2nd chance at liquor permit

Owner of proposed tavern to appear before board July 22

June 20, 2008|By Shayna Meliker | Shayna Meliker,Sun reporter

The Second Chance Saloon, which plans to open in Oakland Mills Village Center on Sept. 1, will get a second chance to obtain a liquor license July 22.

At a hearing Tuesday, the county's Alcoholic Beverage Hearing Board postponed a vote on approving a liquor license for the restaurant. The decision came after board members expressed concern about a fenced-in outdoor patio with two entrance gates.

John L. Peoples Jr., chairman of the hearing board, urged the license applicants to be vigilant in serving alcohol on the patio, especially because the establishment is close to an apartment complex and Oakland Mills High School.

"We always have a concern for the ingenuity of young people," Peoples said. "I suggest [the owners] put a foolproof system in place that will not allow young people to create a violation."

Roger Miles and Wendy Binder, who submitted the request for a beer, wine and liquor license, will have to return to the hearing board July 22. The original license application did not include any mention or depiction of the patio, and the hearing board requested that Miles and Binder bring back photographs and a detailed map.

Board member Anne Santos, who grew up in Oakland Mills, expressed much of the concern about the patio, which Binder said will seat 15 to 20 patrons.

"Two gates," Santos said. "To me, that sounds like it's not just a kid can get in, it's that they can walk off with their beers and go outside."

But Binder, a resident of Burtonsville in Montgomery County, and Miles, who lives in Clarksville, say they will address the board's concerns so they can revive a neighborhood restaurant.

The Last Chance Saloon operated at the Oakland Mills location for 23 years before closing in 2004. The Fire Rock Grill opened there in December 2005 but closed last fall. Now the new owners say they are honoring the tradition by naming it the Second Chance Saloon.

The restaurant would seat 100 to 150 people and open at 4 p.m. six days a week, Binder said. She plans to hire 15 to 20 employees, recruiting those who worked at the Last Chance Saloon and the Fire Rock Grill.

"We feel that the community needs to come back to a neighborhood establishment," said Binder, who will be the principal manager and 90 percent owner. "We don't want people to come once, we want them to come often. We want to cater to seniors, to families, to locals."

The restaurant will offer pub fare and games that include pool and shuffleboard. Binder said she plans to be active in the community and sponsor sports teams.

In other business at the Tuesday hearing, the board approved a transfer license for a liquor store in the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center. The license transferred from Normandy LLC to the Enchanted Forest Wine and Spirits LLC, a store at the same location with different owners and a different name.

Richard Sahn Sr. and his son will manage the store, which will be open seven days a week. Sahn said the store will be environmentally friendly, with an emphasis on recycling, and will sponsor community Little League teams.

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