The Harford County Liquor Control Board levied fines Wednesday against five businesses, four of which were found to have illegally sold alcohol to minors.
The businesses failed to accurately check proof of age during a sting operation on Dec. 10 and 11.
The liquor board's five members found them all in violation after the business owners or managers admitted to the violations during show-cause hearings at the liquor board's Wednesday meeting in Bel Air.
Gene's Bar & Restaurant, on West Jarrettsville Road in Forest Hill, was fined $1,000. Bellissimo, on Marketplace Drive in Bel Air, was fined $2,000 and it was the second violation in five years for that eatery. Edgewood Liquor, Grocery & Deli was fined $2,000 and it also was a second violation in five years for the business. The defunct Marlin & Ray's, in the 500 block of Baltimore Pike in Bel Air, was fined $2,000. VFW Post 5838, in the 501 block of Pulaski Highway in Joppa, was fined $500 for serving alcohol to a non-member, but was found not to have been in violation on a charge of selling alcohol to a minor.
Mountain Branch issue
In an unrelated matter, the board agreed to allow the liquor license for the Mountain Branch Golf Club to remain active, though it has no registered licensee after its previous licensee recently resigned from the business.
"You do realize you almost lost the license this weekend?" board chairman Donald Hess warned the facility's lawyers, noting the board had received no communication from anyone at the club.
He said he expected "everything to be done as quickly as possible" with setting up a substitute licensee.
Commissioner Michael Thomson said: "It's not like this location has been without incidents in the past."
Also at the meeting:
• Gino's Burgers & Chicken, which just opened in Aberdeen, was approved to serve alcohol in its outside seating area.
• One-day beer and wine licenses were approved for: the Bel Air Downtown Alliance for a Ravens rally on Friday; Rockfield Foundation, Inc., for a Valentine's Day dinner at Rockfield Manor on Feb. 14 through Feb. 16 and for an art lottery at Rockfield Manor on Feb. 17; Churchville Recreational Council for a bull roast at Level Volunteer Fire Company on Feb. 16; Harford County Sheriff's Office Riders Police Unity Tour for a bull roast at Fallston Volunteer Fire Company on Feb. 16; Harford County 4-H Clubs, Inc., for a dance at Deer Creek Overlook in Rocks on March 2; the Havre de Grace Lions Club for a bull roast at the Havre de Grace Community Center on March 16; St. Ignatius Catholic Church for a dinner and concert on March 2; and St. Patrick Church for an Irish dinner on March. 17.