Highlandtown bar gets another day in court

Written by on March 27, 2013 in Neighborhood News - No comments

La Raza Cantina, which had its liquor license revoked by the Baltimore Board of Liquor License Commissioners in December, will have its appeal heard in Baltimore City Circuit Court on Friday at 9:30 a.m.

The bar, located at the corner of East Ave. and Eastern Ave., is appealing the decision of the Liquor Board, which will be represented by Alice Pinderhughes.

Brooke Lierman, an attorney representing the Highlandtown Community Association, will attend the appeal.

“I, on behalf of the neighbors filed a memorandum of law in support of the board’s decision [to revoke the liquor license],” said Lierman.”It’s important that when we say a liquor license is a privilege, not a right, that the actions of the Liquor Board support that.”

La Raza lost its license in December after a group of 137 neighbors signed a petition requesting its license be revoked. The petition referenced a double stabbing that the petition says occurred in the early morning hours of Sept. 30, “which resulted in the shutdown of S. East Ave. for many hours” and “an incident on Monday, Oct. 1, resulting in screaming people coming out of the bar, multiple police cars encircling the bar, and numerous citations given.

The bar appealed the decision and was allowed to remain open pending its appeal.

State Senator Bill Ferguson, who represents the 46th district and lives near the bar, attended and testified at the revocation hearing, and believes the Liquor Board made the right decision.

“The fact that the licensee in the interim has been brought back to the Liquor Board for a violation of city ordinance and state law regarding serving minors serves as further evidence that the liquor board got it right,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson is referring to La Raza being brought before the Liquor Board on February 21 for selling alcohol to a minor on January 23. According to the board, it was their first time selling alcohol to a minor and they paid a $625 fine.

As a result of his and his neighbors’ experiences with La Raza, Ferguson recently sponsored Senate Bill 235 in Annapolis.The bill would require a bar that has its license revoked to stop selling alcohol for at least 45 days before seeking a stay on the Liquor Board’s decision.


by Danielle Sweeney

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