Restaurant loses bid for liquor license

June 11, 1995

Buddy's Crabs and Ribs owner Harvey Blonder has lost his latest court battle to secure a 2 a.m. liquor license for his downtown Annapolis restaurant.

The Court of Special Appeals upheld Friday a Circuit Court judge's decision to bar the restaurant from selling alcohol after midnight.

A lawyer for Mr. Blonder had argued that city officials never fully explained why they gave Buddy's a 2 a.m. liquor license two years ago, thus preventing Judge Eugene M. Lerner from conducting a full review of the case. But the appellate court said Judge Lerner had all the facts he needed.

Mr. Blonder petitioned the city in 1990 and in 1993 for a 2 a.m. closing time, a full-service bar and live entertainment for his restaurant at the foot of Main Street. The first time the city council ruled against him. The second time the council voted in his favor, in part by using a more lenient set of rules.

A group of 11 residents appealed the case to Circuit Court, where Judge Lerner ordered the restaurant to close at midnight again. The Court of Special Appeals agreed, ruling that the city council's approval of the 2 a.m. license represented "a pure change of mind by the City" and was not based on any major change in law.

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