WESTMINSTER -- The Carroll County Liquor Board is deliberating action against a local bar owner whose establishment has come under fire for various infractions in the past year.
Officials said Barry Snyder, the co-owner of Survivors Inn, "vacated the premises" after announcing to the public that his HTC bar was going out of business, but telling the liquor board he was only going on vacation.
"He [Mr. Snyder] put a sign in his window on July 22 saying that due to a lack of interest in the Westminster area, he was closing his business," said Ronald Lau, the administrator for the liquor board who presented the case. "Two of his [beer] distributors come in and take their products, and gas tanks used to run several of the appliances in the bar are removed.
"But a week later, we get a letter saying he will be gone on vacation from July 24 until Aug. 3 and will reopen the business on Aug. 4," Mr. Lau said. "You don't do that sort of a thing if you are going on vacation."
Said Mr. Snyder: "We were undecided about what to do about the bar when we put the sign up. I talked to lawyers and things for the next week to decide how to handle it."
He did not address the board's allegations that he did not intend to reopen the bar.
In April, the board downgraded his liquor permit from a class D license -- which most taverns and bars use -- to a class B license, where 41 percent of the sales have to come from food purchases.
He was operating his business on the class D license, which costs $1,500 yearly, pending the outcome of an appeal, Mr. Lau said.
However, Mr. Snyder turned in the class D license for the downgraded license and withdrew the appeal. He had expected to receive the standard three-quarters refund of the fee for the class D license. He was later charged with vacating his business after the licensing office became aware of the sign in the window.
Mr. Lau said that by terminating the appeal, Mr. Snyder also gave up his right to the refund.
Mr. Snyder was named in August as a defendant in a $47 million lawsuit filed by the family of a 20-year-old Hanover, Pa., man who died in a car accident last Nov. 22.David G. Shorter's family claimed that BJ's Sports Pub and Deli, now Survivors Inn, was negligent in serving liquor to minors. Mr. Shorter died in the crash after he and a friend, David Maempel, left BJ's Pub, which had been offering a $4 "all-you-can-drink" special. Mr. Maempel, who was driving the car, fell asleep at the wheel and the vehicle struck a tree.
Along with Mr. Snyder, co-owner Joseph Kaplan, bartender Greg Reitz and Mr. Maempel were named as defendants in the suit.
Mr. Snyder and Mr. Kaplan came before the county liquor board three times earlier this year on charges that the bar served alcohol to minors.
In connection with the latest case, the liquor board said its decision will be sent to the parties involved within 30 days. If he is found guilty of this infraction, Mr. Snyder could be fined up to $2,000 as well as have his license suspended or revoked, Mr. Lau said.