Anne Arundel County officials are preparing for a serious uptick in liquor-license requests for restaurants - from local vendors and national chains alike - now that a new state law has opened the door to more dining options in the county's fastest-growing areas. Since legislation took effect July 1 allowing restaurateurs to hold up to six licenses in Anne Arundel in designated areas, the county liquor board has received 15 inquiries for licenses, up from the average of two or three a month. Interested parties include Outback, Ruby Tuesday, TGI Friday's and Bennigan's. The economic development agency also mailed a series of promotional postcards to real estate brokers and local family-owned restaurants that trumpeted the newly expanded market opportunities and the county's affluent demographics. A recent draft study by the agency showed that the county could support an additional 38 full-service restaurants (not counting the planned expansion at Fort Meade).
Does the county need more restaurants? Is there a risk that the county could be overwhelmed by chain restaurants?
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