Annapolis' 'buddy' system

January 30, 1995

Harvey Blonder, the man who some people think wants to turn Annapolis into Sin City, recently received a 2 a.m. liquor license to open a nightclub just across the city line in Anne Arundel County.

The 12,000-square-foot club will be located on Hudson Street in what was once a bowling alley. In addition to a dance club designed for 600 people, there are plans for a comedy club and a video production studio.

Mr. Blonder, who owns Buddy's Crabs and Ribs on Main Street in Annapolis, tried to operate a similar late-night club in his downtown restaurant last summer, but he had to give it up when a Circuit Court judge ruled that he could not serve alcohol past midnight because his 2 a.m. liquor license was invalid.

Mr. Blonder found the county much more supportive of his project, and Buddy's Late Night is scheduled to open in April.

This is a good deal for everyone. Mr. Blonder will be able to operate the night club he has wanted in a location that is more appropriate for late-night entertainment. The new facility, located near the National Guard Armory and Casino Bingo, should

have plenty of parking, and there are no neighbors living nearby to complain about noise.

But before downtown Annapolis residents breathe a sigh of relief, they ought to know that Mr. Blonder hasn't given up on getting a 2 a.m. liquor license in the city. He has taken his case to the Court of Appeals, arguing in part that Annapolis' moratorium on 2 a.m. liquor licenses is unfair.

We agree. Currently some bars are allowed to serve liquor until 2 a.m., while others next door must close at midnight. If the city really opposes late-night bars in the historic district, it must ban them all, not just some.

Mr. Blonder says if he wins his case he will open a jazz and blues club in his restaurant after serving hours. These new plans certainly seem better suited to the historic district.

But that isn't all. He also wants to offer dining on the roof of Buddy's, and knock down the interior walls of several of his downtown properties to create a multi-building arcade. The Historic District Commission is rightly skeptical of all this.

He may be moving to the county, but the city of Annapolis hasn't heard the last of Harvey Blonder.

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