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Old 02-10-2013, 11:59 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,822 posts, read 12,328,370 times
Reputation: 4768

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With the local news lately I'm been struck with some things about liquor stores and liquor licenses in the Baltimore area. There is that effort in Baltimore City to remove the grandfathering of liquor stores from 40 years ago because apparently there is too much alcohol available in the inner city and that causes all the crime in Baltimore's ghetto neighborhoods. There are also the articles on how Baltimore County has these antiquated liquor laws and VERY limited liquor licenses based on population, and then that big deal over whether Wegmans in Columbia can sell alcohol. There is also the very annoying thing in the law that says Maryland's casinos can't serve complimentary drinks to gamblers like in Las Vegas and Kansas City.

I think all this nanny statism is interesting given that in some parts of the state like the Eastern Shore and Garrett County you can set alcohol in gas stations, while in many other states like Virginia you can also go into any Walmart, Target, or supermarket and get beer and wine (and sometimes liquor) and not everyone in Virginia or Indiana or Arizona is a raging alcoholic. I've noticed that while hard liquor is harder to acquire in a palce like Virginia or the Eastern Shore, but beer and wine are MUCH more readily available. I wonder if Baltimore City or eastern Baltimore County (the Sun especially mentions Dundalk and Essex as having too many liquor licenses based on the population) truly have too many liquor stores if you compare us to the rest of the state and nation where gas stations, convenience stores, drugstores, and supermarkets function as beer outlets. This is NOT the case in at least Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery, PG, Washington, and Frederick Counties.

I think we need to stop this nanny statism. Baltimore County should allow a single license holder to hold multiple licenses.....this has kept many chain restaurants from opening more locations in the county. Baltimore City's plan to undo the grandfathering of liquor stores is a breach of trust and terrible on principle in terms of building trust with the business community in general which has implications far beyond the alcohol business. If they want some of those corner liquor stores to close they should be like other states and allow beer and wine sales at gas stations and grocery stores that will put some of the corner liquor stores out of business without the government having to go against grandfather clauses.

And only in Maryland or HOward County is there such a debate about whether Wegman's can have a liquor section and not require a separate store. I can go into a Walmart in Virginia and Florida and see 2 full aisles full of alcohol.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:08 AM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,822 posts, read 12,328,370 times
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I don't think NOT having alcohol sales at supermarkets and gas stations really discourage anyone from drinking, it only inconveniences people.

I think its the nanny state mentality that causes central Maryland to be like this. I've heard of proposals to ban kids from liquor stores in Baltimore City even banning them from stepping inside or banning them from buying non-alcoholic items like sodas and subs from liquor stores because it might introduce them to "liquor store culture".

New city law to prevent liquor stores from selling snacks, other goods to kids - Baltimore Sun

I imagine these would be the kind of people who are against having that 24 pack of Coors Light visible to kids shopping with mom and dad at Walmart!
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,253 posts, read 19,786,471 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lennox 70 View Post
And only in Maryland or HOward County is there such a debate about whether Wegman's can have a liquor section and not require a separate store. I can go into a Walmart in Virginia and Florida and see 2 full aisles full of alcohol.
Is Wegman's the only grocery store which would sell liquor? I am generally in favor of keeping liquor out of the grocery stores.

I think the restriction on alcohol sales goes further back to the religious morality dominating laws in the past. We have the state-run ABC stores here in North Carolina which are closed on Sunday, naturally. They are the only place to buy hard liquor.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
Is Wegman's the only grocery store which would sell liquor? I am generally in favor of keeping liquor out of the grocery stores.
No. But I could be wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
I think the restriction on alcohol sales goes further back to the religious morality dominating laws in the past. We have the state-run ABC stores here in North Carolina which are closed on Sunday, naturally. They are the only place to buy hard liquor.
Methinks this too.


Was just in PA not too long ago. All I can say is that I was glad to be back in MD where I can still get all types of alcohol under one roof as long as I was of legal age.

Last edited by e30is; 02-11-2013 at 07:35 AM..
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:46 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,102,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lennox 70 View Post
There is that effort in Baltimore City to remove the grandfathering of liquor stores from 40 years ago because apparently there is too much alcohol available in the inner city and that causes all the crime in Baltimore's ghetto neighborhoods. l.
Tom, what do you care? You hate Baltimore and I'm sure never set foot in the city. Neighborhood liquor stores are a problem because of the people who hang out in the neighborhood and get wasted. My neighborhood successfully shut one down many years ago and the difference is remarkable. Many of these places were zoned out back in the mid '70s but continued to operate.

Anyway, you also neglect to include that much of the effort is to crack down on liquor stores that have "tavern" licenses. Taverns may sell a certain percentage of beer to go but most of the sales must be in the bar. Well, that law has been ignored by a lot of these "problem" stores for years. Most of these places don't give a ***** about the law or the neighborhoods in which they operate. Their owners let their stores look like *****, then head home to Howard County for the night.

If you don't live in the city, I don't think you can complain.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:33 AM
 
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I'm glad that there's a liquor store near my house (Goldberg's in Brooklyn Park) that has a drive-up window.


Frank's Den in Glen Burnie and 177 Liquors in Pasadena have drive-up window service, too.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:18 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,822 posts, read 12,328,370 times
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Thats interesting I've driven past Goldbergs many times, very noticeable due to all the nice neon lighting....didn't know they had a drive-up window....I know a store near College Park does, I don't know of any around Dundalk or Edgemere.

I don't see how anyone is really against having beer and wine sold at gas station and supermarkets in central Maryland. Especially if they raise the gas tax, gas stations do need more sources of revenue, and if Obama insists on ordering all supermarket do to that extra nutrition testing and affect their costs, supermarkets will need more revenue too.
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
260 posts, read 746,910 times
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My guess is that the lack of alcohol at supermarkets and convenience stores has more to do with the power of the liquor store lobby than with any sort of worry about the effects of alcohol.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:10 PM
 
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Maryland Law limits the number of licenses that can be held by a corporate entity. So chains cannot have alcohol at all their locations. And yes a big reason is the political clout of the independent license holders
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:55 AM
 
1,736 posts, read 1,478,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lennox 70 View Post
Thats interesting I've driven past Goldbergs many times, very noticeable due to all the nice neon lighting....didn't know they had a drive-up window....I know a store near College Park does, I don't know of any around Dundalk or Edgemere.

I don't see how anyone is really against having beer and wine sold at gas station and supermarkets in central Maryland. Especially if they raise the gas tax, gas stations do need more sources of revenue, and if Obama insists on ordering all supermarket do to that extra nutrition testing and affect their costs, supermarkets will need more revenue too.
In my experience, grocery stores and gas stations that do sell alcohol here don't have a huge selection like liquor stores do. Even in places like VA where they sell alcohol, there really isn't too much in variety that I would be eager to buy unless it is in a liquor store (probably due to the liquor store lobby as mentioned). Plus there isn't anyone in the grocery store who would know better about alcohol than those who work at the liquor store. While I'm not exactly an alcohol connoisseur, I like to try different selections once in a while and I'm good friends with a guy who operates a liquor store in Riverdale Park in PG. I'm certainly against the high alcohol taxes in MD, but we still attract folks from PA (where their alcohol laws are behind the times) because they know they can still buy all the alcohol they want under one roof.

Last edited by e30is; 02-16-2013 at 07:11 AM..
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