applicants’ investment in downtown Baltimore.

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 None

II. Decision Phase:

Applicant Darryl Strange
Business Name Truth Lounge, LLC
Trading As Truth Lounge
Address 4507-09 Belair Road
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing Application to transfer ownership, request for live entertainment.
Hearing notes

This is a continuation of a prior hearing in which the community and the applicant were given a chance to work out their differences privately and the matter was postponed.

Mr. Hurdle explained that his client had met with nearby neighbors and the president of the community association, had discussed their concerns, and they had come to a written agreement, which he presented to the Board. The agreement contains provisions that deal with security, hours of operation, trash, parking, noise, live entertainment, and communication.

Commissioner Moore asked about the applicant’s former employment with the Baltimore City police department; he said that he left for another opportunity.

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

The possible expiration of the license at this location was not raised or discussed at all, leaving open the possibility that the Board transferred the ownership of yet another “zombie license” in a community that did not seem to want a liquor license. See the Booze News post for the first part of this hearing at the link.

1:00 p.m.

Applicants Solomon Asfaha and Anthony Flood
Business Name Solab, LLC
Trading As Wolfe Liquors
Address 1642-44 N. Wolfe Street
Type of License Class “A-2” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing Application to transfer ownership.
Hearing notes

Mr. Kodenski proffered that Mr. Asfaha is applying for the transfer of ownership of an existing Class A license. He’s not going to make any changes to the business. Mr. Asfaha testified briefly about his employment history; he has a few months of experience running Wolfe Liquors. He plans to move to Baltimore City when the ownership of the business transfers to him.

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 None

III. Violations:

Licensee Mengxiong Wang
Business Name Lucky 77, LLC
Trading As A-One Convenience Store
Address 1625 Wilkens Avenue
Type of License Class “A” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.01(a): Sales to Minors – October 20, 2016 – At approximately 7:18 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 Victoria Cox, who is under the age of 21, into the establishment to attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage(s). At that time Ms. Cox entered the establishment and purchased a 6-pack of Bud Ice and a 22 ounce Bud Ice Beer Bottle. Utilizing a departmental $20 bill, Ms. Cox purchased the alcoholic beverage(s) for a total of $9.25 ($7.00 for the 6-pack of Bud Ice and $2.25 for the 22 ounce bottle of Bud Ice). Ms. Cox was then provided the 6-pack of Bud Ice and a 22 ounce Bud Ice beer bottle by the bartender/store clerk. Ms. Cox then communicated to the task force that she had purchased an alcoholic beverage(s). Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage(s) had just been purchased by a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC. The task force then recovered the marked currency and returned both the alcoholic beverage(s) to the bartender and the change that was provided to Ms. Cox.

Hearing notes

Ms. Wang admitted that she sold the beer to the underage cadet, but she insisted that she had only sold it to her because the cadet was standing next to a man who was clearly over 21. According to the sheriff’s testimony, the cadet paid for the beer but the two of them did have a conversation. The cadet brought the beer to the window and picked it up after the sale. Ms. Wang insisted that she had been “set up” by the sheriff’s department, because she had been confused.

Result of hearing Responsible for violation. $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
Licensee Mario Vaccaro
Business Name Gilmore Pleasure Club, LLC
Trading As Gilmor Pleasure Club
Address 347 S. Gilmor Street
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.01(a): Sales to Minors – October 20, 2016 – At approximately 7:53 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 Victoria Cox, who is under the age of 21, into the establishment to attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage(s). At that time Ms. Cox entered the establishment and purchased two (s) 40 ounce bottles of Bud Ice for $3.50 per bottle. Utilizing a departmental $20 bill, Ms. Cox purchased the alcoholic beverage(s) for a total of $7.00. Ms. Cox was then provided two (s) 40 ounce bottles of Bud Ice by the bartender/store clerk. Ms. Cox then communicated to the task force that she had purchased an alcoholic beverage(s). Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage(s) had just been purchased by a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC. The task force then recovered the marked currency and returned both the alcoholic beverage(s) to the bartender and the change that was provided to Ms. Cox.

Violation of Rule 3.09(a): Rest Room Facilities and Health Regulations – October 20, 2016 – At approximately 7:53 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. During the joint investigation, the BLLC inspectors conducted a compliance check of the location and found that the bathrooms were in unsatisfactory condition as they lacked toilet paper and had fly infestation.

Violation of Rule 3.03(c): Records – October 20, 2016 – At approximately 7:53 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. During the joint investigation, the BLLC inspectors requested copies of the establishment’s employee records. The server did not comply with the BLLC’s inspectors requests as it was determined that the employee records were not available for inspectors to review.

Hearing notes

Mr. Vaccaro testified that his employee had not called him during the investigation to let him know that the inspectors were present; he lives above the bar and would have come downstairs and provided the inspectors with the employee records that they were requesting. Inspector Chrissomallis agreed that this employee was acting strange and, though she told him that she was trying to contact Vaccaro, it did not seem like she was actually trying to contact him.

Mr. Peter Prevas moved to dismiss the sale to minors charge, because there was no evidence in the record that the cadet is under 21 years old, besides the testimony of the sheriff. Mr. Prevas argued that his client should be able to see evidence of the specific age of the cadet, not just testimony from her supervisors that she was under 21.

Vaccaro told Commissioner Moore that his bar doesn’t get many “outsiders,” so he tells his employees to ID anyone who looks young or anyone who’s an outsider. His employee, Shannon, who served the cadet, had been off and on working with him for a few years. He went on a tangent for a while about his issues with his employees and building trust with them, noting “I’ve had bartenders who get fired within the first hour.”

Commissioner Greenfield noted that the licensee’s record does not show enough engagement with the bar.

Mr. Prevas proffered that, since the notice of the violations, Mr. Vaccaro closed the bar for a few days to clean it out. Going forward, he will be running the bar by himself.

Result of hearing Responsible. $2500 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
Licensee Robert Gorsuch
Business Name Joe-Charl, Inc.
Trading As Skeeters
Address 2506 Washington Boulevard
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.01(a): Sales to Minors – October 20, 2016 – At approximately 8:38 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 Victoria Cox, who is under the age of 21, into the establishment to attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage(s). At that time Ms. Cox entered the establishment and purchased one (1) Budweiser Beer bottle ($2.25) and one (1) 12 ounce can of Coca-Cola ($1.00). Utilizing a departmental $20 bill, Ms. Cox purchased the alcoholic beverage(s) for a total of $3.25. Ms. Cox was then provided with one (1) Budweiser Beer bottle and one (1) 12 ounce can of Coca-Cola by the bartender/store clerk. Ms. Cox then communicated to the task force that she had purchased an alcoholic beverage(s). Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage(s) had just been purchased by a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC. The task force then recovered the marked currency and returned both the alcoholic beverage(s) to the bartender and the change that was provided to Ms. Cox.

Hearing notes

The manager at Skeeters, Mr. Safran, appeared, without an attorney or Mr. Gorsuch. He admitted that the violation occurred, though he wasn’t there at the time and was not made aware of the situation until weeks later. The bartender who was responsible for the violation quit that night. Mr. Gorsuch is in the process of selling the restaurant to Mr. Safran, who put in a transfer application recently.

Result of hearing Responsible. $500.
Vote tally Unanimous
Portions of state law cited in decision None
Other reasons given for decision The commissioners all expressed concern that Mr. Gorsuch did not appear, as the licensee.
Issues raised in audit present in this case or other issues observed None
Licensees George Marshall and Brenda Marshall
Business Name Marshall’s, Inc.
Trading As Marshall’s Bar
Address 2351 Washington Boulevard
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.01(a): Sales to Minors – October 20, 2016 – At approximately 8:24 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 Victoria Cox, who is under the age of 21, into the establishment to attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage(s). At that time Ms. Cox entered the establishment and purchased one (1) Budweiser Beer bottle ($2.50) and one (1) glass of Coca-Cola ($1.00). Utilizing a departmental $20 bill, Ms. Cox purchased the alcoholic beverage(s) for a total of $3.50. Ms. Cox was then provided with one (1) Budweiser Beer bottle and one (1) glass of Coca-Cola by the bartender/store clerk. Ms. Cox then communicated to the task force that she had purchased an alcoholic beverage(s). Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage(s) had just been purchased by a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC. The task force then recovered the marked currency and returned both the alcoholic beverage(s) to the bartender and the change that was provided to Ms. Cox.

Hearing notes

Mr. Marshall testified that the particular night was pool league night; one of his servers sold alcohol to the cadet and the sheriff’s deputy. Marshall noted that this server had previously worked at Buffalo Wild Wings, where they card everybody, so he was surprised that she made this mistake.

Result of hearing Responsible. $1500 fine (history of violations)
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
Applicant Surinder Singh
Business Name MP & AP, Inc.
Trading As Joe’s Tavern & Pizzeria
Address 2709-11 Washington Boulevard
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.01(a): Sales to Minors – October 20, 2016 – At approximately 9:18 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 ordered a 12 ounce can of Bud Ice beer. At that time, Ms. Barrios-Lopez was then furnished the 12 ounce can of Bud Ice beer by the bartender/store clerk. Ms. Barrios-Lopez then communicated to the task force that she was furnished an alcoholic beverage. Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage(s) had just been furnished to a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC.

Violation of Rule 4.16: Illegal Conduct – December 28, 2016 – At approximately 10:54 am, BLLC staff conducted a review of the corporate status of the entity known as “MP & AP, Inc.” and found that the entity was deemed “forfeited” by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation.

Hearing notes

Mr. Kodenski admitted the sale to minors charge but denied the illegal conduct charge. He elaborated that his client’s corporate charter was forfeited as of December 28, 2016, but he has since revived the corporation and it is now in good standing. Kodenski argued that it is not illegal conduct to operate a forfeited corporation. Chairman Matricciani noted that the licensee had had two prior violations for the same charge.

In mitigation of the sale to minors, Mr. Kodenski said that the employee who committed the violation was in training at the time, and his supervisor had left him on his own.

Result of hearing Responsible. $3000 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 Terry Coffman, Olga Coffman, and Barbara Manfried
Business Name 110 Water Street Series 247, LLC
Trading As Supano’s Steak House
Address 110 Water Street
Type of License Class “B” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.16: General Welfare – October 14, 2016 – At approximately 11:00 PM BLLC Chief Inspector Mark Fosler and Inspector Chrissomallis conducted a special investigation at the establishment. At this time, BLLC staff placed themselves in a covert location to make observations of the establishment. While on location, BLLC staff observed at least three (3) individuals exit the establishment with alcoholic beverages in hand, walk outside of the boundary lines of the establishment and consume alcoholic beverages: one female was seen with a full mug of beer, which she was consuming, leave the premises with said mug of beer; another female the establishment with an open bottle of beer and then proceeded to leave the area; and one male exited the establishment with two shot glasses filled with an amber colored fluid and walked into the alley to consume the beverages. As inspectors were concurrently conducting another special investigation, staff left their covert location to conclude the other investigation. As such, BLLC staff left the establishment without notifying the operator/licensee of the infraction.

Violation of Rule 4.01(a): Sales to Minors – October 20, 2016 – At approximately 6:10 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 ordered a 14 ounce glass of Bud Light beer. The bartender/store clerk then provided Ms. Barrios-Lopez with a 14 ounce glass of Bud Light beer. Ms. Barrios-Lopez then communicated to the task force that she had been furnished an alcoholic beverage. Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage(s) had just been furnished to a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC.

Hearing notes

Mr. Terry Coffman admitted that the violations occurred. He testified that the restaurant has an outdoor patio, where people are allowed to stand with drinks, but his patrons sometimes want to “wander off.” Since the violation, the business has posted signs to direct patrons to stay on the patio and they keep a closer eye on it.

Result of hearing Responsible. $500
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 Priscilla Irizarry and Blanca Pesquera
Business Name Ecstasy Bar and Restaurant, LLC
Trading As My Cousin’s Place
Address 3925-27 E. Lombard Street
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.01(a): Sales to Minors – October 28, 2016 – At approximately 7:55 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 asked to purchase one (1) bottle of Corona Beer. The bartender/store clerk furnished Ms. Barrios-Lopez with one (1) bottle of Corona Beer. Ms. Barrios-Lopez then communicated to the task force that she had been furnished an alcoholic beverage(s). Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage(s) had just been furnished to a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC.

Hearing notes

Mr. Kodenski proffered that his clients had recently opened and that the server who sold the alcohol was newly trained. The licensee has since had her staff of seventeen alcohol management certified. Chairman Matricciani asked whether the licensees had just been before them. Kodenski replied that the had been before the board in December on an unrelated issue (a fight).

The commissioners expressed concern that the license is so recently transferred and already has two violations. Moore stated that she doesn’t think that the licensees take their business seriously and suggested that they schedule a time for them to come back in two months.

Result of hearing Responsible. $1,000.
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
Licensee Stanley Poniatowski
Business Name None provided in docket
Trading As Mary’s Tavern
Address 2057 Gough Street
Type of License Class “D” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.01(a): Sales to Minors – October 28, 2016 – At approximately 7:14 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 asked to purchase one (1) bottle of Bud Light Beer and one (1) glass of soda. Utilizing a departmental $20 bill, Ms. Barrios-Lopez purchased the bottle of Bud Light Beer for $2.75 and the glass of soda for $1.25, for a total of $4.00. Ms. Barrios-Lopez was then provided with one (1) Bud Light Beer bottle and one (1) glass of soda by the bartender/store clerk. Ms. Barrios-Lopez then communicated to the task force that she had purchased an alcoholic beverage(s). Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage(s) had just been purchased by a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC. The task force then recovered the marked currency and returned both the alcoholic beverage(s) to the bartender and the change that was provided to Ms. Barrios-Lopez.

Result of hearing

Mr. Poniatowski admitted the violation; he was the one who served the cadet, and he made a mistake. He submitted letters of support.

Vote tally Responsible. $250 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 Cindy Johnson
Business Name Butts & Betty’s Tavern, Inc.
Trading As Butts & Betty’s Tavern
Address 2200 Gough Street
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.01(a): Sales to Minors – October 28, 2016 – At approximately 6:57 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 ordered a bottle of Coors Light and a bottle Corona. Ms. Barrios-Lopez was then furnished with a bottle of Coors Light and a bottle Corona by the bartender/store clerk. Ms. Barrios-Lopez then communicated to the task force that she was furnished an alcoholic beverage(s). Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage(s) had just been furnished to a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC.

Hearing notes

Ms. Johnson admitted the violation. The bartender, Jessica, who served the cadet testified that she had made a mistake not to card her. Johnson testified that the license has been in her family for sixty years.

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
Licensee Donald Summerhill
Business Name Summerhill, Inc.
Trading As Brewster’s Tavern
Address 2201 Gough Street
Type of License Class “BD7” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.01(a): Sales to Minors – October 28, 2016 – At approximately 6:45 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 ordered one (1) bottle of Corona Beer. Ms. Barrios-Lopez was then furnished with one (1) bottle of Corona Beer by the bartender/store clerk. Ms. Barrios-Lopez then communicated to the task force that she had been furnished with an alcoholic beverage(s). Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage(s) had just been furnished to a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC.

Hearing notes

The general manager, Kathleen Lovejoy, admitted the violation. Her bartender made a mistake in serving the cadet. When the sheriffs and inspectors left, she had a serious conversation with the bartender about his mistake, but she did not fire him. She lives upstairs and is at the bar seven days per week. The bar has a twenty year history without serving a minor, according to Ms. Lovejoy.

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
Licensee Nidia Sierra
Business Name Bernia, Inc.
Trading As Honey’s Lounge
Address 1722-24 Gough Street
Type of License Class “D” Beer, Wine & Liquor License
Reason for hearing

Violation of Rule 4.01(a):. Sales to Minors – October 28, 2016 – At approximately 6:20 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 6-pack of Bud Light. Utilizing a departmental $20 bill, Ms. Barrios-Lopez purchased the alcoholic beverage(s) for a total of $5.99. Ms. Barrios-Lopez was then provided with a 6-pack of Bud Light by the bartender/store clerk. Ms. Barrios-Lopez then communicated to the task force that she had purchased an alcoholic beverage(s). Members of the task force entered the establishment and notified the bartender/store clerk that an alcoholic beverage(s) had just been purchased by a minor and it would be reported to the BLLC. The task force then recovered the marked currency and returned both the alcoholic beverage(s) to the bartender and the change that was provided to Ms. Barrios-Lopez.

Hearing notes

Ms. Sierra admitted the violation. Her attorney, Shawn Harby, proffered that his client mistook the cadet for a neighbor who had been in the bar before. There was a previous sale to minors violation in August of 2016; Commissioner Moore expressed concern that there were two violations of the same rule so close together.

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

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