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 February 19, 2021 the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) released guidance for Baltimore City’s licensed establishments concerning Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s updated Executive Order as it relates to Mayor Scott’s Revised Executive Order and restrictions on indoor and outdoor dining, effective February 22, 2021. To see a copy of Governor Hogan’s  Executive Order, please click here. To see a copy of Mayor Scott’s Executive Order click here. To see a copy of the BLLC’s guidance, please click here. To see a copy of the Contract Tracing Restaurant Sign-In Sheet provided by the Baltimore City Health Department and Mayor Scott, please click here.

Press Release: On Monday, January 4, 2021 the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) announced personnel changes for the agency. The agency recognizes and thanks Mr. Thomas R. Akras, outgoing Deputy Executive Secretary, and welcomes a new member to the team, Mr. Nicholas T.R. Blendy, as the incoming Deputy Executive Secretary. The BLLC also announced the hiring of Ms. April Bennet-Burman to the role of Inspector I. To read the full press release with remarks for Mr. Akras and background for Mr. Blendy, click 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.

Announcement: On November 9, 2020, Baltimore City Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced a new $6.5 million grant fund that will be available, specifically, for restaurants in Baltimore City. This funding is made available by the State of Maryland to help offset COVID-related expenses incurred or to be incurred, by restaurants. The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) will administer these funds and will begin taking applications starting Thursday, November 12 through November 24. These grants will not be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. A portion of the funds will also be used to support the Baltimore Public Markets. The maximum grant award is $50,000.

Full grant criteria, terms and conditions, and the link to the application will be posted at www.baltimoretogether.com.  The intent is to distribute these much-needed grant funds to local restaurants by the end of the calendar year. The information packet can be viewed here.

Announcement: Please see information from Mayor Young in regards to the Mayor’s Outdoor Seating Heating Solutions Program 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 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: On July 23, 2020 the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) issued revised guidance concerning the prohibition on indoor consumption of alcoholic beverages and food at Restaurants and Bars, which is effective at 5:00 pm on July 24, 2020, in light of Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s Executive Order issued on July 22, 2020. To see a copy of the BLLC’s guidance to licensed establishments in Baltimore City, please click here. To see a copy of Mayor Young’s Executive Order issued on July 22, 2020, please click here. To see a copy of Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa’s Directive and Order Regarding Face Coverings in Public issued on July 22, 2020, please click here. To see a copy of Mayor Young’s Order issued on June 29, 2020, please click here. To see a copy of the Maryland Health Department’s Order issued on June 12, 2020, please click here.

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.

Announcement: On May 28, 2020 the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) issued guidance to licensed establishments in Baltimore City concerning Maximum Occupancy and outdoor table service in light of Executive Order Number 20-05-27-01 issued by Governor Lawrence J. Hogan on May 27, 2020. To see a copy of the Governor’s Executive Order, please click here. To see a copy of the BLLC’s guidance to licensed establishments in Baltimore City concerning Maximum Occupancy and outdoor table service, please click here.

Announcement: On April 15, 2020, Executive Order Number 20-04-15-01 issued by Governor Lawrence J. Hogan that provided guidance to retail establishments concerning the use of Face Coverings and implementation of certain physical distancing measures within such establishments. To see a copy of the order, please click here. Please note that this guidance applies to all licensed establishments, including licensed establishments that provide food service,  in the City of Baltimore. We advise all members of the public to call 311 and report any incidents of what they believe to be a violation of this or any other of the Governor’s Orders as it relates to licensed establishments.

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.

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.

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.

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