HAGERSTOWN — The county liquor board Wednesday granted permission for the owner of Wolfe’s on the Square, a former liquor, hardware and fishing supply store in downtown Williamsport, to transfer his liquor license.
The Board of License Commissioners for Washington County voted 3-0 during a hearing at the liquor board office at 148 W. Washington St. in Hagerstown to give Jack Slick authorization to transfer the off-sale license to L&J Liquors.
L&J Liquors of Williamsport LLC is owned by the Bowman Development Group of Williamsport, liquor board Administrator Vaun Miles said.
The hearing was attended by several people, including Slick and Hagerstown-based attorney, Arthur Schneider.
Schneider, who was representing L&J Liquors, told the board that the building needed “substantial renovation” before a business could reopen there.
“We’re going to need at least 90 days for renovation so the building can be serviceable .... It will service the exact same customers — hopefully more,” Schneider said.
The transfer of Slick’s liquor license has spurred controversy for months.
When the Wolfe’s building was up for auction in June, several liquor store owners publicly challenged the auctioneer’s advertisement that the liquor license would be included as part of the deal.
The liquor board wrote a letter on June 3 warning J.G. Cochran Auctioneers and Associates of Boonsboro that they had to reword an advertisement that the company used to promote the auction at Wolfe's.
Liquor board Chairman Robert L. Everhart said at the time that the advertisement incorrectly implied that Wolfe's liquor license would be sold at the auction.
“There is no such thing as selling a license,” Everhart said Wednesday after the transfer hearing. “That license has to go before the Board of License Commissioners to be approved.”
Thomas Britner, a representative of the Bowman Development Group in Williamsport, told the liquor board during a hearing in June that the company bought the right to transfer Slick’s liquor license during a public auction at Wolfe’s earlier that month.