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KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


Board of License Commissioners

November 18, 2003

The Honorable Board of License Commissioners met today with the following present: Roy W. Crow, Scott D. Livie, and William W. Pickrum, presiding.

Mauritz Stetson, Alcoholic Beverage Inspector, was also in attendance.

CJ'S

Application was received from Connie M. and Jack D. Dadds, Jr. for a Class D Beer, Wine and Liquor License for place of business formerly known as Hawk Eye's located in Golts, Maryland. A public hearing has been scheduled for December 9.


LEWES DAIRY MARKET

Application was received from Mahmood Baig Mirza, President, etal representing Gulshan, Inc for an upgrade to a Class A Beer Wine and Liquor License for Lewes Dairy Market. The licensee presently holds a Class A Beer and Wine License. A public hearing has been scheduled for December 9.


SPECIAL LICENSE

The Commissioners approved the following Special Licenses:

A Class C Beer and Wine License for Mainstay, Inc. for a music show to take place at the Mainstay building, 5753 Main Street, Rock Hall on the following dates: November 22nd, and December 5, 7, and 21, 2003.

A Class C Beer, Wine, and Liquor License for the Betterton Volunteer Fire Company on behalf of the Ducks Unlimited Banquet, to take place on November 22, 2003 at the Betterton Fire Hall.


GREAT OAK RESTAURANT

As per the decision of the Commissioners at their October 28, 2003 meeting to grant Great Oak Restaurant 30 days to present a written plan, indicating how they will rectify their failure to meet the 60%-40% ratio requirement of their Class B License, Mr. Stetson sent a letter to Jan Alleger, Licensee, requesting this presentation. Mr. Alleger, Bob Wilson, Manager, and Daniel Saunders, Esq. representing the restaurant, appeared.

Mr. Stetson reported that all of the criteria for license renewal eligibility was met by the restaurant except for the 60%-40% ratio. He pointed out once again that Great Oak Landing Restaurant did not comply with the requirement in 2002, and noted that part of the problem with their non-compliance is the inclusion of the Jelly Fish Joel's bar which is part of the Great Oak business and is included in the same license. Only 15% of the bar's business is food.

Mr. Wilson prepared and read a statement to the Commissioners, explaining the circumstances which created the current ratio. He began his statement outlining the history of Great Oak Restaurant, and then proceeded to describe the food/liquor sales history and activity during 2002 and 2003. In 2002, the tenant of the restaurant/lodge was described as having created an adverse relationship with the boater customer base and failed to provide Profit and Loss (P & L) statements. Also during 2002, the restaurateurs operated Jelly Fish Joel's bar themselves, leasing out the food concession on the beach to an independent company which did not provide any P & L statements. The restaurateurs claimed that they provided the County Liquor Board with financial figures as accurately as possible given the lack of P & L statements. Their license was renewed for another six-month period, during which time the restaurant was closed, the tenant of the restaurant/lodge was eventually evicted, with Great Oak Landing taking possession of the restaurant in February 2003 and remaining closed until the spring of 2003.

In 2003, given that the restaurant/bar and beach bar (Jelly Fish Joel's) were late in opening (Memorial Day weekend) and due to the summer's adverse weather, including that of Hurricane Isabel, food sales suffered significantly. In addition, food sales were not accounted for, once again, by the food concession company at the beach.

The business plan for the future recognizes that the restaurant/lodge business must be operated on a full-time basis in order to be re-established. Facing the challenge of a peak business of only 17 weekends a year, Great Oak Landing is continuing to invest in the improvement of its property and the appeal of the restaurant/lodge on a year-round basis. The Restaurant will require of all groups that wish to have an outside caterer on its property to book their function through its conference director, thereby accurately recording the food sales on the property. The Restaurant believes that all of the above efforts will significantly increase the amount of food sales on the property and obtain the required food/liquor ratio.

Mr. Saunders stated that his clients will rectify the current food/liquor ratio and return with to the Commissioners with their report. He also appealed to the Commissioners to consider changing the food/liquor ratio legislature, citing it as particularly problematic for many resort owners, in addition to Great Oak Landing.

Commissioner Livie indicated that he would welcome further review of the current legislature and a polling of other resort-owners. He explained that he sympathized with the Restaurant's weather challenges in 2003. He further advised that the Restaurant track the results of the projected improvements , suggesting that, perhaps, it may be helpful to close the beach bar. He praised Great Oak Landing as an important business for the County, expressing the Commissioners' willingness to partner towards its success.

Commissioner Crow expressed his expectation that there will be no obstruction to the next renewal of the Restaurant's license.

A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve the renewal application of Great Oak Landing.


SUPER SODA

A public hearing was held at 9:15 a.m. on the application received from Nilesh V. Desai and Jonathan D. Neukam for a transfer of a Beer, Wine and Liquor License, Class A, off-sale only. Messrs. Desai and Neukam were in attendance.

Commissioner Pickrum read the notice of public hearing into the record.

There was no one in attendance who wished to speak for or against this application.

Commissioner Livie emphasized to the applicants the importance of adhering to all of the laws governing the privilege of having the license. Rebecca Taylor, Regional Family Services Coordinator of the Circuit Court, concurred, specifically noting the violation of serving or selling alcohol to minors. Mr. Desai assured the Commissioners that he will take the laws seriously and that he is well acquainted with them, having owned a liquor store previously for ten years.

A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve the transfer license contingent upon receipt of the Bulk Transfer Permit.

This hearing was taped for reference and adjourned at 9:50 a.m.


PLAY IT AGAIN SAM

A public hearing was held at 9:55 a.m. on the application received from Margaret Mayberry for a Beer and Wine Class B License, on sale. Ms. Mayberry was in attendance.

Commissioner Pickrum read the notice of public hearing into the record.

Mr. Stetson indicated that although the license would be for wine and beer, Ms. Mayberry would be selling only wine. He also reported that Play It Again Sam has a withholding tax that is outstanding, to which Ms. Mayberry responded that her check as payment for the withholding tax was mailed, however, not yet cleared.

The Commissioners inquired as to Ms. Mayberry's plans for the wine bar component of Play It Again Sam. Ms. Mayberry described her wine bar as follows: it will be open Friday's and Saturday's from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with the possibility of wine being sold during lunch-time hours. She will not schedule employees under 18 years of age to work during the hours of wine sales. Ms. Mayberry further stated that, out of deference to area churches, she will not sell wine on Sunday's in the event that she chooses to remain open on Sunday's. Ms. Mayberry assured the Commissioners that she is aware of and will strictly abide by the laws governing alcohol sales and noted that the Town of Chestertown will prohibit her customers from taking purchased, open wine outdoors. John Wright, an adjacent neighbor, and Kathy Roberts, accountant, spoke in favor of this application.

A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve the license as requested, contingent upon clearance of Ms. Mayberry's withholding tax account.

This hearing was taped for reference and adjourned at 10:10 a.m.


There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, November 25, 2003.


THE BOARD OF LICENSE COMMISSIONERS
OF KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND

Janice F. Fletcher
Executive Assistant

Approved: William W. Pickrum, President

 

Please contact Ileana Lindstrom or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.

 

 




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