Kevin Miller

A growing thirst in Damascus

A growing thirst in Damascus

Stop by the Red Rooster, a 10-seat joint just off Main Street in this rural community an hour west of Baltimore, and you can order a burger, some barbecue or the fried chicken that some locals claim is the best on the East Coast.

But don't bother asking for a beer to wash it down with. The Red Rooster, like every other business here, is barred by law from selling alcoholic beverages.

And that suits co-owner Kevin Miller just fine. The lifelong Damascus resident says the local ban has helped preserve the quiet character of this unincorporated corner of northern Montgomery County. "It's nice to be not so citified."

On the other side of the...