BOONSBORO — Washington County liquor officials Wednesday gave a Boonsboro businessman permission to sell alcohol at a restaurant and taphouse that he intends to open within the next several months on the town’s square.
Daniel Aufdem-Brinke, who is the son of best-selling author and southern Washington County resident Nora Roberts, said Dan’s Restaurant & Taphouse at 3 S. Main St. will serve American fare and offer a wide variety of draft beers.
The restaurant will be the fifth business that Roberts’ family owns on or near the square.
“We’re going to have a 24-tap beer system focusing on microbrews,” Aufdem-Brinke said after a hearing Wednesday morning before the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County.
Aufdem-Brinke said the restaurant will serve chicken, steaks, hamburgers and other American cuisine at a reasonable price. If everything goes as planned, the restaurant will open in March, before St. Patrick’s Day.
Restaurant General Manager Danny Hardy said the business wants to support the local economy by purchasing goods from regional farmers, microbreweries and vineyards.
“There will be a big focus on the craft beers,” Hardy said. “We’ll have Belgians and others from all over the world, but we’ll focus on locals as well.”
Hardy said dinners will range in price from $10 to $20.
Dan’s Restaurant & Taphouse, which will be open seven days a week and host live bands, will be the fifth business owned by a member of Roberts’ family in the area of town square.
The family also owns Inn BoonsBoro On the Square at 1 N. Main St., Vesta Pizzeria and Family Restaurant at 2 S. Main St., Turn the Page Bookstore and Cafe at 18 N. Main St. and Fit in Boonsboro, a fitness center at 3 St. Paul St.
Robert L. Everhart, liquor board chairman, told Aufdem-Brinke during the hearing that the pouring license issued Wednesday requires the business to serve at least 51 percent food — anything less would violate state law.
“It’s a restaurant license, and it’s to be operated as a restaurant, which means you have to serve food at all times when alcohol is served,” Everhart said.
The liquor board recently has reprimanded several businesses whose owners were accused of operating their restaurants more like taverns, meaning alcohol sales exceeded food sales.
“We are going to be open for lunch and dinner,” Aufdem-Brinke assured the liquor board. “We’re going to serve two meals a day. Food will always be served when the bar is open.”
Everhart said the liquor board would hold the license until Dan’s Restaurant & Taphouse passes inspections by the health and fire departments.
The building that will house the business is being renovated.