Minutes | www.charlescountymd.gov

www.charlescountymd.gov

Charles County, Maryland

Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, July 11, 2013

            The following members of the Board were present at the County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Charles County Government Building, for a regular hearing of the Board of License Commissioners: Pamela Smith, Chairwoman, Vice Chairman Burkey Boggs, Thomasina Coates, Wayne Magoon, and William B. Young. Also in attendance were Alcohol Enforcement Coordinator Master Cpl. Judith Thompson, Alcohol Inspector Greg Kiesel, Associate County Attorney Matthew Clagett, and Lisa Bailey, Clerk/Recording Secretary.  

1.         Upon a motion made, duly seconded and unanimously carried, the following temporary alcoholic beverage license applications were approved:

La Plata VFD, Inc., by:  Lynn D. Gilroy, for two (2) 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage licenses to sell/serve BWL on August 31 and Sept. 28, 2013, from 7 PM to 2 AM, at La Plata VFD Activity Hall, for Texas Hold’em fundraisers with approx. 100-150 people expected to attend each event.

Bryans Road VFD & EMS, Inc., by Paul M. Tackish, for three (3) 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage licenses to sell/serve BWL on July 13, August 10, and September 14, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., at Bryans Road Firehouse, for Texas Hold’em fundraisers with approx 120 people expected to attend each event.

Charles County Chamber of Commerce, by:  Betsy Burian, Executive Director.  Appearing on behalf of the applicant was Tracy Albritten, for a 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve BWL on August 1, 2013 from 5:30-7:30 P.M., at Gleneagles Neighborhood Center, for a Chamber mixer with approx. 100 people expected to attend.

Port Tobacco Players, Inc., by:  Gordon O’Neil.  Appearing on behalf of the applicant was Richard Reckaway, for a 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve BW(L) on September 29, 2013, 3:00-7:00 P.M., at Port Tobacco Players Rehearsal Hall, La Plata, for their 65th Anniversary with approx. 150 people expected to attend.

Business Alliance of Charles County, by:  Tracey Harris, for a 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve BW(L) on August 13, 2013, 5:00-8:00 P.M., at 4428 Southern Business Park Drive, White Plains, MD  20695, for Business Networking with approx. 50-75 people expected to attend.

2.         Kevin Kling, Line-X Effects, LLC, t/a Huntt's Corner Tavern, 6520 Bensville Road, Pomfret, MD  20675, for a 1-day special exception to allow their patrons to consume alcoholic beverages in a defined area outside on August 10, 2013 from 1-11:30 p.m. for a Wounded Warrior fundraiser.  Mr. Kling testified as to the details of the event and answered questions posed by the Board members.  Upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the 1-day special exception for an outside service area in accordance with the written request and the testimony presented by the licensee. 

3.         Dina Stockwell, Event Coordinator, appeared on behalf of Port Tobacco Restaurant, with a request for a small beer and wine bar (8 ft. table) on the upper deck, directly out the door of the restaurant, under the roof, for Port Tobacco River Conservancy’s Annual Fundraiser on August 8, 2013 from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m.  Ms. Stockwell testified as to the details of the event and answered questions posed by the Board members.  Mr. Magoon urged her, and any licensee hosting events or guests to visit the Fire Marshal’s website and take the online class for crowd control.  Upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the 1-day special bar area contingent upon the licensee submitting a diagram of the premises showing the location of the requested bar area. 

4.         Indian Head Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad, Inc., by Nancy Jones for Larry Johnson, for three 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve Beer, Wine & Liquor inside of the Indian Head firehouse, for three Texas Hold’em fundraisers, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on the following dates, with approximately 60 people expected to attend each event:

July 19, 2013; August 16, 2013; and September 20, 2013.  No one appeared at the hearing and the Board directed that this matter be recalled at the August hearing.  Subsequent to the hearing Nancy Jones, spoke by telephone with the Clerk to the Board and advised that, due to serious health issues she was unable to attend the hearing, and requested the Board approve the temporary permit for the July 19, 2013 fundraiser, and that someone would appear at the August hearing for the remaining August and September dates.  Hesitantly, a majority of Board members approved the request but warned that they would not consider any further exceptions.

5.         Thomas Avallone, Todd Chase, Mary Kathryn Faber, BUCA (SPGGROUP), LLC, a Florida limited liability company, t/a Buca Di Beppo – St. Charles, St. Charles Towne Center, 11110 Mall Circle, Room G01A, Waldorf, Maryland  20603, appeared on July 11, 2013, for a new Class B – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on sale only) BLX Luxury Restaurant alcoholic beverage license.  Counsel to the applicant was Leanne Schrecengost, Esquire.  Testimony was presented by the applicant as to the facts contained in the application, including evidence that the applicant meets the minimum requirements set forth in Article 2B, §6-201(j), with Buca, Inc. holding 100% of the stock of BUCA (SPGGROUP), LLC, and each of the licensees serving as authorized persons of the corporation.  Mary Kathryn Faber, while not involved in the day-to-day operation of the restaurant, will serve as Resident Licensee.  Testimony and evidence was presented, including a diagram/construction drawing of the licensed premises (including the outside area), marked as Applicant Exhibit 1; a menu sample – Ex. 2; and Alcohol Awareness/Training Guide and The BARS Program, marked as Exhibit 3.  The Consent Order, setting forth the details governing the outside area, will be executed separate from this Order.  No opposition was presented to the granting of this license.  Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the new license contingent upon filing of a credit rating for each applicant, Health permit and Use and Occupancy Permit, and upon payment of the appropriate license fee.

With regard to the Consent Order, the applicants requested that the premises be defined to include an outside area with seating capacity for approximately 54 patrons, surrounded by a 42” metal railing.  A copy of the drawing/diagram is attached hereto and made a part of the Consent Order.  No live or amplified entertainment on the outside area; licensee will provide alarms or similar device to warn the licensee when the gate is opened, and will provide photographs of the outside area upon build out.  The request is submitted as an accommodation to their patrons, and the licensees will obtain all required permits from the Department of Planning and Growth Management, including with regard to any safety barriers.  Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented the Board approved the Outside Special Exception as written in the executed Consent Order.

6.         James William Day, Graham Michael Day, Red Oak Bistro, LLC, t/a Red Oak Bistro, 6390 Crain Highway, La Plata, MD  20646, appeared on July 11, 2013, for a new Class B – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on sale only) alcoholic beverage license.  Counsel to the applicant was John F. Mudd, Esquire.  Testimony was presented by the applicant as to the facts contained in the application, including evidence that the applicants each are authorized to do business on behalf of the LLC, hold a 50% interest in Red Oak Bistro, LLC, and meet the residency requirements.  In addition to the application, the applicant entered Exhibit 1 – a sample menu; and Exhibit 2 – a synopsis of their business plan.  The applicants testified that there would be no outside service area and that they did not anticipate any live entertainment at this time and that they would notify the Board of any changes.  No opposition was presented to the granting of this license.  Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the new license contingent upon filing of a Health Permit and Use and Occupancy Permit, and upon payment of the appropriate license fee.

7.         Louis J. Cooper, Kitt Harrison, Joel P. Taylor, American Legion Post 170, Randolph Furey Post # 170, 4345 Livingston Road, Indian Head, Maryland  20640, appeared on July 11, 2013, for a reclassification of their Class D – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on/off sale) alcoholic beverage license to a Class C – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on sale only) Non-Profit Club alcoholic beverage license. Testimony was presented by the applicants pertaining to the facts contained in the application, including testimony pertaining to hours of operation and their intention to host outside events.  Article 2B, §6-301(j) in part allows “…on-premises consumption of alcoholic beverages in the clubhouse or on property that is directly contiguous to the clubhouse, is owned by the club or bona fide nonprofit organization, and is used exclusively by the members and their guests for social functions or business of the club or organization.”  In addition to the application and testimony, and in accordance with Article 2B, Section 10-202 (II), the Board of License Commissioners considered the public need for the license; the number and location of existing licensees and the potential effect on existing licensees of the license applied for; the potential commonality or uniqueness of the services and products to be offered by the applicant’s business; and, the impact on the general health, safety and welfare of the community, including issues relating to crime, traffic conditions, parking, or convenience.  Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the reclassification of their Class D – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on/off sale) alcoholic beverage license to a Class C – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on sale only) Non-Profit Club alcoholic beverage license as presented, contingent upon the payment of the appropriate transfer fee.

8.         Show Cause in the Matter of the a Class B – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on sale only) BLX Luxury Restaurant alcoholic beverage license issued to Melissa Gibson, Brian Lutton, Potomac Family Dining Group Operating Company, LLC, t/a Applebee’s – Waldorf, 3610 Crain Highway, Waldorf, Maryland  20602, alleging illegal service to a minor on May 16, 2003.  Brian Lutton appeared on behalf of the licensee and was represented by Leanne Schrecengost, Esq., who on behalf of her client acknowledged receipt of the Charges and Show Cause Order at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing and admitted to the allegation contained in the Show Cause Order.  The alleged server/clerk, Joy Marie Drake, also appeared and admitted to the violation.  Testimony was presented by M/Cpl. Judith Thompson as to the contents of her police report, and that this violation constitutes a subsequent offense to a matter which was adjudicated before the Board on May 10, 2012, wherein the licensee was found in violation of Article 2B, Section 12-108 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, and the Board ordered a $250 fine and issued a 3-day suspension, with all days held in abeyance for 3 years, and ordered a $50 fine upon the then server.  Further testimony was presented by the licensee, and witnesses Lori Crowell, General Manager at the licensed establishment, as to the circumstances involving this specific sale, and their training and compliance policies. Joy Marie Drake also testified as to the circumstances of the sale and admitted 100% responsibility for the sale to the authorized underage person. 

Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board ordered that the alcoholic beverage license be suspended for a period of 6 days, three of which are to be held in abeyance for three years, with the suspension to begin at opening of business on Monday, July 15, 2013 and end at close of business Wednesday, July 17, 2013; that the licensee(s), be fined One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00); and, that the server, Joy Marie Drake, be fined One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00), each made payable to the Charles County Treasurer and delivered to the Board of License Commissioners within 30-days of the date of this Order.

9.         Show Cause in the Matter of the Class D – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on/off sale) alcoholic beverage license issued to Chong Yi Chen, Dongxing Chen, 228 Liquors Limited Liability Company, t/a Bunker Hill Inn, 9800 Bunker Hill Road, Waldorf, Maryland  20603, alleging illegal service to a minor on May 16, 2013.  Licensee Dongxing Chen, and alleged server Sophia Cheng, appeared and acknowledged receipt of the Charges and Show Cause Order at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing and admitted to the allegation contained in the Show Cause Order. The server, Sophia Cheng, is also a member of 228 Liquors, LLC, holding a 20% interest.   Testimony was presented by M/Cpl. Judith Thompson as to the contents of her police report.  Further testimony was presented by the licensee and the server as to the circumstances involving this sale, and their compliance and training policies. The server was very distraught over the sale, as was the Board in that this license was just issued March 15, 2013.  The Board also reiterated the Fire Marshal’s comments that the premises housed “moderate and concerning situations that require immediate corrections.” The Board ordered that those matters be cleared by the Fire Marshal immediately.  In a subsequent telephone conversation with the licensee, Mr. Chen stated that the concerns of Dep Inspector Jeff Shirley of the State Fire Marshall, were in regard to an upstairs area that they are converting into private residence.  The County had already issued a Use & Occupancy Permit for the defined premises

Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board ordered that the alcoholic beverage license be suspended for a period of 3 days, one of which is to be held in abeyance for three years, with the suspension to begin at opening of business on Monday, July 22, 2013 and end at close of business Tuesday, July 23, 2013; that the licensee(s), Chong Yi Chen, Dongxing Chen, 228 Liquors LLC, be fined Seven Hundred Fifty Dollars ($750.00); and that the server, Sophia Cheng, be fined One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00), made payable to the Charles County Treasurer and delivered to the Board of License Commissioners within 30-days of the date of this Order.

10.       Show Cause in the Matter of the Class B – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on sale only) alcoholic beverage license issued to Sutasinee C. Thana, Michael J. Lohman, Thai Seafood & Grill, Inc., t/a Thai Palace, 2732 Crain Highway, Waldorf, Maryland  20601.  David Martinez, Esq., Counsel to the Licensee advised the Board that his client is contesting the Show Cause Order and requested that the hearing be rescheduled to September, 2013, as he will not be available at the August hearing.  The request was approved with Chairman Pam Smith opposed.

11.       Beverly A. Howe, Howe, LLC, t/a Ape Hanger’s Bar and Grill, 9100 Crain Highway, Bel Alton, MD  20611, follow-up meeting to amend their OPEN AIR EXCEPTION Consent Order to allow for outside live entertainment from April 1 through October 31 each year. Ed Myer, Esq.  Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board ORDERED that the application of Beverly A. Howe, Howe, LLC, t/a Ape Hanger’s Bar and Grill, 9100 Crain Highway, Bel Alton, Maryland  20611, to amend their 1998 Consent Agreement for outside consumption of alcoholic beverages, is HEREBY AMENDED, as follows:

1.         Live music will be allowed in the defined outside area for the dates indicated here and set forth as the first 5 dates and times indicated in Applicant’s Exhibit A, as follows:

            May 25            Memorial Weekend                 3:30 – 7:30 P.M.

            May 26            Ride to Viet Nam Memorial   3:30 – 7:30 P.M.

            June 8              Benefit Hospice House           5:30 – 7:30 P.M.

            June 23            Battle of the Bands                 Noon – 8:00 P.M.

            July 13             Annual Luau                           3:00 – 7:00 P.M.

            July 20             B-day Party (Virginia & Dave)  3:00 – 8:00 P.M.

            July 27             Bike fest                                  Noon – 8:00 P.M.

            Aug 17            Ape’s 16th Annual Birthday/Anniversary Party                  3:00 – 7:00 P.M.

            Sept 28            Battle of the Bands                 Noon – 8:00 P.M.

            Oct 6               March of Dimes Ride #11      3:00 – 7:30 P.M.

            Oct 13             (Rain date for March of Dimes)

            Oct 26             Memorial Ride/Daniel Howe  3:00 – 7:30 P.M.

            2.         Use of the “Tiki Bar” as depicted in Applicant Exhibit F, as a service area for alcoholic beverages is prohibited; and

            3.         Licensee will obtain any necessary permits from the County’s Department of Planning and Growth Management; and

            4.         The Licensee agrees to appear at the Board’s April, 2014 hearing, (Renewal time) where the Board and licensee will assess the successfulness of the above scheduled events, whether or not any complaints have been lodged and/or investigated, and to consider the granting of any further dates for live music in the defined outside area; and

            5.         The Licensee acknowledges that the Board may revoke this special exception upon any violation of Article 2B of the Code of Maryland, or if for any other reason the Board finds that the licensee has jeopardized the peace or safety of the community.

12.       M/Cpl. Judith Thompson provided the Board with a copy of the July Compliance Report, evidencing 1 out of 1 premises inspected.

13.       M/Cpl. Judith Thompson provided the Board with a copy of the Quarterly Compliance Report for the 2nd Quarter of 2013.

14.       Upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the Minutes of the June 13, 2013 hearing.

The Board directed the Clerk to schedule a Legislative Work Session for the next hearing. With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 12:05 P.M.  The next meeting is scheduled for August 8, 2013.

 

_____________/S/______________________

Lisa Bailey, Clerk