Liquor Laws Continue to be Big Focus in Montgomery County

In order to compete with its neighbor the District of Columbia, Montgomery County, Maryland, continues to strive to make itself a more inviting place for those seeking after-hours entertainment options.  As indicated in my previous post, a sizable portion of these efforts involves reforming the county’s laws regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages.  In case you had any doubt, however, as to how important these issues are for the county, a recent article in the Gazette newspaper notes that more than two-thirds (9 out of 13) of the bills being considered by the county’s delegation to the 2014 General Assembly relate to liquor licensing and other aspects of the county’s regulation of alcohol.

If you have any questions about how any of these laws will affect your business, how you might be able to take advantage of any proposed changes, or how you can play a role in affecting the outcome of any of these proposals, please do not hesitate to contact us.

“Nighttime Economy Task Force” Issues Recommendations

Earlier this year, Montgomery County, Maryland, created a task force of local civic leaders and businesspeople to address issues that could make the county a more inviting place for those seeking lively nightlife offerings.  On October 21, 2013, this “Nighttime Economy Task Force” issued its recommendations, many of which — particularly those changing county liquor license requirements — will have a direct effect on the restaurant and tavern industry in the county.  Among the most welcome recommendations for this industry are:

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Morris Law Firm Helps Bring Spanish-based Restaurant Chain to Bethesda

The locally-focused blog Bethesda Now featured a story last week on the upcoming opening of a new Bethesda location for the Spanish-based restaurant chain 100 Montaditos.  The local operators, who were approved for a Montgomery County liquor license on September 19, expect to open in early October.  The new location on Elm Street, just off Bethesda Row in downtown Bethesda, will be the first U.S. location outside of Florida.

The Morris Law Firm is pleased to have been part of the effort to bring 100 Montaditos to Bethesda, serving as their alcoholic beverage licensing counsel and assisting them in all aspects of their liquor license application and liquor board hearing.




Court of Appeals (Again) Declines to Bring Dram Shop Liability to Maryland

In a closely watched case (and one I have written about here, here, and here), the Maryland Court of Appeals last month, in a 4-3 decision, declined to recognize dram shop liability in the state of Maryland.  Dram shop liability is a theory of liability that holds a restaurant or tavern owner accountable if a patron kills or harms another person after drinking too much at the owner’s establishment.  The typical case involves an automobile accident and a drunk driver.  Maryland has been one of only a handful of states that do not recognize at least some form of dram shop liability.  And that will continue, at least for now.

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