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Woodpoint Grill owner can keep license to help sell Hagerstown business

But liquor board won't hold coveted Class D license indefinitely

April 13, 2011|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com

The Woodpoint Grill in Hagerstown might have a prospective buyer only a few weeks after it closed.

Woodpoint co-owner Douglas South said during a Wednesday hearing before the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County that he wanted to keep his liquor license because it would make the business more attractive to a potential buyer.

South said after the liquor board hearing that his real estate broker was talking to a local family who showed interest in buying the business, which closed April 2. He declined to give the family's name.

The Woodpoint was a staple on Salem Avenue for 55 years.

South attributed the business's demise to the sluggish economy and a decline in customers caused by the state's smoking ban in bars and restaurants.

"You don't know what the last year has been like," South told the liquor board. "It's not been fun .... If someone has some capital to do the place right, they can make it work."  

South said he and his brother, Keith, thought about closing the Woodpoint before the holidays, but delayed their decision until April.

Robert L. Everhart, liquor board chairman, said that the three-member board would hold the license to give the Souths a chance to sell the business.

But the liquor board won't hold the Woodpoint's license indefinitely because it falls under the coveted Class D category, Everhart said.

A Class D license is an on- and off-sale license that allows the holder to sell beer, wine and liquor, according to Maryland liquor laws.

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