Baltimore's liquor board has agreed tentatively to release a liquor license for an upscale downtown nightclub after the woman seeking the license turned over documents showing her financial interest in the club.
The liquor board had approved the license in the fall for Mary E. Collins -- a city school guidance counselor -- to operate the nightclub at 410 W. Fayette St.
But the board later held up the license after The Sun reported the approval came despite Ms. Collins' failure to provide financial proof that she will own and operate the club.
The nightclub, in the former Sons of Italy building near the University of Maryland School of Law, is scheduled to open this ** spring.
Aaron Stansbury, the board's executive secretary, said Ms. Collins has since "provided an affidavit in which she said she will be the sole owner and operator and will be the manager. That affidavit was signed under the penalties of perjury."
Ms. Collins' new affidavit is contrary to previous statements by elected officials and downtown business leaders who said the nightclub will be operated by Kenneth A. Jackson, who was once convicted on a weapons charge -- thus disqualifying him for a liquor license. Mr. Jackson also manages a downtown strip club.
Last month, two lawyers representing Mr. Jackson said he will develop and manage the operation, while Ms. Collins holds the liquor license.
But yesterday, Alvin Alston, a lawyer for Ms. Collins, said his client will operate the nightclub without Mr. Jackson's help.
"She will be running the cafe and the entertainment in the banquet hall," he said, adding Mr. Jackson's only involvement is in renovating the building, which is owned by a corporation his mother, Rosalie Jackson, heads.
Mr. Alston also said Ms. Collins will continue working as a school guidance counselor while she operates the 1,200-seat nightclub with help from relatives.
Mr. Jackson and his lawyers could not be reached for comment.
The liquor board yesterday declined to make public the affidavit and other documents Ms. Collins turned over to it.
Mr. Stansbury said the documents have been sent to the attorney general's office for review before the board makes a final decision to give Ms. Collins the license.