About 100 people packed the Annapolis City Council chambers last night for a hearing on a downtown restaurant's second bid to extend its hours of operation and provide a bar and live entertainment.
Opponents of the application by Buddy's Crabs and Ribs at 100-104 Main St., came armed with written statements. Only five people testified in support of the application, and about 10 others wore small paper signs, "Why Not Buddy's," pinned to their clothing.
The vice president of the restaurant, Michael Blonder, said he and his father want to close two hours later, at 2 a.m., to provide late night live entertainment, dancing and alcoholic beverages without meals. He said there's a need for such an establishment.
This is the second time the restaurant has applied to remain open later. In 1990, the application was denied and Buddy's unsuccessfully sought to reverse it.
Mr. Blonder and his attorney, Alan J. Hyatt, also argued that other restaurants in the downtown area already stay open until 2 a.m. and are allowed to serve alcohol without food.
"There is no intention to alter this establishment dramatically," Mr. Hyatt said. "Buddy's has been singled out. What's so detrimental to the public safety and welfare about having a bar?" he said.
"I believe Buddy's Crab house has always operated an extremely professional business," said Robert Lawinger, who lives in Arnold but works in Annapolis, in support of the application.
Annapolis resident Michael Langrehr, who is also president of the Ward One Association, said residents were very upset to find that Buddy's application had again "reared its ugly head."
"We thought this was over," he said. "This is a conversion of a family-type restaurant to a . . . nightclub. We simply do not need any more establishments in Ward One to raise hell and cause trouble."