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.

** Link to COVID-19 specific updates **

Announcement

Announcement: On April 6, 2020, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) issued guidance concerning the authorization of Remote Notarizations as it relates to filing various applications with the BLLC to ensure compliance with Executive Order Number 20-03-30-04 issued by Governor Lawrence J. Hogan on March 30, 2020. To see the BLLC’s guidance, please click here. To see Governor Hogan’s Executive order concerning Remote Notarizations, please click here.

Press Release: On March 30, 2020, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) canceled its public hearings scheduled for the month of April of 2020 out of concern for the health and well-being of the general public and BLLC staff arising from COVID-19. To see a copy of the press release, please click here

Announcement: On March 22, 2020, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) issued revised guidance to licensed establishments in Baltimore City concerning carry out and delivery procedures for alcoholic beverage service in light of Governor Lawrence J. Hogan’s Executive Order published on March 16, 2020. To see the revised guidance in English, please click here. To see the revised guidance in Spanish, click here. To see the revised guidance in Korean, click here.

Announcement: On March 23, 2020, Governor Lawrence J. Hogan issued Executive Order 20-03-23-01 requiring all non-essential businesses in Maryland to cease operations at 5pm on March 23, 2020. Upon review of the Executive Order and Interpretive Guidance from the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel, establishments that are licensed by the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) are considered essential businesses and thus not required to cease operations as per this Executive Order. The BLLC reminds all licensed establishments to follow the revised guidance issued to licensed establishments in Baltimore City concerning carry out and delivery procedures for alcoholic beverage service on March 22, 2020. To see a copy of Governor Hogan’s Executive order, please click here. To see a copy of the Interpretative Guidance from the Office of Legal Counsel, please click here. To see a copy of the BLLC’s guidance to licensed establishments concerning carry out and delivery procedures for alcoholic beverage service, please click 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.

Press Release: On March 20, 2020, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) notified Governor Lawrence J. Hogan’s Office that, after finding that the action(s) described herein will not endanger the public health, welfare, or safety, the BLLC decided to suspend the effect of all legal and procedural deadlines, due dates, time of defaults, time expiration, and periods of time as State law affecting renewal application deadlines and late fees, Protest of Renewal petitions, pending transfer applications, and other such matters effective March 12, 2020. To see a copy of the BLLC’s Press Release, please click here.  To see a copy of the letter sent by the BLLC to the Governor’s Office, please click here.

Announcement: On March 22, 2020, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) issued revised guidance to licensed establishments in Baltimore City concerning carry out and delivery procedures for alcoholic beverage service in light of Governor Lawrence J. Hogan’s Executive Order published on March 16, 2020. To see the revised guidance, please click hereTo see a copy of the Governor's Press release, please click here.

Press Release: On March 18, 2020, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) issued additional guidance to licensed establishments in Baltimore City concerning carry out and delivery procedures for alcoholic beverage service in light of Governor Lawrence J. Hogan’s Executive Order published on March 16, 2020. To see the full press release, please click here. To see Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel issued additional interpretative guidance on Governor’s Executive Order issued on March 16, 2020, please click here.

Press Release: On March 18, 2020, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) canceled its public hearings scheduled for March 26, 2020 out of concern for the health and well-being of the general public and BLLC staff arising from COVID-19. To see a copy of the press release, please click here.

Press Release: As per Governor Lawrence J. Hogan’s Executive Order, effective March 16, 2020 at 5:00pm all restaurants, bars, taverns, and other similar establishments within the State, including Baltimore City, shall cease and desist from selling food and beverages for on-premises consumption to the general public. To see a copy of the press release, please click here. To see a copy of the Governor's Press release, please click here.

Press Release: Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) announces new precautions it is undertaking during the 2020 renewal season 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 the press release, please click here.

Announcement: The Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) will be accepting, but not processing new, transfer, or expansion applications during the month of April of 2020. The BLLC will still accept and process Hardship Extension Requests and Requests to Reopen during April of 2020. Starting May 1, 2020 – the beginning of the new license year – the agency shall only accept BLLC 2020-2021 applications submitted to the agency. The agency shall no longer accept and process BLLC 2019-2020 applications starting on May 1, 2020. Below is a list of the BLLC 2020-2021 applications:

  • New and Transfer Application [PDF]
  • Financial Form Application [PDF]
  • One Day Application [PDF]
  • One Day Non-Profit Beer Festival [PDF]
  • Substitute Application [PDF]
  • Wine Corkage and Growler Fee Application [PDF]
  • Delivery Registration Form [PDF]
  • Pub Tour Promoter’s Permit [PDF]

Please note that all of these documents are fillable PDF documents. Starting on May 1, 2020 these applications will replace the BLLC 2019-2020 applications on its website and within its office. Lastly, the BLLC will not begin to accept and process BLLC 2020-2021 applications until May 1, 2020. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this announcement, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 410-396-4377.

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, 4:30pm, 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 in the State of Maryland to insure public safety. Boards of Liquor License Commissioners were, therefore, created in all of the political sub-divisions in the State of Maryland by act of the Maryland General Assembly. Passed in 2016, the Acloholic 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 Governor, with the advice and consent of the City Senators, 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.
  • Alternate Commissioner Harvey E. Jones