'Rustic Italian' Birroteca restaurant gets liquor license, plans to open next week in Bel Air

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From Hampden to Bel Air, here comes Birroteca

A new "rustic Italian" restaurant focused on craft beers is getting ready to open in the former Bill Bateman's location on Bel Air Road between Fallston and Bel Air.

Birroteca, which has drawn attention since opening in the Hampden area in 2012, was approved for a restaurant liquor license Wednesday by the Harford County Liquor Control Board.

The restaurant plans to officially open to the public Wednesday, with a soft opening Monday and Tuesday, to "make a first impression," attorney Joseph Snee told the board.

The restaurant expects to be open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays, from noon to 12 a.m. Saturdays and from noon to 10 p.m. Sundays, Snee said.

Birroteca promises "a very unique selection of food, beers, wine and spirits – especially the beers, as you can imagine with a name like Birroteca," Snee said.

Michael Moran, one of the proprietors along with Robbin Haas and general manager Jonathan Angel, said Birroteca's food is "made 100 percent from scratch."

In addition to a selection of beer, wine and distilled spirits, "we kind of go toward doing cocktails," Moran told the board.

He said "mostly local beers" will be on tap and alcohol will not feature major brands "or things more people will recognize," in support of small-batch and local beers and products.

Birroteca will have a "sharing concept," with plates aimed at an entire table.

"We are hopefully going to do well," Moran said. "We are unique, I think, to this area."

Moran, a Baltimore resident, is also the first "responsible operator" to get a liquor license in Harford who is not a Harford resident.

A new state law requires those who hold such a position to live within 100 miles of the Town of Bel Air, not to live in Harford.

He will be one of two liquor licensees, along with Tanya Haas, who liquor inspector Charles Robbins also said does not live in Harford.

Snee noted Moran spent 25 years with Phillips Seafood. Birroteca has hired 50 servers so far, all of whom have had alcohol training.

Birroteca's owners are currently leasing the Bel Air site, Snee said. Bill Bateman's closed earlier this year at the location.

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