County Liquor Store Buy Dropped

SNOW HILL – The sale of the county’s last remaining liquor store has fallen through despite a ruling from the Court of Special Appeals upholding a decision to grant the proposed buyer a liquor license.

County officials confirmed this week that Kalpesh Patel, the buyer the Worcester County Commissioners agreed to sell the Shore Spirits store to back in 2017, was no longer purchasing it. The sale of the store had been delayed as the county waited for an opinion from the Court of Special Appeals regarding the Worcester County Board of License Commissioners’ decision to give Patel a liquor license in 2017.

“Kalpesh Patel did exercise his contractual right to end the pending sale,” said Kim Moses, the county’s public information officer. “As you know the county won the court appeal, and sales are up at this location, so county staff are evaluating available options moving forward.”

Last week, the Court of Special Appeals issued an opinion upholding the Worcester County Board of License Commissioners’ 2017 decision to grant Patel a liquor license for Shore Spirits in Pocomoke. The board’s decision had been appealed by the owner of a nearby beer and wine store, first to Worcester County Circuit Court and then to the Court of Appeals.

While the decision from the Court of Appeals allowed the county to move forward with the sale of the property, Patel, who bid $1.2 million for the store in 2017, no longer wants to buy it.

“The original agreements between Kalpesh Patel and the county contemplated the very real possibility that appeals could or would be filed to the issuance of the required liquor license,” said Mark Cropper, Patel’s attorney. “Once those appeals were filed, and due to the passage of time that has resulted, Kalpesh exercised his right to terminate the agreement and not proceed to closing.”

It’s unclear whether the county will now contact others who submitted bids to buy Shore Spirits in 2017 or if the county will seek new proposals. When a request for proposals was issued in February of 2017, Patel and four others bid on the store at prices ranging from $500,000 to $1.2 million.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

Alternative Text

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.