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.

** COVID-19 specific updates **

FAQ FOR THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)


Announcement

Press Release: On Friday, April 1st, 2022 the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) announced plans to resume in-person hearings beginning April 28th.  

All BLLC Staff will report to the office each business day, starting on Monday, April 4th. Due to staffing limitations and capacity concerns, public access will be by appointment only until the end of renewal season on May 31st.

Announcements will be made in the month of May announcing a general reopening without appointments, provided the COVID-19 pandemic trajectory remains positive. 

Hearings will return to City Hall, Room 215, on April 28th for Protest of Renewal cases. Masks will remain required, and attendees will need to adhere to City Hall’s entrance guidelines and policies, including presenting identification. 

Copy of the Press Release


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 2022. The BLLC will still accept and process Hardship Extension Requests and Requests to Reopen during April of 2022. Starting May 1, 2022—the beginning of the new license year—the agency shall only accept BLLC 2022-2023 applications submitted to the agency. The agency shall no longer accept and process BLLC 2020-2021 applications starting on May 1, 2022. Below is a list of the BLLC 2022-2023 applications:

  • New and Transfer Application [PDF]
  • Financial Form [PDF]
  • One Day Application [PDF]
  • One Day Non-Profit Beer Festival [PDF]
  • Substitute Application [PDF]
  • Wine Corkage and Growler 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, 2022 these applications will replace the BLLC 2020-2021 applications on its website and within its office. Lastly, the BLLC will not begin to accept and process BLLC 2022-2023 applications until May 1, 2022. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this announcement, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 410-396-4377.


Announcement: On Tuesday, March 1, 2022, Mayor Brandon M. Scott officially lifted the Baltimore City Indoor Masking Mandate, citing recent data trends relating to COVID-19.

Mayoral Press Release: Baltimore City Masking Order Rescinded

Although the Masking Order will be rescinded, the State of Emergency for Baltimore City, declared on March 19, 2020, will remain in place. The BLLC strongly encourages all of our licensees to continue to be cognizant of the health and safety of the public and their employees.


Approved CIAA Related Event Promoter Permits
* As of 2:00PM on 2/23/2022


Announcement: On March 1, 2022, 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, 2022. Renewal letters, 2022 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.


Press Release: The Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) is issuing a warning to licensees who are closed and not operating, noting that their license may be in danger of expiration if they fail to take action. As of July 1, 2021, all legal orders that suspended license timelines were lifted, which started the clock on a period of 180 days that runs out on December 28th, 2021. If a licensee has not been open since July 1st, their license is at risk of permanent expiration, even if they have renewed for this year. 

Copy of Press Release

If you are a licensee that closed during the COVID-19 Pandemic and have not yet reopened, you are urged to contact the BLLC office as soon as possible by calling 410-396-4377. 


Announcement: The BLLC would like to announce a that a drop box is now available so that applicants, attorneys, and others are now able to deliver documents to our office. Please note that aside from the Drop Box option, the BLLC office remains closed to the general public.

Guidelines for Drop Box Use:
-The Drop Box is located outside of the office, accessible for public use as permitted into the building and onto the office floor by building security.
-The Drop Box is available from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
-Deposited items and documents should be NO LARGER THAN STANDARD LETTER SIZE.
-All deposited items MUST BE IN A STANDARD LETTER-SIZED ENVELOPE and should contain a clear description of the item(s) contained therein.
-The Drop Box is available for drop off usage only due to health and safety reasons necessitated by the COVID-19 global health pandemic.
-Members of the public who drop off documents should not wait in the elevator area or in the building generally for a response.
-BLLC is not responsible for any loose items or those without an envelope or clear description of their purpose. Any loose or unidentifiable items—including, but not limited to, single checks, money orders, or other negotiable instruments—will be catalogued and marked for destruction.

Please review further guidelines for processing and receipt of Drop Box items in our Standard Operating Procedures 2.26For any questions, please contact the offices at 410-396-4377.


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.

Copy of the press release
Copy of the BLLC’s guidance

If you have any questions regarding this guidance, please reach out to the BLLC’s Deputy Executive Secretary, Nicholas Blendy.


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. The Board voted and approved these regulations during the December 1, 2020 hearing concerning the requirement of surveillance systems for Class A, Class A-2, and Class A-7 Licenses.

Press release announcing the adoption of the regulations
Final version of the Class "A" Regulations


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 see our Applications Page.


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.

Copy of the Press Release
Copy of the guidance documents issued to licensees

Copy of the letters issued to licensees


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. 

Copy of the press release


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 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 the Baltimore City Addiction Website.


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 Edward L. Reisinger 
  • Alternate Commissioner Harvey E. Jones