ELKTON — The Wood has lost its liquor license for the next 30 days according to the Cecil County Board of License Commissioners.
The suspension starts Dec. 4 and ends Jan. 2, 2021.
In a letter from the Liquor Board, Ann Brown and George Kelley, operators of the bar at 208 Fletchwood Road near the Delaware line in Elkton, were cited for violating the local rules and regulations; prohibited practices, noise and local rules and regulations:
” ... the Board felt that there was an abundant amount of testimony by several witnesses to find that the “peace, safety, and tranquility of the neighborhood “ had been disturbed; the Board finds you guilty and has suspended the alcoholic beverage license for 30 days ....” read the notice of the suspension obtained by the Cecil Whig Wednesday.
At the Nov. 25 liquor board meeting Sgt. Shawn Mahan from the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office testified to the law enforcement response to issues due to the bar. Mahan said officers responded to 21 calls for service beginning in June.
”It’s mostly loud music,” Mahan said of those calls for service, which also included large numbers of cars parking along the road, on county property and in the West Creek Shoppes shopping center next door. “But their business practices resulted in a homicide.”
Brown and Kelley maintained that they were doing exactly what should be done to keep employees and patrons safe, adding neither should be held responsible with what happens on neighboring properties. Both reminded the board that the bar was closed when the August fatal shooting occurred.
No arrests have been made in the shooting, which occurred in the shopping center lot.
A Halloween incident, also involving gunfire but no injuries, damaged vehicles in the surrounding neighborhood.
Mahan applauded the couple for their on site security staff, which he credited with finding guns and drugs.
However Mahan said parking created safety problems because of high turnout to The Wood. Brown acknowledged the crowds and parking but told the board that dissipated once Delaware and Pennsylvania loosened its COVID capacity restrictions.
A video entered as evidence in the November hearing showed long lines of cars along Fletchwood Road and people standing outside in groups around the bar.
Mahan worked with Cecil County and the Maryland State Highway Administration to address the parking, resulting in the county lot being closed off and “No Parking” signs erected along the road.
Scott Aro, a liquor board inspector, suggested that exterior doors be added to the building to lessen the sound coming from The Wood.
Owners of The Wood have 30 days to appeal.