Liquor store to stay open in appeal

May 01, 2008|By Brent Jones

A Baltimore Circuit Court judge allowed Linden Bar and Liquors yesterday to remain open until a June 5 appeals hearing, a decision that reverses a ruling by the city liquor board last month.

Judge Alfred Nance granted a stay on the final day the bar would have been allowed to sell alcohol. The liquor board revoked the license for the owner of the longtime corner establishment in the 900 block of W. North Ave. on April 17, noting an excessive amount of police activity outside the store.

Residents of nearby Reservoir Hill and police testified at the liquor board hearing that the bar is the site of nightly drug activity and violence.

Richard Bittner, the lawyer for Linden Bar owner Chang K. Yim, argued in court yesterday that the liquor board did not have the authority to close the bar until the appeals hearing. Bittner said the board overstepped its bounds during the hearing, and that it could have only imposed sanctions against the store.

Stephan Fogleman, the liquor board chairman, disputed Bittner's claims but will seek clarification from the attorney's general office.

"There certainly is some level of disappointment," Fogleman said of Nance's ruling.

Yim has owned the business since 2003. "He was overjoyed to the point of tears," Bittner said. "His family was very emotional. He had his wife and children there. This is the Yim family's lifeblood."

Liquor board officials also postponed the license renewal hearing for Sky Lounge, in the 1000 block of Marshall St., until 1:15 p.m. May 8.

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