New West Ocean City Business Denied Liquor Sales

WEST OCEAN CITY –  The Worcester County Board of License Commissioners (BLC) denied two businesses’ requests to sell carryout liquor this week.

Though both the Marlin Market and Restaurant on Route 611 and Oceans Market in north Ocean City were seeking permission to sell carryout liquor, the board did not approve those requests. Oceans Market will continue to sell carryout beer and wine while the new Marlin Market and Restaurant will serve beer wine and liquor but will only be able to sell carryout beer and wine.

According to the connections of Marlin Market and Restaurant, located at the intersection of Route 611 and Sunset Avenue, they wanted to serve beer wine and liquor in their restaurant and sell those items in the adjacent convenience store. According to Mark Cropper, the attorney representing the connections, the property had long had a beer and wine license but was now seeking a beer wine and liquor license to better serve the community once it re-opens.

“I think there’s a need not being met right now for people wishing to walk,” Cropper said.

He told the board that shoppers wishing to avoid Route 50 traffic, as well as those who live in the Sunset Avenue neighborhood, would benefit if Marlin Market was able to sell carryout beer, wine and liquor.

Proprietors of Trader Lee’s at the corner of Routes 611 and 50 and the West-O Bottle Shop on the north side of Route 50 told the board they objected to Marlin Market’s request.

“We feel we serve the public need,” said Sara Hambury of the West-O Bottle Shop.

David Hambury agreed and said that he was primarily concerned about Marlin Market’s request to sell liquor.

Robert Jester of Trader Lee’s expressed similar concerns. He said there were already plenty of establishments in the neighborhood that sold carryout liquor. Jester said there were days during the winter when Trader Lee’s was open for 13 hours and saw fewer than 70 customers.

“I don’t need any additional competition,” he said. “It’s bad enough as it is.”

BLC member Charles Nichols pointed out that two parties were present to oppose the request to sell liquor while no one, aside from the applicants and their attorney, was there to support it.

BLC member Marty Pusey, who made the motion to give Marlin Market a license for carryout beer and wine, said she was concerned about the applicants’ lack of experience in serving liquor. She said the property had a history of selling beer and wine. She added that she was eager to see a viable business again operating on the property.

“We need that corner to be active and successful,” she said. “It has not looked good in the community to just have it sitting there.”

Following the decision to deny carryout liquor sales at Marlin Market, the board also voted to deny carryout liquor sales at Oceans Market. The board did, however, approve the transfer of the shop’s existing beer and wine license from Saroj Pratap KC to Oceans Market Inc.

On Wednesday, the board also approved the transfer of the beer, wine and liquor license for the former Captain’s Galley building from Ocean City Fish Partners to Mad Fish Inc., which will be operated by Cole Taustin of The Embers Restaurant and Blu Crabhouse & Raw Bar.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.