Ocean City Today

Liquor board expands Ocean Downs license

Three others awarded new or expanded licenses by board during regular mtg.
By Brian Gilliland | Dec 21, 2017

(Dec. 22, 2017) Ocean Downs General Manager Bobbi Sample gained approval to expand the casino’s existing liquor license into the 35,000-square-foot addition coming online soon, and three other county businesses were granted new or transferred existing licenses during Wednesday’s monthly meeting of the Board of License Commissioners.

The area the casino expansion rests on was already approved for alcohol sales under the existing license, but because it’s now enclosed, the existing license had to be amended.

The expansion includes about 10,000 square feet of public gaming space, including table games, a full service restaurant plus event, office and support space totaling about 35,000 square feet.

This is in addition to the 25,000 square feet of gaming space already at the casino.

Sample said she hoped to have the certificate of occupancy for the new facility by the end of the week, but state inspectors will need to visit to approve the table games before the expansion can be opened to the public.

Unlike other liquor licenses in Worcester County, the casino is not subject to entertainment restrictions and can serve alcohol until 4 a.m., as was written into state law.

“We don’t control their entertainment unless there’s a screw-up,” Billy Esham, board chairman, said. “We’re here about the beverage service.”

The board of Esham, Marty Pusey and Charles Nichols approved the expansion unanimously.

Mallards on the River formally took over the license awarded to the Riverside Grill in Pocomoke City, with all of the same restrictions the previous licensee had, including outside liquor service and live entertainment four nights per week.

Although the owners had two previous violations, one for serving an underage person about 11 years ago and another for a person leaving the premises with an open container, the board unanimously approved the transfer.

Burn Wood Fired Pizza in Berlin owner Vincent Sebastian transferred his license for Vinny’s Pizza and Italian Grill on Philadelphia Avenue. Sebastian told the board he was unsure if Vinny’s would remain open next season, but if the business did reopen next year, he would run it without offering beer or wine.

Finally, the Sushi Café on 137th Street bayside was granted a beer and wine license, after the owner said he had several requests from customers to offer adult beverages.

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