HAGERSTOWN —Washington County liquor officials voted 3-0 during a Wednesday hearing to revoke the liquor license of a tavern in downtown Hagerstown.
For more than four years, the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County had been holding the license of the Short Stop Tavern near the corner of South Potomac and West Antietam streets while owner Mike Deming said he was renovating the building.
“I make a motion that we void the license at this time,” liquor board Secretary William Dunham said. “The site has not made sufficient progress since September 2008 to grant a further extension.”
Deming told the liquor board before the license was revoked that the renovation process had encountered a number of complications along the way, such as the replacement of a load-bearing wall.
“That’s a major, major job,” he said. “It’s not just taking out a set wall.”
Despite the snags, Deming said he wanted to reopen the tavern by July 1.
Charles Mades, liquor board treasurer, told Deming that the project wasn’t moving fast enough.
“I think we’ve tried a good faith effort over the last four years to work with Mr. Deming, and again you’re in here this morning saying it might be 10 months before certain parts are done,” Mades said.
He told Deming that another reason for the liquor board’s decision was that Deming no longer had a limited liability company to run the tavern.
By law, a corporation or LLC has to be formed to operate a business that sells alcohol.
Dorothy Peterson, an office clerk for the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation in Baltimore, said the LLC was forfeited last year because the owner failed to file a property tax return in 2010.
The liquor board said Deming would have to re-establish an LLC and pay a $300 fee if he chooses to apply for another liquor license at a later date.