Rio Update - Liquor Board Hearings May 25 & June 2

Further updates will be added to this article.
Please share this short web link among all concerned:
Update May 25: At the May 25 daytime Rio Liquor Board Status Hearing no decisions were made regarding Rio's request to remove the current restrictions on its license against Patron Dancing or Live Music/Entertainment, for which a Liquor Board Decision Hearing is still scheduled for Wed June 2 7 pm. The liquor Board did withdraw its order that Rio get a Department of Environmental Resources Dance Permit before the Liquor Board would consider Rio's Dancing request. The Liquor Board instructed Rio to develop a Security Plan and get County Police comments on it, if possible before June 2. Rio is consulting with County Police. 

Update May 13According to Liquor Board Order from 2010.05.12 Rio Hearing

Tue May 25, 10 am a public "status" Liquor Board session is scheduled for Rio to report its progress on Rio's developing a Security Plan with Prince George's County Police review; and Rio trying to get a Dance Permit from DER as required by the Liquor Board. May 25 is not a decision hearing -- no testimony will be taken on May 25. 

Wed June 2, 7 pm is Rio's next scheduled public Liquor Board decision hearing -- public testimony will be taken. At the June 2 hearing the Liquor Board will consider Rio's request for Patron Dancing and Live Music/Entertainment. But that hearing is "
pending (*) [whether Rio can get a DER] dance permit and comments on the security plan from the [Prince George's County] Police."  (*) "Pending" , or not, the June 2 hearing will probably still be held. 

Rio's Occupancy Permit from Prince George's Count Department of Environmental Resources (DER) strictly prohibits all Patron Dancing and all Live Music/Entertainment at Rio. DER permits are separate from and not dependent on the conditions on any liquor license.

Update 2010.05.07  
URGENT Call for Rio Protest Emails/Letters/FAX to Liquor Board by May 12  3pm from Individuals and Organizations

-- Please also consider attending the hearing to be counted in opposition. (***)

In a March 30, 2010 letter to the Liquor Board, Rio bar owner Mr. Tak Yoon requested a public hearing -- now May 12 7 pm (*) -- to decide his request to loosen all of the current conditions (**) on Rio's Class B Liquor License (wanting to add dancing, live music/entertainment, outdoor drinking, etc). 

(*) Public Hearing Wed May 12 7 pm 
     Board of License Commissioners
     County Service Building
     5012 Rhode Island Avenue, Room 204
     Hyattsville, Maryland 20781 (*** Attendance & Parking info below)

(**) Currently permitted hours ( Feb 4, 2010)
      Currently permitted activities, and restrictions (July 29, 2009
      But the hours of operation were extended on Feb 4

So, to make clear the extent of community opposition to Rio's March 30 request and to express your own views, you are urged to send the Liquor Board an email, letter, or FAX from yourself as an individual
and a separate email, letter or FAX from your community organization.

Please consider something like this example wording:

To: Prince George's County Liquor Board, Chairman Jackson 

Subject: OPPOSE Rio Restaurant & Lounge Loosening License Conditions

I, (FULL NAME), living at (FULL ADDRESS), am a Prince George's County registered voter, 

[For organizations: I am President/etc of the XYZ Association, Organization Address, etc ]. 

I oppose loosening any of the current liquor license conditions for Rio Sports Enterprises, Inc., 
t/a Rio Restaurant & Lounge, located at 13501 Baltimore Ave., Laurel, Maryland 20707. 

Loosening the existing license conditions -- without any new provisions in the License to effectively prevent violence --  would constitute a threat to the peace and safety of the community, at that location with a long history of violence associated with patron dancing and live music/entertainment.

Respectfully, [Your Signature Block] 

Send by email to:

Or by Letter or FAX to:

Board of License Commissioners
County Service Building
5012 Rhode Island Avenue, Room 204
Hyattsville, Maryland 20781
Phone: (301) 699-2770
Fax: (301) 985-3548  


(***) Please also consider attending the hearing, to be counted when, at the beginning of the hearing, the Liquor Board Chairman will ask everyone to stand who is opposed to Rio's request to add dancing, live music/entertainment, outdoor drinking, etc.  It's not a vote -- but it is a very effective way to show our community's opposition. After that you can leave whenever you need.

  • Ignore the  "Public Parking" sign that seems to point to Farragut Ave (that parking entrance is now closed to the public)
  • Enter the underground garage by turning off  Route 1 onto 43d Avenue (south of County Services Building). The garage entrance is on your immediate right.
  • Park on Level P1 or P2 and remember your parking space number.
  • Go to level P (ground level) and put your parking space number and money in the parking payment kiosk  (75 cents per hour, coins or credit card only -- no bills
As you face the parking payment kiosk, the County Service Building is behind you (north) across the court yard. Once in the County Service Building go to the second floor. Go to Hearing Room 200 (not 204). Hope to see you there. 
Update 2010.04.25
May 12 7 pm Liquor Board Hearing on Rio Sports Enterprises
April 19, 2010 Liquor Board letter announcing May 12 hearing for Rio. 
Notice of May 12 Rio hearing posted on Liquor Board web site.

Update 2010.04.20

Today, the Prince George's County Liquor Board provided this May 12 hearing agenda for Rio Sports Enterprises, Inc., 13501 Baltimore Boulevard, Laurel.

Update 2010.04.19
At its April 14 Administrative Voting Session, the Liquor Board decided to hold a hearing on Wed May 12, 7 pm at the County Services Building in Hyattsville, to decide the request from Rio Sports Enterprises, Inc (Rio), to remove certain current restrictions on their liquor license for dancing, live music, etc.

In this letter dated March 30, 2010, Rio owner Mr. Tak Yoon's lawyer Robert Kim asked for a hearing before the Prince George's County Liquor Board, to consider and decide Rio's "request for additional entertainment with specific conditions" listed in the letter.

I had learned on April 1, that the Liquor Board would review that letter at its 7 pm April 14 "Administrative Voting Session" (public, but no testimony), at which the Board is expected to schedule (and notify community Parties of Record about) the date of a subsequent public hearing, to actually consider and decide on the specific requests in the letter, with community input.

For the current license conditions see these Liquor Board letters dated July 29, 2009 and Feb 4, 2010 (which changed operating hours). All other July 29 conditions continue in effect -- except that the Liquor Board said at the Feb 3 hearing that, because Rio currently had so few patrons, the Board was not strictly enforcing the still existing condition for "additional security of at least two off-duty police officers on Friday and Saturday night and whenever having any special events".

Please watch this post for updates.