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Liquor License Board Rejects Federal Hill Beer Garden Request

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Plants and flowers? Yes. A beer garden? No.

Federal Hill residents stop the expansion of a liquor license that would have created a beer garden next to Cross Street Market.

Pat Warren explains why.

Federal Hill residents put on sober faces to stop the expansion of a liquor license that would have added a 300 seat beer garden to a neighborhood already populated with bars.

Corrin Woodard is disappointed, but William Hodges is not.

Warren: "And how long have you lived in Federal Hill?"

Hodges: "Over 20 years."

Corrin has lived here for seven years.

"It doesn't really bother me. It's loud at night, but it's not a big problem," she said.

It was a big problem when the Ravens fans poured into the streets this year to celebrate the team's Super Bowl win, but residents consider that an exception.

"I think it's an every weekend thing that's occurring on Fridays and Saturday nights. And when you take into account the out of control pub crawls it really takes its toll on the surrounding neighborhood," said Eric Costello, Federal Hill Neighborhood Association.

It keeps William Hodges in the house at night.

"I've heard it likened to closing Times Square in New York," Hodges said.

The beer garden would have been at Charles and Cross Streets, on the other side of Cross Street Market. The neighborhood association's input was a deciding factor in the liquor board decision to deny the expansion.

"In 2003, we had 3,600 drinkers in the neighborhood, or 3,600 liquor license establishment patrons. That number jumped up to 5,100 in 2013. I guess the question really lies in when is enough expansion enough?"

Some say now.

Four state lawmakers have also asked the liquor board not to grant any extensions for bars unless the owners reach agreement with the neighbors.

The group proposing the beer garden was not available for comment, but still owns a license with a capacity for serving 100 customers.

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