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Hagerstown Restaurant, club owners fight bar on Clarion Hotel property

November 01, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - The owners of Cancun Cantina West and Barefoot Bernie's Tropical Grill & Bar in Hagerstown say they oppose having another bar on the Clarion Hotel property.

The Board of License Commissioners for Washington County met Wednesday with representatives from West Inc., which owns the bar and restaurant, along with the new owner of the Clarion Hotel and representatives of Dimensions Inc. Dimensions Inc. has requested that a liquor license from the hotel be transferred to the business, which wants to cater events at the Clarion's conference center, said Robert L. Everhart, chairman of the liquor board.

West Inc. officials say that there is easy access from the current bar to the proposed bar, which creates security risks and possible problems.

The board did not make a decision Wednesday on whether to transfer the license, saying it needed more information about the boundaries of the businesses that are connected.

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The license that would be transferred to Dimensions Inc. would require that a bar there be open seven days each week.

Joe Rouse, a West Inc. representative, said the company was against that requirement. Tony Toskov, also of West Inc., asked that a special exception be made.

Rouse said that his establishments have security in place and take precautions to ensure that patrons are safe. Since there would be access from his businesses to the potential bar in the Clarion Hotel, Rouse said there could be a problem.

"We don't want people intoxicated wandering into our business," he said.

Dimensions Inc. representatives said they would be willing to make some changes to their plan to accommodate West Inc.'s requests.

Rouse said he and Toskov are looking into purchasing a portion of the Clarion Hotel property, which has been divided into three parcels. He said they could purchase the structure that houses the conference center, Cancun Cantina and Barefoot Bernie's.

Everhart said Clarion Hotel owner Martin M. Milner will ask for a new liquor license for a bar in the pool area of the hotel.

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