OC Brewing given options, requests by liquor board
(April 21, 2017) A proposed expansion by the OC Brewing Company on 55th Street to include items that would affect its existing class “B” liquor license received conditional approval from the Board of License Commissioners Wednesday, but it’s unclear what, if any, changes the business might actually make.
Because it wasn’t a formal hearing, just an informational session, the commissioners told OC Brewing Company’s Operations Manager Matthew Rankin how they would rule on the proposed expansions, and then could decide what actions to take.
Rankin sought three changes: the expansion of the outside deck, the addition of 12-15 video arcade machines and to be able to provide low-level background music for the customers seating outside. The Ocean City Planning and Zoning Commission has already approved the deck extension, including space for a children’s playground.
Should the company expand its outside deck to include music, the commissioners ruled it would need to augment the existing rail to a see-though barrier at least 42 inches high and one-half inch thick. This change is to protect the customers as well as the foot and vehicle traffic on Coastal Highway, only a short distance from the deck itself, Commissioner Charles Nichols said.
The speakers would need to be turned toward the patrons, and not face the roadway or adjacent buildings. If this change were made, the company would need to provide drawings of speaker placement and direction to the license commissioners.
However, if the company forgoes the speakers, the barrier may not be required, since the existing deck offers no such protection.
Instead of 12-15 additional video games, proposed to be added to a waiting room now used for brewery tours, the request was trimmed to 10 by Nichols, who said he considered 12-15 more in addition to the four already on-site to be too much.
Alternately, the company could abandon the expansion idea, and forgo making any changes to continue to operate as it has in the past.