Lusby Bar Owner Surrenders Liquor License

Story Category: Crime and Punishment »

Lusby Bar Owner Surrenders Liquor License

Prince Frederick, MD - 12/7/2012

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By Marty Madden

A bar owner accused of threatening several people at his Lusby business has surrendered his liquor license to Calvert County authorities, an attorney told the Calvert County Liquor Board Thursday, Dec. 6. Ted Le Blanc, who represents Michael Ricker, the owner of CJ’s Backroom, said his client “has voluntarily surrendered” the license. Le Blanc stated the bar is currently closed but an adjacent convenience store his client also owns and operates is still open but not selling alcoholic beverages. “There’s still a business there,” said Le Blanc.

While Michael Ricker did not attend the board meeting members of his family were present. They were represented by attorney Nick Ferrante. “His [Ricker’s] mother actually owns the property,” said Ferrante, who told the panel family members wish to take over the business but Michael Ricker is not cooperating.

“We’re trying to do this peacefully,” said Mary Ricker, Michael’s mother, who explained her son has “locked the door. We are ready to go in there. We’d love to go into CJ’s and run it. Michael can’t do it anymore.”

According to documents on file in District Court of Maryland for Calvert County, Michael Ricker is alleged to have brandished a shotgun during an incident that occurred at the bar Oct. 21. According to Deputy J. Brown, four men told him Ricker threatened them with the shotgun.

Michael Ricker was subsequently charged with one count of firearm use/felony violent crime, three counts of first degree assault, and four counts each of reckless endangerment, alcoholic beverage intoxication endanger and attempted alcoholic beverage intoxication endanger. A hearing on the charges is tentatively set for Jan. 25 in district court.

Liquor Board members and their counsel, Eugene Pitrof, indicated the situation has complications that would make an ownership transition problematic. Pitrof said the businesses need to dispose of their current inventory of alcoholic products and board alternate Jack Smack added that “wholesalers need to pick up their product from a licensee.”

“We’d like to make an application for a new liquor license,” said Geoff Ricker, one of the family members who would be involved in the new management of the bar.

Liquor Board Chairman Alonzo Barber indicated that could be complicated, since a license transfer and a new application are two different processes. Barber asked the three attorneys to look into a way the issue could be resolved.

Beach Bar Absolved

The Liquor Board discussed concerns about a number of summertime incidents that occurred at Neptune’s in North Beach. Owner William Sherman said he was aware some problems this past summer that he believes were instigated by “undesirables” who came to his business since several other Twin Beach area watering holes were closed for various reasons.

Sherman also told the panel “there’s a bad drug problem” in the area near the bar, which is located near the border of North Beach and Chesapeake Beach. He said he and his employees have seen the suspicious activity from the bar’s window. Sherman explained many of the undesirable patrons have been told they are not welcome at Neptune’s after the problems of the past summer.

“Since then, we’ve weeded them out,” said Sherman, who explained Neptune’s now has surveillance cameras that have deterred the miscreants from frequenting the bar. The cameras were installed in October. “I don’t foresee there being many problems in the future.”

“The calls for service [in the area of Neptune’s] have been down significantly,” said F/Sgt. Todd Ireland of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office.

“I think it sounds like he’s done what needed to be done,” said board member Beth Swoap, who moved the panel take no action against Neptune’s.

“He needs to keep doing what he’s been doing,” said board member Ruth Reid, in seconding the motion.

Contact Marty Madden at

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