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Baltimore County’s push for live music deserves some applause | READER COMMENTARY

Grind & Wine Cafe offers a casual, friendly environment to enjoy a creative menu in a Randallstown shopping center. The owner hopes to soon offer live performances. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun).
Grind & Wine Cafe offers a casual, friendly environment to enjoy a creative menu in a Randallstown shopping center. The owner hopes to soon offer live performances. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun). (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

Allowing more live music in Baltimore County is common sense (”Putting entertainment on the menu: Baltimore County seeks to boost musicians, restaurants with more live music,” March 22). When I first opened Grind & Wine Cafe in Randallstown in 2017, I had envisioned it as a coffee shop. But I wanted to be a bigger part of our community. Today, we’ve transformed into a welcoming place where the entire neighborhood can meet, relax and enjoy delicious food.

Unfortunately, the pandemic sent our entire industry reeling, and we had to change our business model overnight. I am so grateful for the aid that Baltimore County has provided to help local restaurants like ours get through this difficult year. Now, as we keep moving forward from the pandemic, I am ready to continue making my vision a reality.

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We want to bring in local live artists for jazz brunches, acoustic dinner shows and poetry readings. But right now under the law I can’t do that. Honestly, it’s hard to believe that it’s illegal. Especially for businesses like mine that operate as a full service restaurant that has no desire to function as a lounge or nightclub.

I’m glad to see County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. pushing for a change to the law that will help so many businesses like Grind & Wine. By supporting local performers, we support our local economy and the community as well. Music is cultural and people appreciate culture. The proposed New Opportunities for Tourism and Entertainment or NOTE Act will keep local restaurants and music appreciation lively and strong.

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Kelly Carter, Randallstown

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