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Tidewater Grille in Havre de Grace loses liquor license amid 'multiple complaints,' drug investigation, police say

A Havre de Grace restaurant has temporarily lost its liquor license following “an emergency public safety shut down” last week at the request of Havre de Grace police.

Havre de Grace Police Department Cpl. Dan Petz said Tuesday the Tidewater Grille is the subject of an ongoing drug investigation.

He said police have received “multiple complaints” from the community.

The restaurant is in the 300 block of Franklin Street and sits along the Susquehanna River.

Police Chief Teresa Walter called the administrator of the Harford County Liquor Control Board, Pilar Gracia, the evening of Nov. 20.

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Walter was “seeking the assistance of the liquor board with an emergency public safety shut down of Tidewater Grille,” Gracia said Monday.

Havre de Grace police shut down the restaurant that evening at 7 p.m. as part of its investigation, Petz said.

“Officers were working a drug investigation which stopped the business operations and prompted the call to the liquor control board,” Petz said.

The licensee is Ralph Shapot, according to the liquor board.

Gracia sent the liquor board’s inspector, Bill Colburn, to the restaurant to assist and at her direction, he confiscated the liquor license “pending resolution of this still-active situation,” she said.

“That license remains confiscated to date — applicable Maryland alcoholic beverage laws prohibit Tidewater Grille from serving any alcohol whatsoever on its business premises unless and until that license is again conspicuously posted on those same premises,” Gracia said. “That is all the information I am at liberty to share at this time.”

It was an unusual move by a police department, she said.

“I have never before been contacted by a law enforcement agency to assist in this manner,” Gracia, who has been the board’s lawyer since February 2008 and the board administrator since July 2015.

The restaurant was open Sunday night.

A woman who answered the phone at Tidewater Grille around lunchtime Tuesday said Shapot was not available but she would pass along a message. She said Shapot may not be in until Wedneday, but he "will definitely call back by the end of the week."

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