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Charles County, Maryland

Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, February 9, 2017

 

            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, Chairman, Thomasina Coates, Vice Chairman, Guy N. Black, Steve Lowe, and Linda J. Warren.  Also appearing in support of the Board were M/Cpl. Judith Thompson, Alcohol Enforcement Coordinator; Wayne Magoon, Alcohol Enforcement Inspector; Associate County Attorney Melody Miles Haynes; 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:

          College of Southern Maryland, by Shaunda Holt, for six (6) 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage license, to sell/server Beer, Wine & Liquor, on the following dates/locations:

5 dates @ Custom Kitchens & Baths, 6750 Crain Hwy, with 14 maximum participants; 2/16     Couples Night Out Italian Cooking; 2/23     Italian Mardi Gras cooking class; 3/30     Italian Wines and A0petizers; 3/31     @ CSM La Plata Campus, for “Sip and Paint” with 20 max participants; 4/6       Going French – Girls Night Out; and 4/27     Taking it Thai – Girls Night Out; and 3/31     @ CSM La Plata Campus, for “Sip and Paint” with 20 max participants.

Grace Lutheran Church and School, by Becky Hoffman, for a 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve Beer, Wine & Liquor, inside the GLCS Family Life Center, 1200 Charles Street, La Plata, on March 4, 2017 from 7 to 11 p.m., for their Wine & Cheese Social fundraiser with approx. 350 people expected to attend.

Indian Head Center for the Arts, by:  John D. Hungerford, Esq.  Appearing on behalf of the applicant was Pamela Frank, Administrator, for four (4) a 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve Beer, Wine & Liquor, inside the Indian Head Center for the Arts, on February 18, and March 1, 4 & 18, 2017, each event from 6 to 11 PM for a fundraisers with approximately 50-75 people expected to attend.

            2.         Laura M. Yates, Hardik B. Patel, Korner Liquors, LLC, t/a Korner Liquors, 3120 Old Washington Road, Waldorf, Maryland 20602, appeared for a transfer of a Class D – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on/off sale) alcoholic beverage license from Darrell R. Wood, Wood-Stickell & Associates, Inc., t/a Korner Liquors, 3120 Old Washington Road, Waldorf, Maryland 20602.  Counsel to the applicant was Matthew C. Tedesco, Esquire.  Testimony was presented by the applicant pertaining to the facts contained in the application which evidences, among other things, that Laura M. Yates and Hardik B. Patel, each serve as authorized person/managing member of Korner Liquors, LLC, with Ms. Yates holding a 20% interest and serving as resident licensee, and Mr. Patel holding the remaining 80%.  This application is contingent upon settlement of the business and real property, anticipated within the next 60 days.  The applicants further testified as to their anticipated hours of operation; that the new licensees intend to maintain some of the current employees; that they intend to maintain the “No Vertical ID” policy; and that they anticipate no change to the current operation of the business.  The alcohol enforcement officer advised that the current licensees have not had an alcoholic beverage violation since 2005.  Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the transfer as presented, contingent upon settlement and satisfaction of any outstanding matters with the Health Department, Use & Occupancy Permit, Maryland Sales Tax ID, Workers’ Compensation insurance, a Lease, and new Deed, and upon payment of the appropriate transfer fee within 60-days.

            3.         Gaurangkumar Soni, Goldwater, LLC, t/a Waldorf Liquors, 2276 Crain Highway, Waldorf, Maryland  20601, appeared for a transfer of the Class A – Beer, Wine & Liquor (off sale only) alcoholic beverage license, from Kenneth Hugh Wise, Goldwater, LLC, t/a Waldorf Liquors, 2276 Crain Highway, Waldorf, Maryland  20601.  Counsel to the applicant was David J. Martinez, Esquire.  Testimony was presented by the applicant pertaining to the facts contained in the application which evidences, among other things, that Gaurangkumar Soni, holds 100% of the interest in Goldwater, LLC, and meets the requirements as resident licensee.  The applicant further testified that he has been the manager at the premises since 2005, as to the hours of operation of the business; that he intends to maintain the 100% ID check policy; that all employees are to be certified by an approved alcohol awareness training, and that he anticipates no change to the day-to-day operation of the business.  Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the transfer as presented, contingent upon the filing of a current lease (done 2/21/17), and upon payment of the appropriate transfer fee within 60-days. 

            4.         Henry S. Conick, appeared on behalf of HSC Medical, Inc., t/a All American Steakhouse & Sports Theater, 35 St. Patrick’s Drive, Waldorf, Maryland  20603, appeared for a transfer of the Class B/RB (Restaurant/Bar) Beer, Wine & Liquor (on sale only) alcoholic beverage license issued to Raymond W. Curtis, George Jones, Brock Anderson, WD Steakhouse, LLC, t/a The All American Steakhouse &Sports Theater, 35 St Patrick’s Drive, Waldorf, Maryland  20603.  Counsel to the applicant was Roger Fink, Esquire.  Testimony was presented by the applicant pertaining to the facts contained in the application which evidences that Harry S. Conick serves as President of HSC Medical, Inc., holding an 80% interest in the company.  Ray Curtis did not appear, however, counsel submitted to the facts contained in the application, including that Mr. Curtis holds the remaining 20% interest, serves as Secretary of HSC Medical, Inc., and resident licensee.  Mr. Conick testified to the hours of operation, and that he anticipates no change in the operation of the business, except that they may have Karaoke type entertainment from time to time. Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the transfer as presented, contingent upon payment of the appropriate transfer fee. 

            5.         Show Cause in the Matter of the Class D – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on/off sale) alcoholic beverage license issued to Thomas R. Mueller, Jr., Donald Robert Downing, Memories, LLC, t/a Memories, 2360 Old Washington Rd., Waldorf, Maryland 20601.  Thomas R. Mueller, Jr., appeared and was represented by Kevin Smit, Esquire.  The allegations contained in the Show Cause Order are as follows: 

COUNT 1 - That between 1/01/2013 and 10/12/16 M/Cpl. Judith Thompson and the Charles County Sheriff’s Department have received hundreds of calls to the licensed premises for assistance and incidents of fights, disorderly conduct, assaults, stabbing, and firearms, showing a failure to maintain the peace or safety of the community.

COUNT 2 - That on or about August 21, 2016, at 2:16 A.M. alcoholic beverages were knowingly consumed at the licensed premises in violation of Alcoholic Beverages Article, § 18-2001 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

COUNT 3 - That on or about August 21, 2016, at 2:16 A.M., part of the licensed premises where alcoholic beverages are sold or displayed was allowed to remain open after 0200 hours, and/or all bottles and containers were not removed from the table on or before 0200 hours in violation of Alcoholic Beverages Article, § 18-2004 of the Annotated Code of Maryland. 

COUNT 4 - That Alcohol Enforcement Coordinator M/Cpl. Judith Thompson has obtained witness statement(s) that as of June 2016 someone other than the licensee(s) has a pecuniary interest in the license, and/or in the business to be conducted in violation of Alcoholic Beverages Article, §4-109 of the Annotated Code of Maryland; and/or the Rules & Regulations of the Board of License Commissioners of Charles County, Maryland, Rule 2.107 – Applications; and/or Rule 2.116 – Transfers; and/or Rule 3.101 - Ownership and Operation; and/or Rule 3.105 – License Changes.

COUNT 5 - That on or about September 9, 2016, at approximately 1:20 P.M., the licensee(s), by and through their agent(s), servant(s) or employee(s), believed to be Angelique Dawn Lape, did sell or furnish an alcoholic beverage, namely a Bud Light 12 oz. bottled beer, to a person who was under the age of twenty-one (21) years in violation of Alcoholic Beverages Article, § 6-304 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

            Mr. Mueller acknowledged receipt of the Show Cause Order within 10 days of the date of the hearing.  However, Mr. Mueller and counsel were unsure whether or not to plead to the charges as they reviewed the evidence in support of the allegations. Upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, in accordance with General Provisions Article, §3-305(b)(7), the Board closed the meeting at 11:25 AM to briefly consult with Associate County Attorney, Melody Miles Haynes, to obtain legal advice.  The hearing reopened at 11:30 AM, and the licensee was notified that this matter would be continued to the next hearing date, and the clerk was instructed to provide Mr. Smit with the evidence in support of the allegations contained in the Show Cause Order. 

            6.         The clerk shared the following legislation, which is scheduled for a hearing before the Economic Matters committee on Monday, February 20, 2017 at 1:00 PM, and asked for a designee to attend and present testimony in support of:  HB 710 – CC – Alcoholic Beverages – Alcohol Awareness Certification; and HB 712 – CC – Alcoholic Beverages – Selling to Underage Individual – Penalties.  Commission President Smith indicated that she would attend if she was back in town in time.  Board member Linda Warren said that she would be unable to attend, and the remaining Board members would determine their availability next week.

            7.        The clerk presented paperwork evidencing the resignation of Kevin Wedding, from the Class D – Beer & Wine (on/off sale) Liquor (off sale only) alcoholic beverage license issued to Kevin Wedding, Christopher Wedding and Jean Elaine McMahon Weddng, Dan’s Store, Inc., t/a Dan’s Store.  Mr. Kevin Wedding transferred his stock interest to continuing officer Christopher Wedding.

            8.         The clerk presented written notification that the alcoholic beverage license issued to Thomas Avallone, Holly B Mudd, BUCA (SPGGROUP), LLC, a Florida LLC, trading as Buca Di Beppo, St. Charles Towne Center, 11110 Mall Circle, Waldorf, Maryland 20603, has been remanded to the clerk due to the business being closed as of January 1, 2017.

            9.         Gregory A. McGowan, The Social @ 228, LLC, re-appeared at the request of the Board for an update of his efforts to build-out the premises trading as of Social @ 228.  Also appearing on behalf of his client was David Martinez, Esquire.  This new Class B/RB (Restaurant/Bar) alcoholic beverage license was initially approved with contingencies on March, 2016, with an anticipated opening date of September, 2016.  The applicant re-appeared on October, 2016, and the Board approved an extension for the Use & Occupancy permit until December 31, 2016.  The applicant anticipated the opening of the restaurant only aspect of the business, without Entertainment due to ongoing issues involving the sprinkler system.  Inspector Magoon noticed the license still has not been issued and the premises remains closed.  After receiving an update from the applicant to the ongoing construction issues, and their anticipated opening date, upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board extended their approval for an additional 90 days, anticipating that the license will be issued by the May 11, 2017 hearing date, or the applicants will reappear to offer the Board a further update.

           10.         The clerk shared written notification from the parent company of Silver Diner, advising of a transfer of holdings/change in parent company.  These changes do not reflect a change to the corporate entity holding the alcoholic beverage license, Silver Diner Waldorf, LLC. 

            11.       The clerk advised that the Class D – BW (on/off sale) L (off sale only) alcoholic beverage license issued to Suamn Kumar, Scott Francis Gordon, Bryans Wine & Spirits, LLC t/a Bryans Road Liquors, has been pending transfer since July 14, 2016, to Baldevbhai Ambalal Patel, Scott Francis Gordon, Drashti, Inc.  David Martinez, Esquire appeared on behalf of the applicants to explain the status of the transfer and the difficulties his clients have had in resolving outstanding tax issues of Bryans Wine & Spirits, LLC, and the death of licensee of Suamn Kumar.  Mr. Martinez advised that his clients anticipate the resolution of those matters before the next hearing.  Upon a motion duly made, seconded and carried, the Board ordered that the license be transferred before the next hearing, or that that current licensees appear, to present testimony and evidence as to why this matter has not been concluded.

            12.       The Board approved the proof for the updates to Rules and Regulations of the Board of License Commissioners for Charles County, Maryland.

            13.       M/Cpl. Judith Thompson presented her compliance report evidencing that each of the five premises visited passed the compliance check, and the Board offered their congratulations to:  Hardesty’s Inn, Newburg; La Plata Liquors, La Plata; Willett’s Liquors, Angelo’s, and 925 Liquors. 

            14.       M/Cpl. Judith Thompson presented the Quarterly Report of Compliance Check Program, 3rd and 4th Quarter, 2016; Final Report of Compliance Check Program for 2016, which evidences in part, that the total number of compliance checks conducted for 2016 was 120 checks, with 33 of them failing the check, resulting in a 27% failure rate, up from 23% failure rate in 2015.

            15.       Upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the Minutes of the December 8, 2016 hearing. 

            With no further business the meeting adjourned at 12:05 PM.

 

                                                  ____________________________________

                                                             Lisa Bailey, Clerk