With court battle ongoing, liquor board delays Baltimore Eagle hearing until January

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Attorneys and others appear before the Baltimore City Liquor Board for the Baltimore Eagle’s license transfer hearing. Photo by Ed Gunts.

The Baltimore Eagle isn’t going to fly until January at the earliest.

After listening to three attorneys representing conflicting positions, the Baltimore City Liquor Board decided not to issue a decision on a request to transfer the liquor license for the recently shuttered Charles Street leather bar until it has more information.

The board said it will hold another hearing on Jan. 10 to consider an application to transfer the license to Baltimore Eagle LLC, an entity headed by Lorraine Parrish and Kathleen Church. The bar at 2022 N. Charles St., must therefore stay closed at least until that hearing.

Lorraine Parrish is the wife of Ian Parrish and the daughter-in-law of Charles Parrish, both of whom are the landlords for the Eagle property, which closed in July following a dispute between the Parrishes and their management team, a group called 4 Crazy Guys LLC.

The license had been transferred to the Eagle property in 2016 from the Club Hippo, the famed gay nightspot that closed in 2015 and is now a CVS store.

The liquor board’s decision came after Adam Spence, a Towson-based attorney with Spence-Brierley, said he was the court-appointed receiver for the assets of the now-defunct 4 Crazy Guys group, including the liquor license.

Spence told the liquor board that it does not have authority to act on a transfer application regarding a liquor license under receivership.

He argued the board cannot act until it is authorized to do so by a judge with the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. He and an associate said a court hearing on the matter has been scheduled for Jan. 7, 2019.

“We have two parties who are disputing who owns” the liquor license, Spence said after the hearing. “I can’t have the liquor license transferred until the court makes sense of it.”

Ian Parrish, speaking for the applicants, said he understands the liquor board’s action.

“It was a good decision,” he said. “The decision was to get more information and make a ruling after a full briefing.”

Parrish said the applicants were prepared to reopen the bar “right away,” if the board had granted the transfer request. Baltimore Eagle LLC has been working to assemble a staff to operate the business in case the license transfer was approved, he said, but they will now have to wait until January. Before it closed, the Eagle had about 30 employees.

Parrish declined to say who would be hired, but noted that the city is missing an active business as long as the property remains dormant.

“It’s regrettable that the community has to pay the price,” he said.

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.
Ed Gunts


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