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Choptank Gets Liquor License Renewal Despite Challenge Over Noise Complaints (BBJ Story)

The Baltimore Business Journal

City liquor board commissioners decided Thursday to renew a beer, wine and liquor license for The Choptank, dismissing complaints from a group of neighbors who alleged the seafood bar and restaurant had subjected them to excessive noise from its outdoor speakers.

The board voted unanimously to re-up the license for the Fells Point property, which is owned by Atlas Restaurant Group. Board chair Albert Matricciani said he could not find "substantial evidence" to support any of the complaints.

The challenge, filed last March, came from a group of 14 Fells Point residents and business owners. In documents submitted to the liquor board, the petitioners said live and recorded music emanating from the Choptank's outdoor speakers was "disturbing the peace in the surrounding neighborhood."

The complaint alleged the music, broadcast seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., could be heard more than 50 feet from the restaurant's property line, violating city code and a pledge Atlas Restaurant Group made in 2018, while seeking a liquor license for the Choptank, to control noise there.

Liquor board inspectors responded to 28 3-1-1 calls regarding The Choptank between October 2019, shortly after the restaurant opened in the Broadway Market's south shed, and Nov. 30, according to documents filed with the liquor board. None of the calls resulted in violations.


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