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 7-23-2020 Virtual Public Hearing ***

** Link to COVID-19 specific updates **

Announcement

Announcement: On June 19, 2020 the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) issued guidance concerning Indoor Consumption in light of Mayor Young's Executive Order presented today, which explicitly incorporates the restrictions as stipulated by Executive Order 20-06-10-01 issued by Governor Lawrence J. Hogan on June 10, 2020. To see a copy of the BLLC’s guidance to licensed establishments in Baltimore City, please click here. To see a copy of the Governor’s Executive Order, 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 May 15th, 2020 the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) issued and implemented the 2020 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Manual. The Board takes seriously its obligation to ensure that the agency’s policies and procedures are replicating best practices and are compliant with the law. 
 
This year the BLLC worked to develop and improve upon the 2019 SOPs by incorporating recommendations made within the Office of Legislative Audits 2020 Performance Audit of the BLLC. To this end, the Board expanded upon the SOPs from 2019 to include policies and procedures in 2020 that address the following areas:

  • Revised Financial Disclosure and Conflicts of Interests Policy
  • Revised Policies concerning agency review and notice of new and transfer applications
  • Revised Policies concerning Hardship Requests, Transfer Hardship Requests, and Requests to Reopen
  • New Reissuance of Class BD7 and Class A-7 Licenses Policy
  • New CIAA – Related Promoter’s Event Permit Policy
  • New Training Policies and Procedures for newly hired Inspectors
  • New Inspections Expectations, Tracking, and Back Check Inspection Policies
  • New Approval Pathway Process for Routine and Compliance Inspections Policy
  • Revised Violation Review and Charging Process Policy
  • New 311 Response Policy
  • Updated Community Engagement Policy, including CommunityStat Reporting

 If you would like to see a copy of the 2020 SOPs, please click here.

Press Release: On May 14, 2020, the Office of Legislative Audits (OLA) for the Maryland General Assembly (MGA) issued its 2020 Performance Audit Report (2020 Audit) for the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) to the general public. In his letter addressed to the Joint Audit Committee of the Maryland General Assembly relating to the release of the 2020 Audit, Legislative Auditor Mr. Gregory Hook stated that the “BLLC made significant improvements in addressing the conditions noted in [the OLA’s] preceding audit of the BLLC, with only one of the prior findings repeated” in the 2020 Audit of the BLLC. Mr. Hook further acknowledged the BLLC’s “willingness to address the audit issues and to implement appropriate corrective actions” through its implementation of new “Standard Operating Policies and Procedures” and “management oversight processes that allowed for consistency and accountability.”

To view the BLLC’s Press Release regarding the 2020 Performance Audit, please click here. To view the Office of Legislative Audits’ 2020 Performance Audit Report for the BLLC and the agency’s response, please visit the OLA’s website at:  https://www.ola.state.md.us/.

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.

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 5 pm 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.

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.

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 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.
  • Commissioner Robert E. Guye
  • Alternate Commissioner Harvey E. Jones