Crab House Loses One Permit, Gets A 2nd

April 25, 2009|By Julie Scharper | Julie Scharper,

The Annapolis liquor board revoked the late-night liquor license of a popular crab house near the City Dock at a hearing Friday, but it issued a new license that will enable the restaurant to serve alcohol until midnight.

The board ruled that Buddy's Crabs & Ribs, which has been open for more than 20 years, had not been eligible for the old license, which it had held since 1993.

"It's going to affect our revenue," said Kevin Blonder, one of the owners of the family business. "Most of the people who come in for crabs come in late night."

The license was not in accord with the restaurant's zoning, said Charles M. Grayston, head of the city's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. It recently came to the board's attention that it was a violation of state law to grant the restaurant the late-night license when it was not zoned to be eligible for the license.

Although Buddy's closes at 11 p.m. on weekends and 10 p.m. on weekdays, the late-night license enables the restaurant to serve the occasional party that wishes to stay later, Blonder said.

"If I have a party that's eating crabs, I'm not going to tell them to get the heck out of here at 11," Blonder said.

While the restaurant, in the 100 block of Main St., had initially been zoned to be eligible for the late-night license, residents successfully appealed that zoning in 1994. However, the restaurant had applied for and been granted the late-night license before the appeal, and the license has been renewed every year since.

Harvey Blonder, Kevin Blonder's father and the founder of the restaurant, said that the family planned to appeal the board's decision.

The family said that it did not make sense for the liquor board to change the license after renewing it for 15 years.

"When our new President was running for office, he ran on a platform of change," the family's attorneys wrote in a memo to the liquor board. "Buddy's does not, however, believe that his desire for change was a mandate that administrative bodies could change their minds simply because they wanted to."

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