Liquor License Sale Hearing Turns Ugly

February 28, 1991|By Samuel Goldreich | Samuel Goldreich,Staff writer

It's not in anybody's backyard, but a new sports bar planned for Severna Park still drew protests Tuesday night during a meeting of the county Liquor Board.

James Perrin barely had time to recite his Glen Burnie address before board Chairman Thomas Riggin interrupted to ask why he was worried about a bar 10 miles away.

"My question is on the management, on the people who will actually run the establishment," Perrin responded.

He explained that he and six others were former officers or employees of Mobile Communications Services, a Severna Park cellular phone company that shut down a month ago.

MCS's former president, vice president and executive vice president are seeking the license transfer.

So ensued a bizarreliquor license hearing for an isolated tavern on the Route 2 site ofa failed Chinese disco, the Hunan.

The bar had been open without complaint under one name or another -- Casbar, Club Derby, Presto II -- for 40 years, Riggin said. Its only neighbors are a small office building and a marine service store.

The sports bar is called "Johnny's" on the application filed by Nicholas Kallis, whose family has owned the site since 1979.

James Windt, part of an investment team seeking the license transfer, said he is leaning toward the name "Shooters," reflecting the pool tables, dart boards, foosball and other games.

But Perrin and six others from throughout the county showed up at the board hearing to complain about the people to whom the Kallis family intends to sell its license.

The former associates told the board and reporters that Windt, partner Bo B. Chin and MCS' former president,Gary Bouthilette, urged them not to appear at the hearing.

Donald Campbell of Queenstown also told reporters that Bouthilette -- his former partner at MCS -- has defaulted on a three-year buy-out contract.

Bouthilette insisted yesterday that his 30 to 40 employees have all been paid and that creditors would be satisfied when MCS finishes selling off its assets.

He also said that Campbell has not sought to recover money from him under provisions of their contract.

None of this mattered to Riggin, who passed the complaints off as a private dispute that doesn't involve the board.

But he wasinterested in charges that Bouthilette has been convicted three times for driving while intoxicated.

Bouthilette's last DWI convictionwas almost three years ago and will be expunged from his record in April.

"It's nothing we were trying to hide," he said. "That was three years ago, and I've been through treatment and have had nothing since."

Kallis, Windt, Chen and Bouthilette stressed that Bouthilette would be a mere employee and not subject to any board challenges concerning DWIs.

The bar should open by the second week in April, if the license transfer is approved after a March 26 hearing, Windt said.

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