Liquor board OKs li­cense for Ward­room

Sunday Star - - LOCAL - By CHRISTINA ACOSTA ca­[email protected]­pub.com

EAS­TON — The Tal­bot County Board of Liquor Li­cense Com­mis­sion­ers on Mon­day, Nov. 26, granted con­di­tional ap­proval of a new li­cense for The Ward­room LLC.

The Ward­room, 103 N. Wash­ing­ton St., with a mail­ing ad­dress at 9 Fed­eral St., is a pro­posed al­co­hol dis­pen­sary bistro that will be a retail wine shop of­fer­ing an ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of fine wine and sprits from around the world. The bistro also will serve cheese, bread and choco­lates.

The con­di­tions of the board’s ap­proval are The Ward­room must sub­mit a floor plan to the liquor board of­fice by Jan. 31; that the busi­ness be fully op­er­a­tional by June 30; and that the prin­ci­pals and the ap­pli­cants make a progress re­port to the liquor board re­gard­ing struc­tural mod­i­fi­ca­tions and jus­ti­fi­ca­tion as to any ex­pected delays by the sec­ond hear­ing date in March 2019. (A progress re­port will not be nec­es­sary if open­ing is as­sured by June 30.)

“This will give you time to get things in or­der,” said Tal­bot County Liquor Board Com­mis­sioner John Gottschalk.

“This is an­other piece of the puz­zle that we are putting to­gether for Fed­eral and this whole block,” said Blue­point Hos­pi­tal­ity Group LLC Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent Matthew Ma­son. “It will com­pli­ment ev­ery­thing we have done on that block. Our fo­cus there is to have a wine shop that has an un­be­liev­able col­lec­tion of wine. We would like to have a bistro con­nected to it with a lim­ited menu with 14 seats.”

Ma­son said he would like for the shop to be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, but hours may fluc­tu­ate. He said he is look­ing to hire four full-time staff and four part-time staff for the retail sec­tion. For the bistro, Ma­son is look­ing to hire two full-time and two part-time staff.

Blue­point Hos­pi­tal­ity also is re­mod­el­ing the base­ment to put in a cheese cave to age cheese it can serve in the bistro.

Seventy-five per­cent of the space will be for the dis­pen­sary. There will be some spir­its, but not a tremen­dous amount, and a lim­ited se­lec­tion of craft beer. The

re­main­ing 25 per­cent of the space will be for the bistro.

Tal­bot County Board of Liquor Chair­man Gary Royer said there needs to be a clear de­mar­ca­tion be­tween the bistro area and wine dis­pen­sary. Royer pointed out Chap­ter 11 of Tal­bot County Code “Al­co­holic Bev­er­ages,” Sec­tion H, num­ber three where it states, “The bistro area means the area of the li­cense ded­i­cated to the sale of ser­vice of craft beer and wine for con­sump­tion on pre­misses. Bistro area in­cludes, with­out lim­i­ta­tions, seat­ing area, ser­vice area, kitchen and food prepa­ra­tion ar­eas. The bistro area

shall be specif­i­cally des­ig­nated and clearly marked on premise of the con­sump­tion of craft beer and wine and food ser­vice may only be oc­curred in the bistro area. Noth­ing in this sec­tion shall pre­clude the li­cense holder from plac­ing racks of dis­plays con­tain­ing sealed pack­ages of con­tain­ers of craft beer and wine in the bistro area. Liquor and other craft beer shall not be kept or dis­played in the bistro area.”

Gottschalk also rec­om­mended that staff mem­bers get some Train­ing for In­ter­ven­tion Pro­ce­dures as soon as pos­si­ble, to avoid any is­sues.

“We have been look­ing for­ward to this li­cense to be­come avail­able in the county for quite some­time. It’s a very in­ter­est­ing con­cept and one that would com­pli­ment all that we are do­ing in the block,” said Blue­point Hos­pi­tal­ity Group LLC Food and Bev­er­age Di­rec­tor Thad­deus Hoy. “We un­der­stand the re­straints that are go­ing to be im­pose with an on and off premise li­cense, and we are ded­i­cat­ing and mak­ing sure we can con­trol those very care­fully.”

The next Tal­bot Liquor Board meet­ing will take place Mon­day, Dec. 10. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.tal­bot­coun­tymd.gov.

PHOTO BY CHRISTINA ACOSTA

From left, Blue­point Hos­pi­tal­ity Group Food & Bev­er­age Di­rec­tor Thad­deus Hoy, Blue­point Hos­pi­tal­ity Group Ad­min­is­tra­tive Man­ager Suzanne Kline, Blue­point Hos­pi­tal­ity Group Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent Matthew Ma­son and Ar­mis­tead, Gris­wold, Lee & Rust At­tor­ney Zach Smith dis­cuss plans for The Ward­room at the Tal­bot County Liquor Board meet­ing on Mon­day, Nov. 26.

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