Liquor board considers allowing adult shows at restaurant Balto. Co. business seeks consent under new law

October 07, 1997|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

A Belair Road restaurant that holds amateur beauty contests and male stripper shows is seeking the Baltimore County Liquor Board's approval to continue under a new law that restricts adult entertainment.

The owner of Tully's Restaurant, which offers "best body" contests and bachelorette parties, sought yesterday to show that it can have "adult entertainment" under the law enacted by the General Assembly in April.

Only clubs offering adult entertainment before April 9, 1996, can have it now, according to the law. The measure was designed to close shows featuring scantily clad dancers at three Pulaski Highway nightclubs, the targets of strong protests from Rosedale residents.

The board made no decision on Tully's, in the 7900 block of Belair Road, though it did approve a 2,000-square-foot expansion for pool tables and video games.

But board Chairman Philip R. Leyhe Jr. had reservations about the entertainment owner George Michael Hyle was offering at Tully's, based on photos given to the board at yesterday's hearing.

"I'm just wondering if this is a family restaurant or a nightclub," Leyhe said. "Looking at these pictures, I'm not sure I'd want to bring my grandchildren in there."

Hyle and his lawyer Gary Maslan argued that more than five adult entertainment events were held at Tully's in March and early April 1996, qualifying them to continue under the new law.

Hyle said he stopped the shows after a board inspector visited the club in May, so any confusion over the law could be resolved at a hearing.

"It's very hard to compete, it's tough," Hyle told the board, complaining that restaurants are continuously opening in White Marsh, and he needs the late night adult entertainment to keep his business growing.

Maslan pointed to the absence of community protesters as proof that Hyle's operation is clean.

Hyle said the adult shows don't normally begin until after 10 p.m., when restaurant patrons leave, the kitchen closes and the place is converted into a dance club.

Best-body contests draw male and female contestants who compete for a grand prize over a period of months, he said, and the male strippers used to perform every Friday. Tully's also offers magicians, oldies music, and other forms of entertainment, he told the board.

"It's not our intent to run a burlesque show," Maslan said. "We just want to preserve what we have."

Leyhe said a decision on Tully's would be issued within 30 days.

In a separate board action, a Pikesville restaurant lost its ability to serve alcohol. Kang Ho Li's liquor license for Stixx Cafe in the 1500 block of Reisterstown Road was suspended after the board learned the cafe is being operated by a new part-owner who is not a licensee.

Pub Date: 10/07/97

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