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Community Meeting About J’s Sports Café April 23

We would like to encourage everyone to attend a community meeting on Monday, April 23, to discuss the future of J’s Café, which is located in the Crystal Plaza shopping center on Route 197.  J’s owners have proposed to reopen as a sports bar and grill.  At previous meetings with the owners, the community’s overwhelming sentiment was for the liquor license either to be revoked or for J’s Café to reopen as a full-fledged restaurant that served wine and beer, but not as a sports bar that also serves food.

We have invited J’s owners to come to this meeting prepared to outline a new business plan more in line with the community’s request to open as a restaurant whose sales are based on food rather than liquor.

The meeting will be held at 7 pm at the Touch of Love Bible Church, 13503 Baltimore Ave. (corner of Route 1 and Contee Road, behind the new Sakura Steak House).

Many community members have already signed a petition opposing renewal of J’s liquor license due to the shooting death in January of a patron in the club’s parking lot – the third such murder there in two years. The Prince George’s County Liquor Board has scheduled a protest hearing for May 2 at 7 pm, at which time it may
change the way the club does business or revoke J’s liquor license altogether, presumably taking into account the community’s preferences.

Please plan to attend this community meeting on April 23 – and also the Liquor Board hearing on May 2 – to be assured that your voice is heard and that you are fully informed on the issues.

Let’s make Laurel a safe and prosperous community.

Maria Agres
Coordinator, Coalition for Laurel Area Safety and Prosperity (CLASP)

March 29 Judgement Against J's Sports Cafe

March 29,2007
Granville Templeton, ill, Esquire 10 N.·Calvert Street
Suite 930
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Re: J's Cafe, Class B, BLX, Beer, Wine and Liquor

Dear Mr. Templeton:

During the Administrative Voting Session of March 27,2007, the Board of License Commissioners met regarding the above captioned.

The Board approved the following finds of fact regarding the hearing held on March 14,2007.

The licensee was charged with violations which came before the Board for a hearing on March 14, 2007. The principal charge made by the inspection staff was that the operation of the licensed premises endangered the peace and safety of the neighborhood in which it is located in violation of Article 2B, Section 10-401. Certain other charges were filed alleging violation of Rules 26A(3), 26B(5), 26b(10), 26B(13) and26B 14.

At the hearing the Board heard testimony form Deputy Chief Inspector Fanelli, Captain S. Haines of the Prince George's County Police, Cpl. Jenkins of the Prince George's County Police, the licensee and the manager of the establishment. The Board carefully considered all the testimony and evidence presented to it from all witnesses. The Board has assessed the credibility of the witnesses, attached weight to their testimony and makes the following findings of fact.

The Board finds as a fact that the licensee operates a Class B, BLX restaurant located at 12617 Laurel Bowie Road, Annapolis Road, Laurel, Maryland. The Board finds that the management promotes club type atmosphere rather than a restaurant. The Board finds that on the night of January 26,2007, it employed 7-8 bartenders, 14 bouncers or security staff, and only one person on the wait staff. The Board finds as a fact that on that night a number of customers of the licensed premises became unruly and began fighting on the parking lot of the premises as the establishment was closing. Officers who were employed as security forces by the licensee attempted to restore order to the area. During the course of this melee one individual was shot and killed by a person unknown.

J's Cafe
March 29, 2007 Page-2-

The law which the Board must apply to the facts in this case consists, in part, of Maryland Code, Article 2B, Section 10-401 (a)(3) which states "Any license or permit issued under the provisions of this article may be revoked or suspended by the issuing authority for any case which in the judgment of the official, court or board, is necessary to promote the peace or safety of the community in which the place of business is situated." In addition to the statue and Rilles, adopted by the Board under the authority granted to it by Article 2B, Section 16-303(a), applies in the case. Rille #26B states as follows:

The Board may suspend or revoke any license issued under the provision
of Article 2B for any case which in the judgment of the Board shall be
necessary to promote the peace and safety of the community in which
the business is situated.

Applying the law to the facts found in this case the Board concludes that the operation of the premises causes a danger to the peace and good order of the community in which the business is located. It is clear that any citizen passing in the near vicinity of the premises at closing time on the night in question would have been in danger of being shot. The Board concludes that the licensees are in violation of Article 2B, Section 401 and Rules 26(2)(B)(10) and (13) in permitting disorderly persons to remain on the premises and permitting loud noises and brawls on the premises. There is no evidence to show that the licensee sold alcoholic beverages to disorderly persons and so the Board dismisses the charge of violating Rille 26(B)(5).

For these violations the Board imposes a fine of$10,000.00. In addition, pursuant to a request of the licensee, the Board rescinded its permission to offer entertainment.

Should you require any additional information, feel free to contact our office.

Franklin D. Jackson Chairman

County Service Building, Room 204, 5012 Rhode Island Avenue, Hyattsville, Maryland 20781-2037 (301) 699-2770