The decision on whether to grant a liquor license to a that would be located on the second floor of the Columbia Wegmans could come tonight from the Howard County Alcoholic Beverage Board.
Follow Patch's coverage of the hearing tonight live on Twitter using the hashtag #WegmansLiquor.
Two previous hearings on the liquor store ended without a decision. The first one on May 1, which ran about five hours, ended before public comments were finished. The speakers there were concerned about the effect the large liquor store would have on their local businesses and whether it was within the law to sell alcohol inside a chain grocery store, which is .
At the May 1 meeting, Ralph Michael Smith, a part owner of the store, said that 90 percent of the store would be owned by a Delaware LLC wholly owned by Christopher O'Donnell, the husband of Colleen Wegman, who is the president of Wegmans. The other 10 percent would be owned by Smith, an Ellicott City lawyer, who has advised Wegmans on labor and employment issues in the past.
At the , more local business owners spoke out against the store. In addition, Wendy Webster, the Columbia Wegmans store manager, detailed how Wegmans would not be affiliated with the operations of the liquor store. She said the second-floor spirit shop would provide convenience to Wegmans customers who were looking for one-stop-shopping.
The second hearing also ended without a decision after about three and a half hours of testimony when the board concluded it wanted to speak to the 90 percent owner, Christopher O'Donnell.
As a result, O'Donnell is expected to appear before the board tonight.
The public hearing will take place at 6 p.m. at the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City.
How do you think the board should decide? Vote in our poll or tell us in comments.