Owners of Looney's Pub in Maple Lawn were fined $5,000 by Howard County's liquor board for a series of infractions during the first few months after the establishment opened in spring 2009.
The fine was imposed Monday by the County Council, sitting as the liquor board. The council members normally hear only unusual or serious liquor cases, leaving the majority to an appointed Alcoholic Beverage Hearing Board.
Looney's problems began opening day, March 14, 2009, when two county police officers saw children playing the bar's electronic games. Police also reported several obviously drunken and aggressive patrons still being served alcohol and others taking their drinks beyond the licensed outdoor patio, Two months later, on June 3, a 19-year-old police cadet was served a beer from the bar without being asked for identification.
Detective Mark Baxter told the board in an Oct. 20 hearing, however, that there have been no new infractions during his six visits to Looney's over the past year, and licensee Steve Litrenta said all 128 employees are now alcohol-certified, the games have been removed from the bar area and the gate to the patio is locked. Employees are offered rewards now for finding forged identification. Defense attorney Joseph F. Snee Jr. said nearly the entire opening day staff is gone, along with the original general manager.