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Liquor licences OK'd for eateries in Martinsburg

July 11, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Martinsburg City Council members raised no objections Thursday night to alcohol being served at a new restaurant planned to open downtown.

The Red Wolf Grill is planned for the building at 131 S. Queen St., which is next to the Peking Restaurant. Along the town's main north-south thoroughfare, the doorway to the three-story building is flanked by two stone pillars. Once a bank building, it currently is empty but still has "Merchants and Farmers Bank" etched just below the roofline.

The restaurant was one of four for which owners sought a license to serve alcohol. Council members can make a recommendation on whether the Alcohol Beverage Control Administration should issue a license.

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Also seeking a recommendation were the owners of Roshan's, a new restaurant planned to open near the post office in Old Courthouse Square on Edwin Miller Boulevard.

A Kobe Japanese Steakhouse set to open in the Tanger Centre also requested an alcohol license.

After little or no discussion, council members approved forwarding all those applications to the ABCA.

Council members did raise concerns about issuing an alcohol license to the Dark Horse Lounge, an existing bar on Wilson Street.

New owner Paul Blackman came to the council meeting and conceded that police have been called to the bar for problems. However, he said as a new owner he intends to use a hands-on approach to curtail problems. Blackman also said he intends to open at 11 a.m. so lunch can be served.

After Blackman spoke, council members approved by a 6-0 vote forwarding that application.

On a separate topic, council members heard from James Unger, who owns property in the 600 block of South Raleigh Street.

Unger said he wants council members to hold a nuisance hearing so the renter's license of the person who owns a home at 7111/2 S. Raleigh St. can be revoked.

For months, the rental house has been empty after it was deemed uninhabitable. Mike Covell, city planner/engineer, said the house recently was renovated, however, and deemed livable.

Citing a long history of problems with tenants who rent the property, Unger said he and others again worry unsuitable tenants will move in.

Martinsburg Police Chief Ted Anderson said he spoke to the owner before the council meeting and told her the city can help with background checks on potential tenants. She also should check with police once a month to see if officers have responded to the property, he said.

Although Oakley Seibert, the city's legal counsel, said the matter was resolved, Unger persisted in his demand that a nuisance hearing be held.

Councilman Glenville Twigg said a nuisance hearing always has been held for anyone who followed proper procedure.

Council members unanimously agreed to hold a hearing 30 days after Unger signs a formal complaint.

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