Sonar regains liquor license; books Yob for July show

Sonar has regained its liquor license. That's it at right. Club management posted it on Facebook Monday, lest there be any doubt about its validity.

The new license allowed the club to start selling alcohol immediately. Michael Stewart, who had been involved with Sonar since its Canton beginnings, is the new licensee, taking over from founder Lonnie Fisher. 

The renewal fulfills at least one of Dan McIntosh's promises. The club's acting general manager said last week the license would be renewed by Monday. 

It also closes a fevered chapter in the club's history that began with an announced shutdown in early May, alarm over sold tickets, a re-opening, and then uncertainty about upcoming shows. 

Sonar's liquor license expired on May 1 because of a business dispute between Fisher, the license holder until now, and the club's owners.

There are still disagreements between Fisher and the club's current management, which includes McIntosh. Fisher has said the club has a tax liability, while McIntosh insists taxes have been paid off. 

For now, metal fans can rest assured that they won't have to watch Coroner sober when the Maryland Deathfest takes place at Sonar later this month.

"We had an attorney look at the process and found a way to get the license to the new holder and allow Sonar to return to business as usual, which benefited all parties," Fisher said Monday night.

Fisher said he had taken steps to take his name off the license since he sold his last shares in 2009.  But the new owners had not completed the proper paperwork.

McIntosh said last week the transfer had been in the works for a year and a half, when Stewart first applied for it with the liquor board. But it had not been processed until after April 30, when the club became tax-compliant.

He initially blamed Fisher for not renewing the club's license and causing its shutdown.

The new license became effective Monday and will expire April 30, 2012.

The club has continued to book new shows despite the recent upheaval. Oregon metal band has been scheduled to perform there July 17 on its first tour in six years.  

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