Greene Turtle resturant in White Marsh fined
The Greene Turtle restaurant in the White Marsh mall has suspended its Wednesday night practice of selling two drinks for the price of one following several instances of fights and disturbances at closing time.
“It’s embarrassing for us,” said licensee Robert Barry Jr. of GT White Marsh LLC during a hearing before the Baltimore County Board of Liquor License Commissioners on Monday, March 13, in Towson.
The board fined Barry $1,500 for violating the board’s Noise and Music rule during the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 19.
It was a 2 to 1 decision, with Chairman Charles Klein and member Leslie Pittler voting in favor, and Alexander Page Jr. against because Barry had taken steps to terminate the Wednesday night specials.
The decision was one of more than half a dozen by the board that resulted in fines for some establishments and dismissals for others in Middle River, Dundalk, Essex and Overlea.
According to police, the Jan. 19 fight at the Greene Turtle began in the bar between two individuals and “quickly escalated.” When officers arrived about 1:30 a.m., they found about 150 people in the parking lot.
“Multiple groups of people were yelling [and] arguing with each other in the upper and lower parking lots causing a disturbance,” according to the police report.
It took 30 minutes to clear the lot with the help of the DWI Taskforce and Maryland State Police who also responded to the scene.
“The individual parties continually ignored officer’s commands and continued to argue with each other and attempt to fight one another,” police reported.
According to board records, the liquor license was transferred to Barry from Sam Beritela of GT White Marsh LLC in November 2016.
Earlier that year, police had responded to similar incidents early on Thursday morning after patrons had been drinking Wednesday night.
On June 2, 2016, police responded to an altercation between two female patrons that also escalated into “a large fight.”
“Officers spoke with the managers on duty in reference to the kinds of problems becoming a recurring problem on Wednesday nights,” according to the police report.
Three weeks later on June 23, 2016, there were four officers on duty at the scene to “encourage an orderly exit.”
“The Green Turtle offers specials on Wednes- day night which causes a large and rowdy crowd every week, according to the police report. “Due to the large crowds and abundance of intoxicated patrons, the Police Department sends several resource to the location at closing time to minimize any disturbances and clear the parking lot.”
According to police, a disturbance in the bar set off the crowd in the bar and vestibule, quickly turning into “a large hostile shoving match” about 1:50 a.m.
Fights began in the parking lot and one man pulled a woman out of the group, with another man reacting by hitting him twice on the head.
Two people were charged by police with with disorderly conduct, and Beritela was subsequently fined on July 18 for $1,500, according to liquor board records.
Licensed wholesaler rule
On March 13, the board fined Captain Cork Liquors and Restaurant at 2843 Eastern Blvd. in Middle River $1,000 for violating the state’s requirement that alcohol must be purchased from a licensed wholesaler.
An inspector form the state Comptroller’s office, which collects sales taxes, paid a routine visit on Jan. 10 and spotted five cases of gin and vodka with the shipping labels torn off or cut out with a box cutter.
To the inspector that was an indication that the li- quor, valued at $1,402 retail price, had not been legally purchased.
When the owners were not able to immediately produce invoices showing where the 90 bottles of vodka and gin had come from, the inspector confiscated the cases.
At the hearing, an attorney for the license holders said the manager was suspected of violating the rule and said that the manager has since been terminated.
Also alleged to violated the rule was Pop’s Tavern at 4343 North Point Boulevard in Dundalk but on a much smaller scale.
After a routine visit on Dec. 29, 2016, an inspector from the state Comptroller’s office reported that he observed that two bottles of vodka, a bottle of amaretto and a bottle of schnapps had partial price stickers on them, an indication they were not purchased from a wholesaler.
According to report, he confiscated the bottles valued at $39.86 retail cost and took them to Annapolis.
At the hearing, the board fined the owners $250 but waived the fine, citing Pop’s Tavern long good record and long history in the community.
The bar was the second bar in Baltimore County to be licensed after Prohibition was repealed in 1933, according to liquor board records. It is thought to be the oldest continuously licensed tavern in the coun- ty.
In two other cases, the board dismissed disturbance-related Noise and Music allegations against the South Marlyn Inn in Essex and the S&S Lounge in Overlea.
On Jan. 28, shortly after midnight, 8 to 10 officers responded a call from the South Marlyn Inn about a fight in the parking lot involving a weapon.
Two black men had a drink in bar and as they were leaving, walked past a car in the parking lot with several men and a woman nearby, according to the police report.
A white man in the car reportedly said ,“What are you looking at nigger?,” according to the report. report. The man got out of the car, picked up an object off the ground and threw it at the two men.
The two black men responded by getting two wooden shovel handles out of a car to defend them- selves, while the white man was given a hatchet-like weapon by a man at the scene.
The account is verified by video tapes of the incidents, according to police. The ar owner also stated that the two black men were intoxicated when the walked out of the bar into the parking lot.
The board concluded that the bar owner had done nothing that resulted in the incident in the parking lot.
Noise and Music allegations were also dismissed against the S&S Lounge at 6900 Belair Road near the city line in Overlea.
On Jan. 14, police responded to a large noisy crowd crossing the near the lounge. An officers repoerted a fight in the street and someone was holding back another person, but there was no evidence that the behavior was linked to the bar.