By Erik Maza
The Baltimore Sun
6:37 PM EST, March 8, 2012
The Tiki Barge won't have a twin barge this Spring after all.
Owners of the popular and controversial floating barge had planned to build a seafood and raw bar aboard a second barge this Spring, but the Baltimore Liquor Board Thursday sided with neighbors who opposed the idea.
The decision was a major disappointment for Tiki manager Bud Craven, who was ready to start construction Monday.
"I'm real surprised," Craven said after the hearing. "A lot of time and a lot of money has already been spent on this project."
Thursday's decision came a full month after the project had first been proposed at a meeting that was attended by several Harborview neighbors who expressed concerns about a range of issues the new barge would raise.
David Wallace said the project could open the window for future Tiki Barges and Matthew Klaiber said it might become just another bar and not a restaurant. But the Liquor Board denied the expansion for different reasons.
"The board concluded that because there is one way in and one way out to the expanded barge, the impact of having all of that traffic would be deleterious to the welfare of the community," chairman Stephan Fogleman said after the hearing.
The decision isn't necessarily final. The people behind the Tiki Barge - including Harborview developer and liquor license holder Richard Swirnow - have the right to appeal.
But on Thursday, Craven seemed resigned to the decision, saying only he was disappointed.
The regular Tiki Barge still intends to open this April.
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