COVID-19 Updates: Baltimore City

July 23, 2020

On July 23, 2020, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) issued guidance concerning the prohibition on indoor consumption of alcoholic beverages and food at Restaurants and Bars, which is effective at 5:00 pm on July 24, 2020, in light of Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s Executive Order issued on July 22, 2020.

June 12, 2020

The Baltimore City Liquor Board has waived the daily fees for the temporary extension of licensed premises to include outdoor seating areas during the state of emergency.  The Liquor Board has also released the attached guidance expediting the approval process for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in outdoor seating areas during this time.

May 28, 2020

In a press release, Baltimore City Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced that the restaurants with outdoor dining permits would be permitted to begin serving patrons for outdoor dining starting Friday, May 29th at 5:00 pm. 

The Mayor’s press release emphasized that restaurants must abide by Governor Hogan’s order setting forth the following protocols for safely operating restaurants:

  • Ensure patrons are appropriately distanced with no more than six people seated at a table, with the exception of members of the same household.
  • Ensure patrons are seated at least six feet away from each other, except for households seated together.
  • Use single-use disposable paper menus or sanitize reusable menus between each seating.
  • Sanitize outdoor tables and chairs between each customer seating.
  • Train staff in current COVID-19 health and workplace guidelines.
  • Begin screening procedures including daily temperature checks of all staff.
  • Ensure staff wear masks or face coverings when interacting with other employees or patrons.

The State has also provided additional guidance as to best practices for the operation of restaurants and bars.  

Restaurants that do not currently have outdoor dining permits will be able to apply for one online starting Monday, June 1st at 9:00 am. It has not yet been reported whether the ability to apply for a new outdoor dining permit would automatically include the ability to serve alcoholic beverages—typically the Liquor Board has to separately approve a request for adding an outdoor dining privilege via a public hearing.

Please reach out to the attorneys from Rosenberg Martin Greenberg with any questions.

May 13, 2020

  • Baltimore City Council passes the COVID-19 Rent Increase Protection Act – Read more here.

March 30, 2020

  • The Baltimore City Liquor Board has canceled all hearing scheduled for April 2020 and anticipates resuming virtual hearings in May if in-person hearings cannot be scheduled.  Click here to read the press release.

March 23, 2020

  • The BMZA has closed all operations.  All hearings scheduled for April 2020 are suspended until further notice.  When operations resume, new applications and rescheduled hearings will be scheduled and heard on an expedited basis.
  • The Liquor Board issued revised guidance authorizing licensees to sell alcoholic beverages for carry-out and delivery in any type of sealed container, not just those sealed by the manufacturer, for the duration of the state of emergency. Click here to see the revised general guidance document.

March 20, 2020

  • The Baltimore City Planning Commission will be holding its next hearing on March 26, 2020 virtually by video conference. 
  • You may join by phone at: 1-408-418-9388   Access code: 715 092 576

March 18, 2020

  • The Baltimore City Liquor Board issued additional guidance to licensed establishments in Baltimore City concerning carry out and delivery procedures for alcoholic beverage service in light of Governor Lawrence J. Hogan’s Executive Order published on March 16, 2020.  During the state of emergency, holders of Class A, Class B, Class D, and Class BD7 licenses may offer carry-out and delivery of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption without further approval from the Liquor Board, provided that the beverages are sold in sealed containers.  Licensees may not sell alcoholic beverages in open containers for off-premises consumption.
  • The Baltimore City Liquor Board has canceled its next hearing date, originally scheduled for March 26, 2020. Parties will be notified of a new date once the Liquor Board resumes hearings.
  • The Baltimore Development Corporation is coordinating with city & state agencies and the federal government to identify resources available for businesses. Let them know how you are being affected by taking the brief business impact survey now:

March 17, 2020

  • The Liquor Board has not provided guidance on the applicability of Rule 3.06(c) of the Rules and Regulations of the Baltimore City Liquor Board, which provides that a licensee who changes hours of operation shall provide the Board with the new hours within 30 days of making the change.
  • Preakness has been rescheduled to a date in September that has yet to be determined

March 16, 2020

  • Baltimore City has suspended all zoning hearings scheduled before the Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals through April 1, 2020,  No applications will be accepted for filing during this time.
  • As of this time, the Baltimore City Planning Commission intends to hold its March 26, 2020 hearing virtually, with details forthcoming.
  • The Baltimore City Council has cancelled all hearings scheduled through the end of March.
  • Most City agencies are suspending in-person services. Permits that can be submitted/reviewed electronically are still being processed.