Parkville bar, site of February stabbing, retains liquor license

Balto. Co. liquor board adds requirement for additional security

March 08, 2011|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

Cheers Bar & Grill, whose owners again were in front of the Baltimore County Liquor Board on Monday, can keep the bar open but must increase security in the wake of a recent stabbing.

"It seems to us we have a problem at this location," said liquor board Chairman Charles E. Klein. But rather than suspend or revoke the Parkville bar's license, the three board members added a requirement for more security guards outside the bar when crowds leave at night. Klein also warned that if violent incidents continue, the board could revoke the license.

Charles E. Brooks, the attorney representing the bar's owners, Barbara J. Quinan, Hyeseung Park, and James M. Yi, said after the hearing that they have "no desire to work against the board or the Police Department" and they want "to exhibit exemplary behavior."

The hearing was held after four patrons were injured Feb. 5 in a stabbing in the bar's parking lot.

"Our concern here is frequency of calls," which are "more volatile," said Lt. Kevin Flaherty, the commander for the midnight shift at the Parkville Precinct.

He mentioned concerns of increased gang activity based on the colors and tattoos some patrons sport and the lack of cooperation from witnesses. He said the Parkville Precinct doesn't have the resources to monitor the bar, saying that it often has to call in officers from the Towson and White March precincts.

Officer Mike Vlach, the officer who responded to the Feb. 5 stabbing, testified about that and other incidents. He described a stabbing in November and an incident on Jan. 30, when someone leaving the bar pulled out a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson at the Denny's restaurant across the parking lot.

Brooks argued that the hearing was called to focus only on the Feb. 5 stabbing.

More than a year ago, police and the bar's owners met with the liquor board to discuss the large, rowdy crowds in the shopping center's parking lot at closing times, and multiple incidents involving assaults and stabbings. The commanding officer of the Parkville Precinct, Capt. Thomas J. Busch, said the bar had been relatively quiet the past year — up until the past few months.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

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