Ocean City Today

Pocomoke Shore Spirits decision appealed again

By Brian Gilliland | Jan 25, 2018

(Jan. 26, 2018) Lawyers representing a business within the same shopping center as the former Pocomoke Shore Spirits county liquor store appealed the case to a higher court after having their first appeal denied.

Janik Patel, who had pursued ownership of the former county store when it was put out to bid, is taking the case to the Court of Special Appeals, which is a step below the Maryland Court of Appeals, which functions as the state’s supreme court.

At issue is the liquor license, which the Board of License Commissioners awarded to the high bidder, Kalpesh Patel – no relation to Janik Patel – last year. Kalpesh Patel bid $1.175 million for the store and its contents, contingent on being awarded a liquor license for the property.

Attorney Hugh Cropper brought three challenges to the decision to award a Class A beer, wine and liquor license to a store owned by Kalpesh Patel.

First, the application to appear before the Board of License Commissioners filed by Kalpesh Patel was completed in bad faith, next, the need for a store selling beer at that location was exaggerated and a third, novel argument.

Cropper explained the application was for a beer, wine and liquor license, though sales data provided by Worcester County showed wine was not in high demand for that store, and beer demand was being served by two other stores in the same strip mall, including Janik Patel’s Newtown Market.

Without proving the demand for all three would be served, the application should be denied, Cropper argued.

Judge Broughton Earnest considered Cropper’s arguments, and upheld the decision by the license commissioners to award the license.

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