After hearing testimony from neighbors, police and Boomers Bar & Smokehouse licensee Jeff Swope, the Baltimore County Liquor Board levied a $1,000 fine against the bar and suspended its liquor license for a single day.
As a result of the decision, the bar, located on Earls Road in Middle River, will be unable to serve or allow the consumption of alcohol on the premises on Sept. 15.
Swope testified before the board that the bar had taken a number of steps to ensure that incidents like those in July would not take place again.
Among the measures Swope said Boomers had put into place were:
- Providing mandatory alcohol training for all staff
- Hiring an off-duty Maryland state trooper to watch the parking lot on weekends from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
- Investing in a $1,400 security system, including new cameras and a digital video recorder.
- Investing in an ID-scanner to ensure that patrons are over 21 years of age
- Investing in a metal detector wand and hiring a female security guard to ensure that no patron can bring weapons into the bar
- Implementing a dress code and changing its disc jockey to attract a different crowd.
Bill Carroll, who owns a nearby home, testified that noise coming from the bar was too loud.
"The noise in the parking lot, it wakes you up all three days — Thursday Friday and Saturday," he said.
Caroll added that the new measures taken by the bar seem to be working.
"In the last month or so since the police got involved, it’s been fairly quiet," he said.
Essex precinct police Capt. Michael J. DiPaula also testified at the hearing, after listening to the presentation about the new security plan for the bar.
"It should work, if everything is kept up to date — we haven’t signed off on the agreement — personally I don’t think there should have to be an agreement between a bar and police — it had to go to chief Johnson," he said.
"I want to give both sides of the story," DiPaula said. "I have friends and associates who go to this establishment on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and like it; it’s Thursday, Friday and Saturday that cause problems for my officers."
DiPaula also said that he had recently testified on behalf of the Riverwatch restaurant, which has had similar issues in recent months.
"I testified in favor of Riverwatch because I felt like they cooperate with my officers," he said. "Up until a month or two ago, in my opinion, [that] was not the case [with Boomers]. I want them to thrive, I’m not here to put people out of business.
"To be honest, I feel that if [Boomers] put[s] these measures in place and enforce[s] them with their staff and patrons they will be fine," DiPaula said.
Liquor board chairman Charles Klein cautioned Boomers as he handed down his decision.
"The board's role is to help the businesses stay in business, we don’t want anyone out of business — we need cooperation with the police and the neighborhood," Klein said.
"We hope it’s going to improve – if you come back with similar issues in the future, we would be hard pressed not to take more serious actions," Klein said.