« Vote for the best unsigned band in Baltimore | Main | Clutch is open (and has a Web site too) »

May 11, 2009

Unpaid sales taxes? Kiss that liquor license goodbye*

federal hill lounge*At least until you pay up.

Each year, all the liquor licenses in the city must be renewed.

Old liquor licenses expire April 30 and new ones start May 1. But bars won't be issued a new liquor license if they owe taxes.

That's why, every year, a whole bunch of bars mysteriously close on May 1 -- they haven't paid their taxes in time.

That was the case with the Federal Hill Lounge (pictured), which now has this nifty little sign telling everybody this bar is c-l-o-s-e-d by the Board of Liquor License Commissioners.

I called liquor board spokesman Douglas Paige, who confirmed it.

"They have an outstanding sales tax due to the state of Maryland," he said.

The lounge's owners had plenty of warning, too ...

Paige said every year, they send out notices in January warning bars with back taxes about their impending closure.

Though Paige isn't sure how many bars shut down every year (some temporarily, some permanently) due to tax issues, he said this year between 250-500 bars were shuttered for not paying taxes. 

Wow. That's a lot of bars.

(Photo by eCommerce Consultant)

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:52 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


250-500 in the city or the state? Anybody know how many bars/liquor licenses there are in the city or state?

I wouldn't be surprised at 250-300 in Baltimore alone IF liquor stores were included. For every fine beer or wine emporium that most readers here would patronize, there are 2-5 bulletproof boxes we wouldn't approach without a gun at our backs.

I saw that Three... the restaurant outside Patterson Park with the awkward name, also had a sign like this posted next week.

While you were wandering around next week, did you happen to notice what the winning lottery numbers were?:-)

You SIR have made my day. I don't know why but I can't stop laughing @ your response!

hahahahahaha i just noticed that. awesome!

it reminded me of this sick song, "walking through tomorrow" by the quantic soul orchestra

I second RayRay's response as being pretty damn funny

Someone just told me that the Liquor Board shut down Dego Dames at midnight on Friday and a sign like above was posted..As of now they are still closed. Sounds like last year

Not that big of a deal for Federal Hill Lounge, they've been closed for five or six months.

Dames still closed "for renovations" as of 4 PM today.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "m" in the field below:
About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected