Billiards club license to sell liquor is revoked

May 09, 2002|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

Howard County's liquor board took the ultimate action - and an unusual one - against an Ellicott City billiards club by permanently revoking the already-suspended liquor license of the Centennial Cue and Karaoke Club.

The board, which is composed of the five County Council members, said in a 10-page opinion that the club, at 10045 Baltimore National Pike, had so many violations of county liquor board rules that the licensee "completely abdicated responsibility for and supervision of the sales of alcoholic beverages."

County officials were told at a hearing in March that the club is being operated by relatives of Harrison Ho Kang, the licensee. Since the revocation decision, dated April 15, Kang has not been located by Detective Martin Johnson, the county's liquor inspector. Johnson finally delivered the decision Saturday to a woman named Hyon An, board records show, who promised to give it to Kang's wife.

The action also means no new buyer may operate the business with a liquor license from those premises until at least September.

According to testimony from Kang at the March hearing, the business was failing, which led to most of the rule violations and to his surrender of control to relatives. Kang was accused of 10 violations ranging from after-hours liquor sales to buying alcohol retail, which is a violation of Maryland tax laws.

In March, Kang told the board that he was five months behind in the commercial rent when his extended family took over, barring him from the premises. Johnson visited the business numerous times in January and February, unable to find anyone on duty certified to sell alcohol, business employee records, a federal tax stamp or a Maryland retail sales license.

Later, he learned Kang had not paid Maryland sales and withholding taxes. Subsequent visits showed no improvement, Johnson told the board. In a final visit Feb. 19, Johnson found unknown people selling alcohol at the club. The board suspended the license two days later.

Kang said his niece and nephew were running the club. The business, which offers 20 pool tables, remained open yesterday.

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