(March 8, 2019) Following nearly a month of discussions with local government officials, Dry 85 and Red Red Wine Bar owners Lisa and Brian Bolter received approval this week to close part of 48th Street for a block party to coincide with Ocean City’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade next Saturday.
During its meeting Monday, the Ocean City Council voted 5-0, with Councilman Dennis Dare abstaining and Council President Lloyd Martin absent, to close a section of 48th Street oceanside on March 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The protracted arrangements began when Lisa Bolter spoke to the Ocean City Police Commission during its meeting on Feb. 11, after learning of liquor licensing officials’ potential concerns before a meeting with the Worcester County Board of License Commissioners scheduled for March 6.
She told the Police Commission that preliminary conversations with Board of License Commissioners staff indicated that such an event, replete with a tent to serve adult beverages in an adjacent parking lot south of the restaurant, would be considered an extension of the premises. But only if the road separating the restaurant and the parking lot is closed.
City Council revived the discussion during its meeting on Feb. 19, and the topic was hashed out further during the council work session last Tuesday, with Police Chief Ross Buzzuro advising therequest would not pose a problem.
The council discussed the road closure request again during its meeting Monday, with Councilman Dennis Dare expressing concerns about possible safety issues related to the street’s closure.
“I don’t want that on my conscience if something happens, so I’m going to abstain from the vote,” he said.
Brian Bolter said both the Ocean City Fire Department and OCPD have assured the business the event would run safely and smoothly.
“We’ll work hand-in-hand with them,” he said.
Councilman Mark Paddack said any concerns were alleviated since obtaining positive feedback from the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office following the discussion a week earlier
“I wish you and your staff a wonderful day that day,” he said. “That whole area … from 62nd Street down to 41st Street is going to be packed.”
The Worcester County Board of License Commissioners approved the request to expand licensed premises to include the adjacent parking lot during the St. Patrick’s Day parade during its meeting on March 6.