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Liquor board defers action on Captain Big's

The ongoing saga of a neighborhood bar in a bayside town continued Thursday, May 23 and if the monthly meeting of the Calvert County Liquor Board was any indication the issue remains in limbo.

The owners and operators of Captain Big’s in Chesapeake Beach were before the three-member panel to show cause why their liquor license should not be suspended or revoked.

After the operators affirmed their new security plan was working and several residents spoke their piece both pro and con, the liquor board voted unanimously to take the testimony under advisement.

The board’s indecisiveness drew the protest of the bar owners’ attorney, David Weigel. “I think we’ve met that burden,” said Weigel. “They continue to answer this call. I ask that you take no action.”

The lingering issue appears to be noise from the barroom that some residents have repeatedly complained about to law enforcement and town government officials. However, the local business apparently came under further scrutiny when allegations emerged that one of Captain Big’s managers was a member of an outlaw motorcycle gang. Weigel labeled that “a big misunderstanding.”

Liquor Board Chair Beth Swoap asked if gang members had been frequenting Captain Big’s as rumored. Theresa York, one of the bar’s owners, said the business has a long-standing policy that members of motorcycle gangs are not permitted to “show colors” when they are in the bar.   

“Since I took over the security plan is being followed 100 percent,” said Deputy Mark Robshaw of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, who also handles security at Captain Big’s.  “No colors have been displayed.”

Several residents living near the tavern testified under oath that Captain Big’s is a great corporate neighbor. “I don’t see any issues with them,” said Fred Snyder. “I moved in there [neighborhood] knowing what I was getting into.”

“It’s not a rowdy noise,” said Michael O’Donnell. “If you don’t like noise don’t live next to a bar.”

However, two property owners testified that when they brought their homes they were under the impression the business was a restaurant with a liquor license.

“We do have a problem with noise,” said Lynda Striegel, who suggested the liquor board change

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