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Short Stop Tavern owner told to work on reopening or lose liquor license

April 11, 2012|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com

Washington County liquor officials Wednesday warned the owner of the Short Stop Tavern in Hagerstown to make progress on reopening the establishment or risk losing his liquor license.

During a hearing, the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County told Mike Deming, owner of the Short Stop Tavern at 17 W. Antietam St., to show progress in six months, or they would consider revoking the license.

Deming said he plans to move the tavern about a half block east from its current location to the corner of South Potomac and West Antietam streets.

“We started demolition right around the holidays .... Our intent is to open by the end of the year,” he said.

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Deming told the liquor board last year that he initially wanted to build a microbrewery at the site of the tavern and on the bottom floors of abutting buildings along West Antietam Street.

But that plan — and a plan to simultaneously build apartments on the top floors of those buildings — never materialized.

Charles Mades, liquor board treasurer, said he approved of Deming’s original idea to build the apartments and microbrewery.

However, he said he was concerned that the new plan to relocate the Short Stop would do nothing more than bring another licensed drinking establishment to the Arts and Entertainment District.

“I have some mixed feelings about this right now,” Mades said.

The Short Stop Tavern closed several years ago and has since sat vacant.

Robert Everhart, liquor board chairman, told Deming that the panel has been patient and given him a great deal of latitude.

“We have actually extended ourselves to the point that we’ve gotten a lot of complaints,” Everhart said.

He urged Deming to move the project forward as quickly as possible.

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