JD's Smokehouse opening

JD's Smokehouse is expected to open Monday in the building across Route 22 from Harford Community college that was formerly the home of Bruce Bitner's. (TED HENDRICKS | AEGIS STAFF / Baltimore Sun Media Group / August 21, 2014)

As long as the contractor finishes removing a wall inside, the new JD's Smokehouse is expected to open for business Monday in Churchville.

Ann Marie Friedenberg told members of the Harford County Liquor Board Wednesday the only thing left to do is remove a wall that had separated the dining room and bar areas of the restaurant that formerly occupied the space, Bruce Bitner's.

Her lawyer, Joe Snee, said the wall does not bear any load and the contractor was standing by to start the work, which was only expected to take about three hours.

The license for the new restaurant was approved by the board at its Aug. 6 meeting, to become effective Aug. 18 when Friedenberg had hoped to open. Snee said they had planned to wait to remove the wall until after opening, but rather than interrupt business, they chose to delay opening by a week. The liquor board had to approve removing the wall.


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Snee said the restaurant will open Monday for regular business "without fanfare," and a grand opening may be scheduled later.

Main Street Oyster House in Bel Air was given permission to put four to seven table outside on the sidewalk along Main Street. Licensee Jen Daley said the tables are not permanent and will be removed after dinner service is over and the kitchen is closed. Board members asked if someone would be supervising the area and Daley said management and servers are out there regularly.

The tables would only be out during nice weather.

The licensee of Aberdeen Liquors, Vidyaben Patel, who in June told the liquor board she was done with the business and had submitted a license transfer application, withdrew the application and told the board she intends to remain on the license, Charlie Robbins, a liquor inspector told board members.

Aberdeen Liquors had been fined $500 because Patel had not been at the store a sufficient amount of time. Robbins said he has been monitoring her presence at the store and Patel has been there during recent visits.

Also at Wednesday's meeting:

• La Tolteca in Aberdeen was given permission to add a 60-seat outside seating area. Licensee David Carillo said he and his staff hope to be able to begin construction this winter and, weather permitting, open in the spring when the weather gets nice. He said it will be a "very upscale" eating area.

• Greene Turtle was given permission to hold an outside beer pong tournament at its Aberdeen restaurant Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. The restaurant sponsors the rugby team hosting the tournament.

• The liquor board also approved one-day beer and wine licenses for the Bel Air Downtown Alliance Sept. 5, Knights of Columbus Council 6188 Sept. 13, Harford Artists Association Sept. 13, Charlie Riley Community Service Scholarship Foundation Sept. 21 and Committee to Elect Jeff Gahler Sept. 26.

• The licensee of Sizzling Bombay, Yashoda Gurung, notified the board she would be absent from the restaurant for four days, and two other people would be running it in her absence.