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Uncle's Hawaiian Grindz gets liquor license, while Fallston Barrel House gets scrutiny from liquor board

Uncle's Hawaiian Grindz gets liquor license, while Fallston Barrel House gets scrutiny from liquor board
The Harford liquor board is exasperated with the group seeking to turn a troubled site into the Fallston Barrel House at the intersection of Routes 1 and 152 in Fallston. (ALLAN VOUGHT | AEGIS FILE / Baltimore Sun)

One restaurant planned for Fallston's major Route 1 and 152 intersection got rave reviews from Harford County's liquor control board, while one that hasn't opened yet is already off to a bad start.

Uncle's Hawaiian Grindz, set to open in the revamped Fallston Mall, was approved for a liquor license, pending other permit approvals, Wednesday.

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The liquor board is exasperated, however, with Fallston Barrel House, as administrator Pilar Gracia said the business, planned for the former site of The Mallet, has failed to communicate about meeting with the board.

Fallston Barrel House is the brainchild of two local businessmen who announced this summer that they wanted to turn the site of several troubled restaurants into a community-centered, family-friendly eatery.

The business' Facebook page features an Aug. 25 post announcing an opening "so close we can taste it." Gracia, however, said at the liquor board's Wednesday meeting that the board has been forced to keep rescheduling the owners' appearance in light of their liquor application.

"Quite honestly, they are not cooperating," Gracia said, and board commissioner Tom Fidler asked for sterner measures because the business is wasting the board's time.

Gracia explained the owners have either not responded to the board's requests or not given the staff what they want.

The new Uncle's restaurant was met with praise after its owners presented the board with a menu and announced the restaurant is expected to have a soft opening in mid-October.

Kaimana Chee, who competed on several Food Network shows, will be the head chef and the menu features items like a "poke" bar, Hawaiian-based meat and seafood, vegetarian options and both Hawaiian and local drinks.

Owner Kosmas "Tommie" Koukoulis, who grew up in Fallston and whose wife is Hawaiian, told the board that the restaurant's stylish marketing has drawn interest. He was at the board meeting along with Jeffrey Cowart.

"I get a lot of people asking me if this is a Baltimore location," Koukoulis said. Fidler welcomed the men to the community and said it is great to see Fallston Mall, now the Fallston Village Center, redeveloped.

Fidler said he is eager to see that Uncle's will "bring something that really should be a great complement" to the center.

The owners are required to invest at least $250,000 of capital in the restaurant, which attorney Joe Snee said they will meet.

With the beer, wine and liquor license in hand, Uncle's is set to be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

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