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Sharpsburg restaurant owner given time to correct problems

August 31, 2010|By DAN DEARTH

Washington County liquor officials have decided not to discipline a Sharpsburg restaurant owner in response to nuisance complaints that were filed against the business over the course of the last few months.

In a letter dated Aug. 26, the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County, known as the liquor board, said they would give Benjamin Brown, owner of GeGe's Place at 208 S. Church St., more time to correct problems that were discussed during two liquor board hearings in August.

Some of the complaints that were filed included fighting, loud noise and public urination outside the business late at night.

"Although we have decided not to take any disciplinary action at this time, we hope that you now have a better understanding of the rules you must follow to run a ... licensed establishment," the letter said. "We will be looking for improvement, regarding the matters discussed at the hearing, during the next few months."

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Brown also will have to apply to the Sharpsburg Board of Zoning Appeals to get a special exception to serve alcohol in an enclosed area behind the restaurant and show proof that the enclosure meets fire regulations, the letter said.

The complaints against GeGe's were discussed Aug. 4 and 18 during hearings at the liquor board on West Washington Street in Hagerstown.

At the first hearing, Sharpsburg Town Councilman Bryan Gabriel asked the liquor board to investigate the complaints because several people alleged that rowdy behavior was occurring outside the business late at night.

Brown, who could not be reached Tuesday for comment, said Aug. 18 at the second hearing that he wanted to be a good neighbor.

"I apologize to the whole town," Brown said. "I want to be there. I want to be a good citizen."

Brown and some of his regular customers used the hearing to give the liquor board what they said were 73 notarized letters from people who stated GeGe's was a well-run establishment.

Brown agreed during the second hearing to prohibit children from playing pool at the restaurant after 9 p.m.

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