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September 23, 2009

Padlock Suite Ultralounge? About time.

Last week, City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake sent a letter to the city police commissioner asking him to padlock Suite Ultralounge, the Belvedere bottle club that's been linked to several violent episodes.

No word on whether or not the police are considering padlocking the club. But it makes you wonder -- why ask Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III to padlock Suite now? Why not, say, a month ago, when Circuit Court Judge Kaye Allison ruled the liquor board acted improperly when it yanked Suite's license?  ...

Suite's liquor license is up for renewal again in November, and the liquor board should have new rules and regulations in place by then allowing it to revoke Suite's license. Of course, November is still more than a month away, and I'm all for padlocking Suite ASAP.

But why did Rawlings-Blake wait almost a month before sending the letter? Looks an awful lot like political posturing to me.

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Political posturing!

The way her unbalanced self tried to control a segway outside of Brewer's about 2 weeks ago for the Mt. Vernon patrol...

Now that was posturing in both senses!

Don't be surprised when Suite survives the November license renewal hearing. Unless the neighborhood association makes a REALLY good showing, I can see them getting their license renewed for a lack of new violations. Furthermore, even if the Liquor Board revokes it, I can certainly see an appeal to the circuit court reversing the decision unless something new transpires.

Who owns that place? Stringer Bell?


Totally not following your logic. The Board voted to revoke last year. In the Sun, the Board expressed dismay at the remand of their decision. Not reversed as you state. Why on earth would the Board choose not to revoke this year?

Sam hit the nail on the head. The letter was written to coincide with the Board's rule hearings for bottle clubs, which happens tomorrow. Just to make sure her name appears in any article.

Maybe this is a lame question, but what is a bottle club?

A bottle club is a establishment that allows to bring your own beer/liquor. This place should be shut down indefinitely.

A bottle club is an establishment where you bring your own liquor, which is stored for you on premises for future use. A BYOB is an establishment that allows you to bring your own liquor for immediate consumption with your meal.

Bottle clubs, BYOB? We have too any laws. Here's my only law: be cool.

I honestly think SRB probably didn't know much if anything at all about Suite Ultralounge until someone brought it to her attention and how embarrassing it is for the city to continue to allow it to be open.

Either that or Fogleman finally managed to get her ear and said something to the effect of "Uh hey I can't padlock this place myself, we kind of tried, so could you get the police commish to do it? Plz? kthx"

Wayne --

If I was Suite's attorney, who is very good, I would argue that any violations that were cited were previously litigated, and it was found that Suite was found not to be in violation under the applicable standard of the time. The enactment of a new standard would result in an Ex Post Facto law, which would be in violation of the Constitution and the Maryland Declaration of Rights. I would argue that in order to revoke their license, that new violations must have transpired after the enactment of new regulations.

I think John is right. The old charges are off the table. The court decided that. I love saying ex post facto. True, that's very explicit in the Constitution. You can't pass laws forbidding something after the fact. I suppose double jeopardy comes into play too. Man, watching Law & Order has really paid off.

@ Owl Meat GavelBanger

Double Jeopardy would not likely apply because criminal charges have not be brought. Decisions of administrative agencies, such as the liquor board, are considered civil in nature. (A position I vehemently disagree with).


I demand satisfaction. I shall challenge the Suite Ultra-Loungue owners to a duel

John, so that means I could sue someone in civil court more than once for the same thing?


The terms you're looking for are "collateral estoppel" and "res judicata." They aim to prevent the subsequent relitigation of a previously decided issue. Regarding suing in civil court more than once, maybe, (with the favorite lawyer cliche) "depending on the particular facts of each case."

That'll be $150 please.

I think the constitution only talks about ex post facto Criminal laws.

Come on Lil Wayne, don't think, read your Constitution.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

It says nothing about crimnal or civil so all laws are covered. It is a document of great economy.

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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.

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