Rooftop Bar Changes Approved; Fines Issued For License Violations

SNOW HILL – The Hotel Monte Carlo will expand activities at its rooftop bar following approval from the Worcester County Board of License Commissioners (BLC) this week.

The BLC on Wednesday approved plans for longer hours, added entertainment and games for the hotel’s rooftop bar and lounge, known as the Monte Carlo Surf Inn. Connections of the Monte Carlo said they simply wanted to better serve their clientele.

“The world today’s about entertainment,” said Vince DiFonzo, president and chief operating officer of TKo Hospitality. “People like to be entertained. We’re in an experience based world.”

The Monte Carlo applied to the board this month to seek permission to expand hours at its rooftop bar and lounge and to offer entertainment. Attorney Mark Cropper said the hotel’s customers, who made up the bulk of the clients on the pool deck, had complained about the 8:30 p.m. closing time and the lack of entertainment. To remedy that, the hotel’s connections proposed expanding hours until 10 p.m., offering live entertainment a few times a week and offering family friendly games such as cornhole and chess.

“There’s no noise, bright lights, anything of that nature,” Cropper said.

BLC Chairman William Esham questioned the hotel’s intent in expanding activities at its rooftop bar. DiFonzo said the hotel wanted to provide customers a place to relax in the evening. He said a husband, for example, could sit there and enjoy a drink as his wife got ready to go out.

“It’s a beautiful place to watch the sunset,” he said. “We’re not trying to be a rock and roll place.

Esham expressed concern about allowing cornhole as one of the bar’s games.

“We’ve had issues with that in other places,” he said. “They get loud when they’re playing it.”

He said he also wanted to make sure live entertainment wasn’t too loud, as Baltimore Avenue, the hotel’s location, was already quite busy.

In the end the board agreed to extend hours for the rooftop bar to 9:30 p.m. and to allow one-piece of entertainment up to three times a week. While the board opted not to allow cornhole, it did give the Monte Carlo permission to offer chess, shuffleboard and Connect Four.

At Wednesday’s meeting the board also approved a license transfer from Touch of Italy Ocean City LLC to Farindola OC LLC and held hearings on license violations (the sale of alcohol to a minor) at Oceans Market, Village Market and Rio Grande Café.

Oceans Market received a letter of reprimand while Rio Grande Café received a $250 fine. In the case of Village Market, where Ocean City Police Department officers said the employee who made the sale was slow to cooperate, BLC members issued a $500 fine and stressed the importance of being respectful toward local law enforcement.

“A license is a privilege not a right,” Esham said. “The Ocean City Police Department is there to protect all of us … we’re not going to have them mistreated.”

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.