Update

The Board of Liquor License Commissioners is an agency of the State responsible for regulating the sale, storage, and distribution of retail alcoholic beverages in Baltimore City.

*** Please click here for information on the BLLC’s Virtual Public Hearing(s) ***

** Link to COVID-19 specific updates **


Announcement

Announcement: On August 6, 2021, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) released guidance for Baltimore City’s licensed establishments concerning the Baltimore City Health Department's updated Order as it establishes an indoor mask mandate. To see a copy of the Health Department's Order, please click here. To see a copy of the BLLC’s guidance, please click here.

Press Release: The Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) issued guidance today, June 25th, 2021, to licensed establishments in Baltimore City on the upcoming lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions at the State and City level. Licensees were notified they must come to current status with their liquor license as well as any related licenses, as Governor Hogan terminated his Executive Order suspending deadlines, effective midnight on July 1, 2021. Additionally, licensees in Baltimore City must cease any extra carry out or delivery of alcoholic beverages not already approved under their previously existing license. The special privilege Governor Hogan allowed for sale of “to go” cocktails for carryout or delivery also ends on June 30, 2021, and the normal licensing timelines and activity as set by Maryland Law and the BLLC Rules and Regulations all resume.  To see a copy of the press release, please click here. To see a copy of the BLLC’s guidance, please click here.

If you have any questions regarding this guidance, please reach out to the BLLC’s Deputy Executive Secretary at [email protected].

Announcement: In response to the updated Executive Orders from Mayor Brandon M. Scott, aligning Baltimore City with Executive Orders from Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., the BLLC provides the following additional guidance to our licensees on the current restrictions:

In general, you may resume operating at 100% of your fire marshal rated capacity, both indoor and outdoor.

The following restrictions should be noted and are still mandated by law

  • Staff must continue to wear face coverings at all times. 
  • Indoor dining patrons must continue to wear face coverings except when eating or drinking. 
  • For adult entertainment licenses, performers as well as staff must continue to wear face coverings.

Additionally, BLLC reminds you that we are still under a State of Emergency due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Licensees should practice social distancing and encourage patrons to do the same. Finally, licensees should note that Governor Hogan’s most recent Executive Order permits you to continue providing alcoholic beverages in sealed containers for delivery or carryout, assuming you comply with all other legal requirements. These changes take effect Saturday, May 15th, at 12:01 a.m.

To see a copy of the Governor's Executive Order, please click here. To see a copy of the Governor's Executive Order regarding delivery or carryout of alcoholic beverages, please click here. To see a copy of the Mayor's Executive Order, please click here.

Announcement: On March 29, 2021, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) notified Governor Lawrence J. Hogan that it will suspend late fees for 30 days for 2021-2022 liquor license renewal applications, from April 1, 2021, to April 30, 2021. Please note that the due dates for the 2021-2022 renewal season have not changed, and *all applications for annual license renewal and all protests of renewal remain due on March 31, 2021*, as required by state law. To see a copy of the BLLC’s Letter to Governor Hogan, click here. To see information related to the 2021-2022 license renewal period, click here.

Announcement: On March 1, 2021, the alcoholic beverages license renewal process for the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) begins. As per State law, the license renewal season ends on March 31, 2021. Renewal letters, 2021 Renewal Applications, and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet have been sent out to all alcoholic beverage licensees. The renewal application, along with the FAQ sheet, and other applicable renewal documents, can be located and downloaded from the BLLC’s Renewal Webpage, which can be found here.

Press Release: On Tuesday, December 8, 2020 the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) under the authority granted to it through Executive Order 20-06-19-01, voted unanimously to waive in total all annual renewal alcoholic beverage license fees for the 2020-2021 license period. This action was taken after consultation with the offices of Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and City Council President Brandon Scott. Further, the Board will lift its suspension of the 2019-2020 license year on December 12, 2020. This will end the 2019-2020 license renewal period effective December 31, 2020. To read the Press Release, please click here. To see a copy of the License fee waiver letter, please click here.

Announcement: As per Alcoholic Beverages 12-1804.2 (c), the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) is authorized to adopt regulations concerning the requirement of surveillance systems for Class A, Class A-2, and Class A-7 Licenses. On September 22, 2020, the BLLC published for public review and comment a copy of these regulations. On October 22, 2020, the BLLC closed the comment period, reviewed all comments and suggestions, and incorporated new language into the regulations. These regulations detail the authority of the BLLC to require affected licensed establishments to install digital surveillance cameras on the exterior and interior of their premises, maintain video recordings to be accessed upon request by the Baltimore City Police Department, post conspicuous notification to the public that they are subject to 24-hour video surveillance when on-premises, register their digital surveillance cameras with the City of Baltimore, and subject them to annual verification by the BLLC. Additionally, there is provision for a temporary waiver process to license holders who purchased and installed non-compliant equipment systems for one year, after January 1, 2021. 

To see the press release announcing the adoption of the regulations, click here. To view the final version of the regulations concerning the requirement of surveillance systems for Class A, Class A-2, and Class A-7 Licenses, please click here. The Board voted and approved these regulations during the December 1, 2020 hearing.

Press Reslease: On July 29, 2020 Governor Lawrence J. Hogan issued Executive Order 20-07-29-01, which requires Face Coverings to be worn by all individuals over the age of five (5) years. To see a copy of Governor Hogan's Executive Order, please click here. To see a copy of the BLLC's Guidance Document concerning Executive Order 20-07-29-01, please click here.

Announcement: Effective July 1, 2020, HB902, which was passed by during the 2020 Maryland General Assembly session, requires that at the time of a new or transfer application at least one applicant named to the license be a resident of the City of Baltimore. HB902 eliminated the requirement that at least one applicant on a new or transfer application needed to be a registered voter in the City of Baltimore. The requirement that at least one applicant named to the license be a resident of the City of Baltimore applies to the license throughout its duration. To see a copy of our updated New and Transfer Application and Substitute Application, please click on this link.

Press Release: On Thursday, June 11th, 2020 the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) voted unanimously to waive fees for Temporary Outdoor Permit Extensions after being granted the authority to do so by Governor Lawrence J. Hogan through his issuance of Executive Order 20-06-11-01 on the same day. The BLLC also released guidance to its licensees on the temporary extensions process to enable the addition of outdoor seating and service in an expedited timeframe. To read the Press Release, please click here. To see the guidance documents and letters issued to licensees, please click here and here.

Press Release: On Monday, March 23, 2020, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) announced updated precautions it is undertaking to ensure the safety of the general public and BLLC employees in light of Baltimore City Health Department recommendations regarding “social distancing” due to COVID-19. To see a copy of the press release, please click here.

See Something Say Something

If you would like to report what you believe to be a liquor board violation, please call 311 to report the matter or call our offices at 410-396-4377 during normal business hours and speak to Chief Inspector John Chrissomallis. Also, note that a Baltimore City Police Department (BCPD) tip line and direct email address has been established for complaints regarding illegal bar activity. You can contact the Vice Unit of the  BCPD directly via email at [email protected] or you can call at 443-984-7080.

Addiction Service Access: Do you or someone you know struggle with addiction? Call Baltimore’s 24/7 hotline at 410-433-5175 for help getting treatment.  For more information about resources to treat addiction and prevent overdose, please visit www.dontdie.org.

Postponement Requests

POSTPONEMENT requests must be received via e-mail, fax, or regular mail.
All postponement requests must be addressed to the Executive Secretary of the Liquor Board Douglas K. Paige and received in this office NO LATER than Monday, 4:30 pm, of the week of the scheduled hearing. 

Background

The Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City was created by Act of the State Legislature after the repeal of the Volstead Act in 1933. Prior to Prohibition, alcoholic beverage licenses were issued directly by the Clerk of what was then referred to as the Court of Common Pleas. There was little intervention on the part of the public, zoning or other authorities, and alcoholic beverage licenses were routinely issued as in the case of Trader's Licenses, marriage licenses, etc.

When the Volstead Act was repealed, it became apparent that appropriate controls and licensing of alcoholic beverages at the retail level were necessary for the State of Maryland to ensure public safety. Boards of Liquor License Commissioners were, therefore, created in all of the political subdivisions in the State of Maryland by an act of the Maryland General Assembly. Passed in 2016, the Alcoholic Beverages Article is the controlling alcoholic beverage statute for the State of Maryland.

There have been many changes in the law since 1933, and at each session of the Maryland General Assembly, new laws and statutes are introduced and passed which affect the operation of alcoholic beverage establishments in Baltimore City and throughout the State of Maryland.

The Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City is an agency of the State. Every two years, the Mayor of Baltimore City and the City Council President, with the advice and consent of the City Senate, appoints three individuals to serve as Commissioners on the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City, one of whom is designated as the Chairman. As a body, the Board administers the statutes, laws, ordinances, and its own Rules and Regulations regarding the operation of alcoholic beverage establishments in Baltimore City. Currently, there are approximately 1,221 alcoholic beverage establishments in Baltimore City which is a reduction from the approximately 2,200 licenses there were in 1968.

Commissioners

  • Chairman Hon. Albert J. Matricciani, Jr. (Ret.)
  • Commissioner Aaron J. Greenfield, Esq.
  • Commissioner Robert E. Guye
  • Alternate Commissioner Harvey E. Jones