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Towson law firm petitions to revoke Recher’s liquor license

27 March 2013 By Jonathan Munshaw, News Editor One Comment

A Towson law firm is attempting to block the Recher Theatre from renewing its liquor license.
The Charles E. Brooks Law Office has filed a petition with the Baltimore County Liquor Board, and a hearing has been set up among the Recher Theatre, the law office and the liquor board. The owners of the Recher intend to close down at the end of March and re-open as the Torrent Lounge nightclub, which the firm means to prevent.

“I don’t think that Towson, after this many years, needs a nightclub,” Charles Brooks, the owner of the law office, said.

Mike Mohler, the chief administrator of the Baltimore County Liquor Board, said he plans to hold the hearing May 13, although they are still waiting to hear back from the Recher Theatre regarding the meeting’s time.

Any citizen has the right to protest a liquor license renewal, Mohler said, and the Recher’s is scheduled to expire in a few months.

“[The law office] followed our rules,” Mohler said. “Most of the time it’s completed within one hearing, but there have been cases that went multiple.”

Mohler said he is unsure of the case that Brooks will present to the liquor board. Brooks would only say that the firm is “opposed to the idea” of a nightclub.

Recher’s owner Brian Recher originally announced the closing of the Recher as a concert venue in February.

“We care very much about Towson,” Recher said in a recent interview with the Baltimore Sun. “We’re not going to do anything to jeopardize Towson.”

The theater faced criticism in September for a melee that broke out outside the venue that left several injured. The theater had reached capacity at a college party, spilled over into the streets.
The Recher later reached a deal with the county that absolved them of any wrongdoing in the incident.
Executive Director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce Nancy Hafford said the Recher has a clean record other than September’s riot.

“The owners of the Recher Theatre have been fabulous business owners for three generations of family members,” she said. “[Brian] has been a great judge to have a successful business. It deeply disturbs me that someone that has had a bar and a restaurant here for so many years and has had a relatively spotless record … would be confronted like that.”

The Recher, which traditionally shows metal, rock and pop-punk bands, will now host DJs on a regular basis, something that Hafford said won’t have a major impact on the Towson community.

“The truth is almost every bar at nighttime puts a DJ in there and turns it into a dance club,” she said. “The Rec Room has had DJs in there before, this is nothing new. They’re just making it more up-scale and changing the name. To say their license should be in jeopardy before they’ve done anything wrong, it just doesn’t make any sense to me.”

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