New Liquor License Granted; Violation Draws Fine

SNOW HILL – Two matters on the agenda for the Worcester County Board of License Commissioners (BLC) Wednesday were the approval of a new liquor license and the violation of another by way of sale to a minor.

Representatives from Simon and Oliver’s Wood-Fired Grille petitioned the BLC for a Class ‘B’ seven-day license, which would allow beer, wine, and liquor to be sold at the establishment, located at 116th Street and Coastal Highway inside the Fountainhead. Attorney Guy Ayres reminded the board that, while this was a new restaurant applying for a new license, there has been a licensed restaurant at that address under different names and ownership for decades.

Ayres then pointed out the 20 years experience that Lynnette Newberry, the majority owner, possessed in the industry. Ayres said in all those decades of experience no alcohol violations had ever occurred. The BLC sought basic information about the establishment, including how large a roster of employees Newberry planned on.

“There will be around 25 in the summer and 10 to 12 during the winter,” she said.

Also discussed was entertainment, which would not include a DJ. Since no obvious issues were discovered, the board granted a Class B license to the operation.

The second and final matter before the BLC was dealing with a “sale to minor” violation that occurred at the Quality Inn Oceanfront Atrium Bar on July 30.

Attorney Joe Moore represented the Harrison Group, owner to establishment, and stressed the rigorous training and certification all employees are required to meet and claimed that this violation was a one-time accident.

“It was simply a misidentification,” stated Moore.

The incident in question involved a waitress who served an Ocean City Police Department cadet, who was a minor, alcohol without first checking her ID.

According to the employee, she thought that she recognized the cadet from earlier in the night as someone she had already carded.

Moore argued that the employee had never had another violation despite serving alcohol for the last several years. He claimed that it was an honest mistake and in no way reflects back on a lack of training.

Ocean City Police Officer Frank Soscha agreed the establishment in question rarely got in trouble for serving to minors.

“It’s not a hotspot,” said Soscha. “I can’t remember the last time we’ve had this kind of issue there.”

However, the board did have a similar violation on record as recently as August 2008. The board eventually ordered a $500 fine.

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