Brewery applicant insulted by Liquor Board’s ruling

Donna Shores isn’t yet sure what she’ll do with the building in the Salisbury Promenade Plaza, on Route 13 north.

Her plan was to open another Ocean City Brewing Co. there, where Greene Turtle used to be before it closed and relocated a few years ago.

The Ocean City Brewing Co. in Ocean City, on 56th Street, has a craft brewery that would have provided beer for the new restaurant, as it does for Shores’ other establishments.

When she applied for a liquor license, she said she was told, by Attorney Richard Duvall, who represents the Wicomico County Board of License Commissioners, that she is unfit, offending Shores, who owns three restaurants and a brewery and has plans to expand.

Her son, Joshua Shores, “got in trouble” eight years ago, she said, by selling unlicensed autographed sports shirts and was scheduled to be sentenced this week, but Shores said although he will likely serve time in prison, lives with her and helps with her restaurants, his name isn’t on the application.

Duvall didn’t return calls, but information on the Board of License Commissioners’ Website states if an application is denied, the applicant may reapply in six months. Applicants who are denied may appeal to Wicomico County Circuit Court within 30 days of the board’s decision.

Shores described the hearing for her application to sell liquor as “not going well.”

“I am still in shock over this. They told me I was unfit. Meanwhile, I have a federal and state brewery license in three counties. I am licensed for alcoholic beverages. I’ve gone to these hearings three different times and it’s never been anything like this,” she said.

“I said, ‘I did my fingerprinting. I have nothing against me. I worked for the government. I’m a paralegal.’

“I worked as a paralegal for 35 years and I retired when my mother had cancer and took care of her. When my son got in trouble I decided my mother’s legacy was to take the money she left me and build something for my grandchildren. I continued to build my mother’s legacy to help her grandchildren. One of those investments was the Ocean City Brewing Company,” Shores said.

She said she is especially unsettled by the denial because she has invested in Salisbury and planned to hire 50 to 100 people to work at the new restaurant.

“I have not hidden anything. The attorney insulted me numerous times in front of the board. He was rude. I’m so numb right now. We’re going to talk to our landlord. We are weighing our options to try to figure out how to deal with this,” Shores said.

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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