By Adam Pagnucco.
A co-owner of The Classics Restaurant, a Silver Spring steakhouse, has issued a statement placing part of the blame for his decision to close on the county’s liquor monopoly. Co-owner Elliott Rattley said in part:
After some eleven and a half years, the Montgomery County Government has yet to show any support for the independent businessman in this area. Along with the onerous burden that the ineffective Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control places on an independent operator by their over the normal, for every local jurisdiction, pricing structure to support a bloated and antiquated bureaucracy, and the unfriendly business climate that Montgomery County in general creates, the continuance of this business is untenable. Of course, the loss of a Fortune 500 company directly across the street hastened this decision. (Discovery Channel)
Source of the Spring has the full statement.
In 2015, Delegate Bill Frick (D-16) introduced a bill that would have allowed MoCo voters to decide whether to end the monopoly. An online petition initiated by your author gained more than 2,000 signatures from consumers, retailers and restaurant operators in favor of Frick’s bill. County Executive Ike Leggett and the entire County Council except for Council Member Roger Berliner fought the bill and the delegation declined to pass it. Seventh State asked Frick, Berliner, Council Member Marc Elrich and Council Member George Leventhal, all of whom are running for Executive, for their positions on the monopoly. You can read their responses here.
Update: Patrick Lacefield, the county’s Director of Public Information, gave us the following on-the-record statement: “Our records indicate A single complaint ever (December 29, 2015 about an item not delivered). Plus a $1000 fine for serving an underage person on December 5, 2013. That’s pretty slim evidence.”