12 Questions to Ask (and Answer) Before Signing Your Restaurant Lease

As I’ve written here before, perhaps the document that will have the greatest impact on the success of your restaurant will be your lease. It sets the terms of your relationship with your landlord, governs the manner in which you may use your space, and determines what you must pay – each and every month […]

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Last Call for Georgetown Liquor License Moratorium

Starting next week, for the first time in 27 years, restaurants in Georgetown will be able to apply for new liquor licenses.  The District of Columbia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control today voted not to extend its decades-old moratorium on liquor licenses for restaurants, which had been set to expire on April 8.  The moratorium was instituted in […]

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Is The End Near for Montgomery County’s Liquor Monopoly?

Montgomery County, our home jurisdiction, is the only county in the state of Maryland that exerts complete control over the distribution of alcoholic beverages.  With few exceptions, every pint of beer, glass of wine, and drop of spirits consumed in the county passes through the hands of the County government on its way from producer to […]

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Difficulty Obtaining a Liquor License Among Things that Doomed Taco Bell’s Fast Casual Concept

Taco Bell thought its concept — U.S. Taco Co. — could take on Chipotle and, failing that, at least give it a toe-hold in the rapidly growing fast casual dining market.  But, after just one year of being open in Huntington Beach, California, its first and only outpost has closed. Among the problems facing the […]

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DC Restaurant Owners Learn the Hard Way How Important a “Very Good Lease” Is.

A dispute with its landlord has caused the abrupt closure of a popular Columbia Heights restaurant.  Apparently, the dispute was brought to a head when the landlord refused to sign off on the restaurant’s liquor license application, which is a requirement under DC law.  Now the parties have sued (and counter-sued) each other in DC […]

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Client Spotlight: Tony Conte and Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana

Permit us a moment to bask in the good fortune of one of our clients and share with you this terrific piece on Tony Conte and Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana, as recently featured in the Washingtonian. We are also pleased to report that Inferno’s liquor license application was approved by Montgomery County this morning, so you’ll be able […]

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New Liquor License Residency Requirements in Prince George’s County

As written here before, residency requirements can be a significant (or at least annoying) hurdle to obtaining a liquor license in Maryland.  Nearly every county requires that at least one of the licensees for any establishment to have been a resident of that county for some defined period prior to the issuance of the license […]

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Judge Rules Non-Citizens Should be Able to Hold Liquor Licenses

In nearly every county in Maryland, being a non-US citizen is a bar to holding a liquor license.  A judge in Anne Arundel County, however, recently ruled that such laws are discriminatory and ordered the county liquor board to reconsider a liquor license application submitted by a non-citizen permanent resident.  Upon such reconsideration the board […]

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Planning a Brewery? Think Zoning Zoning Zoning

Have you ever wondered why Annapolis, our state’s fair capital city, does not have any craft breweries?  After all, Frederick and Baltimore are home to multiple world class craft beer producers.  Well, the answer is both simple and amazing:  the zoning codes of the City of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County do not include brewing […]

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