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 **.

Reminder: Your 2019-2020 License is still valid and has not expired on May 1, 2020. The BLLC will update all stakeholders in regards to license renewal when more information is available. Moreover, the BLLC will send correspondence to all licensees informing them of the timelines, payment, and processing of their license renewals for the 2020-2021 license year upon the rescission of the Governor’s Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency. Please see the Press Release that was originally issued by the BLLC on March 23, 2020 regarding this matter. To see a copy of that Press Release, please click here.


Announcement

Announcement: Please see information from Mayor Young in regards to the Mayor’s Outdoor Seating Heating Solutions Program here.

Announcement: As per Alcoholic Beverages Article 12-1804.2(c), the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) is authorized to adopt rules and regulations relating to digital surveillance concerning new requirements that affect Class A, Class A-2, and Class A-7 Licenses within the City of Baltimore. With publication of these proposed rules and regulations on this day, September 22, 2020, the BLLC is providing 30 days for public comment concerning its draft. These rules and 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. The draft also outlines a temporary waiver process to license holders who purchased and installed non-compliant equipment systems for one year, after January 1, 2021. To see a copy of Senate Bill 69, which provided the Board with the authority to draft these rules and regulations, please click here. To review a copy of the draft rules and regulations, please click here. To review a copy of a signage example and affidavit of compliance, which are required by the rules and regulations please click here, and here. If you want to provide public comment on the BLLC's Rules and Regualations, please email Deputy Executive Secretary, Thomas Akras, here.

Announcement: On September 9, 2020, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) issued guidance for Baltimore City’s licensed establishments concerning Baltimore City Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s Mayoral Executive Order allowing for Partial Reopening Pursuant to Phase II in light of Executive Order 20-09-01-01 issued by Governor Lawrence J. Hogan and Maryland Department of Health Order 2020-09-01-01 issued by Secretary Robert R. Neall. To see a copy of Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s Executive Order, please click here. To see a copy of the BLLC’s Guidance Document, 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.

Announcement: On September 4, 2020, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) issued guidance to its licensed establishments concerning Baltimore City Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s Mayoral Executive Order allowing for the Partial Reopening of Restaurants and Bars for Indoor and Outdoor Dining and Gatherings issued on August 7, 2020 in light of Executive Order 20-09-01-01 issued by Governor Lawrence J. Hogan and Maryland Department of Health Order 2020-09-01-01 issued by Secretary Robert R. Neall. To see a copy of the BLLC’s guidance document, please click here. To see a copy of the Maryland Department of Health’s Order, please click here. To see a Copy of Mayor Young’s Executive Order, which was issued on August 7, 2020, please click here.

Announcement: On August 7, 2020, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) issued guidance to its licensed establishments concerning Baltimore City Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s Mayoral Executive Order allowing for the Partial Reopening of Restaurants and Bars for Indoor and Outdoor Dining and Gatherings. To see a copy of the BLLC’s guidance document, please click here. To see a copy of the Baltimore City Department of Health’s Guidance Document, please click here. To see a Copy of Mayor Young’s Executive Order, which was issued on August 7, 2020, please click here.

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