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Towson pizzeria's liquor license, dormant for 5 years, is ruled valid


A Towson pizzeria's liquor license, dormant for five years, has been ruled valid by the Baltimore County Liquor Board despite a state law that would void a license after 180 days without use.

The license is one of three on York Road that have long been dormant, with the others controlled by Baltimore Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos for the now-vacant sites of major commercial developments envisioned in Towson and Timonium.

Ioannis Kosmakos and his son George want to sell the license of their former Pizza Palace Restaurant at 39 York Road, which burned down in December 1985.

They presented documentation to the board on their efforts from 1985 until this spring to rebuild -- and bureaucratic problems they ran into such as new and more stringent development and environmental regulations.

They spent about $87,000 in engineering and architectural fees, their lawyer said.

After the fire, the Kosmakoses moved the business and transferred the liquor license to a neighboring building they own at 101 York Road. In 1990, they sold the business -- but not the license -- to Anoushirvan and Constance Shojae-Chaghorvand.

But in April, the Kosmakoses gave up on rebuilding and decided to sell the license to the couple, who kept the name Pizza Palace.

"We believe that every effort was made by the owners to utilize this license," said board Chairman Philip R. Leyhe Jr. "This ruling goes along with our intent to see that all outstanding licenses are ultimately back in use."

The board will schedule a hearing this month on the transfer of the license.

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