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Annaffiare owner turns in liquor license

December 20, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN ? County liquor officials on Wednesday urged the owner of the Annaffiare restaurant at 431 Dual Highway in Hagerstown to turn in her liquor license.

Robert L. Everhart, chairman of the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County, told Rita Waltz, owner of Annaffiare, that she should surrender the license, in part, because she owes the state about $12,000 in taxes.

Waltz said she did not owe the state that much money. She did not, however, give the liquor board an exact amount that she believed was past due.

In addition to the tax issue, the commissioners questioned whether Waltz was maintaining regular business hours at the restaurant - a condition that the liquor board requires businesses under its authority to follow.

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Waltz informed the commissioners that she has been ill and, as a result, could not hold regular hours.

"I'm sorry about your health, but you are responsible," Everhart said.

Waltz appeared before the commissioners to ask them to transfer her liquor license to Ralph St. Clair, who expressed interest in taking over the restaurant, but Everhart said the law stipulates that the transfer could not take place until she paid the taxes.

Liquor inspector Robert Shoemaker said after the meeting that Waltz turned in her liquor license Wednesday. Liquor licenses can be transferred after they've been surrendered if an agreement was made in advance, but that did not happen in this case, he said.

St. Clair said he already booked weddings and other engagements at the establishment and was concerned that he could be sued if the commissioners didn't grant the transfer.

Everhart told St. Clair that the commissioners want to help people who apply for a liquor license, but they could not sidestep the law to do so.

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