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Two Hagerstown business owners inform liquor board they are closing their establishments

June 01, 2011|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com

Two Hagerstown business owners told the Washington County liquor board Wednesday that they recently decided to close their establishments for a variety of reasons.

Ronnie Shaffer, owner of Shaff’s Pub at 422 Salem Ave., and Mike Fotta, co-owner of The Landing at 710 Dual Highway, said during separate hearings before the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County that their decisions were prompted by the sluggish economy and other problems.

Shaffer surrendered his liquor license to the board on Wednesday, saying that he was ready to close that day and might sell the property.

“I can’t seem to make it,” he said.

Fotta said after the hearing that a recent rent increase, coupled with the bad economy, forced him to look for a new location.

He said he was working on a deal to move the restaurant to Williamsport.

“We closed it three Saturdays ago,” he said. “We’re looking at opening another one, a little smaller with the same seafood.”

Fotta told the liquor board that he wanted to transfer The Landing’s liquor license to the owner of the building. He said he intended to obtain a new license when he found another place to do business.

Shaffer said during his hearing that residents who live near the bar complained about customers smoking outside.

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He said drugs and prostitution in the area also led to problems.

Robert L. Everhart, liquor board chairman, provided a letter after the hearing that said Shaffer had to appear on June 8 to discuss a drug-related incident that occurred at the bar earlier this year.

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