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Bar must surrender license Monday

October 07, 2005|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN

andrews@herald-mail.com

A Dual Highway bar and restaurant whose liquor licenses were revoked Wednesday were given a four-day reprieve Thursday.

Barracuda Surf Bar - the site of hundreds of police calls this year alone - and Andrew's Steak & Seafood Restaurant have been allowed to stay open through Sunday "to sell off stock" to customers, Hagerstown Police Lt. William C. Wright III said.

He said the bar's swan song likely would draw big crowds, so extra officers have been assigned, on overtime, to keep the order.

The owner of the bar and restaurant asked to keep the licenses, said Robert Everhart, the chairman of the Washington County Board of License Commissioners, known as the Liquor Board.

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Instead, the board, the police and attorneys worked out the deal, which Everhart called "a good gesture."

On Monday, the establishments must turn in their liquor licenses, he said.

Wright and Everhart said Todd Hancock owns both businesses and has the liquor licenses.

Someone who answered the phone Thursday afternoon at Andrew's said Hancock would be in Thursday night. He didn't return a message left at the restaurant Thursday night.

A message left late Thursday afternoon for a law firm that has represented the bar - Skidmore, Alderson & Duncan, P.A., of Cumberland, Md. - was not returned.

Police said they have responded to 340 calls to the bar this year.

"The Barracuda Surf Bar has been the scene of numerous disturbances, fights, and assaults (including two stabbings, a shooting across the street linked to an entertainment crew from the Barracuda Surf Bar, and assault in the 1st degree committed against a uniformed police [officer])," Wright wrote in a press release Thursday.

"...It is the position of the Police Department that the closing of the Barracuda Surf Bar serves the betterment of our community and the earliest possible closing date is best for the Citizens of Hagerstown."

On June 5, police officers found at least 20 people fighting "and several others jumping on the pile" at the bar, according to a police report.

One male was stabbed in three places on his body and had a lung collapse. Another man was treated for knife wounds on his hand, a police report says.

Police said Hancock reported being punched in the face during the brawl and bar manager William Dixon reported being assaulted by four other people.

The more serious stabbing led the Liquor Board to hold a hearing July 20 about Barracuda Surf Club's liquor license.

The board decided not to revoke the liquor license. Instead, it ordered the bar to close for a week for training, suspended the liquor license for 10 days and fined the bar's owner $2,500.

It notified the bar of the decision in an Aug. 3 letter.

On Aug. 29, Skidmore, Alderson & Duncan, P.A., filed a petition asking for the decision to be reviewed in Washington County Circuit Court. A hearing was scheduled for Dec. 16.

Then, on Friday, an officer was struck by a car when someone being arrested tried to flee, police said.

The Liquor Board revoked the bar's and restaurant's liquor licenses Wednesday, then settled on the brief reprieve Thursday.

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