Santini's Restaurant in Joppa will, most likely, be able to serve beer and wine to its patrons soon.
At its meeting in Bel Air Wednesday, the Harford County Liquor Control Board approved a request from Jose Hernandez for a class B1 beer and wine license. Hernandez is also a 50 percent stockholder in the restaurant.
Craig DeRan, a lawyer with Stark and Keenan in Bel Air, represented Hernandez.
He told the board that Santini's Restaurant, at 626 Town Center Drive, has been open since November 2011 and is "starting to become successful," hence the request for a beer and wine license.
"[Hernandez] has shown himself to be a gentleman of financial responsibility and character," DeRan said.
Chairman Donald Hess asked how many seats were in the restaurant and if there would be a full-service bar.
DeRan responded that there would be no bar, and Hernandez added that there are approximately 70 seats.
Hess asked if Hernandez had any experience in the liquor industry.
The licensee's attorney explained that prior to the restaurant, Hernandez was in the cleaning business and this was his first foray into the liquor industry.
Commissioner Vernon Gauss asked if the licensee works with any staff or servers and how many.
"A couple," Hernandez said. When pushed for a number, he responded, "About four people."
Gauss then asked if those employees had been trained on license rules and regulations, to which DeRan responded that two staff members, Hernandez and the other stockholder, had all been trained.
Board Administrator Kathryn Thess said she didn't believe Chief Inspector Charlie Robbins had been to Santini's to take photos of the layout. She asked Hernandez and DeRan to arrange a time for Robbins to visit.
Contingent upon photos from Robbins, the board approved the license, which will be issued May 1.