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Loch Raven IHOP Evacuated: Officials

Problems Few At Recher Theatre

County records show two recent incidents at the Towson bar where a melee broke out Sunday morning.

Four days before a melee outside the Recher Theatre, county officials met with an owner of the bar to discuss security and crowd control measures.

The meeting, which was at the request of Brian Recher, was in response to a letter sent by the county Liquor Board Commission after a minor incident in August, according to Mike Mohler, chief administrator for the board.

"It was a good meeting where the owner reviewed all his security, crowd control and under-age drinking control measures," said Mohler.

Jack Milani, co-chairman of the Baltimore County Licensed Beverage Association, said he typically advises liquor license holders to be proactive in their dealings with the county when issues arise. The cooperation is typically seen as positive by the board later.

Mohler said the board does look favorably on the cooperation of licensees but also holds establishments responsible for their actions.

The August meeting between Recher and county officials highlights what supporters say is the business owner's desire to be a good member of the downtown Towson business community.

"The county executive has to take a hard line until all the facts come in," said Nancy Hafford, executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce.

Hafford, who made her comments during an interview at the bar, said she believes the county should also take into account "how much the Recher brothers have invested in our community."

Over the years, Brian and Scott Recher have built and expanded a business that includes a concert and event venue at a vacant movie house, a bar and restaurant next door with expanded patio and the adjacent Towson Tavern.

Police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding a fight that broke out along York Road outside the bar early Sunday morning. Seven people were arrested after an event promoted by the Theta Mu Mu chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, a post-collegiate group not affiliated with any university.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, at a Tuesday news conference, said he blames Recher for the fight. The bar could face a hearing in front of the liquor board pending the outcome of that investigation, Kamenetz said.

Councilman David Marks, a Perry Hall Republican who also represents the Towson area said he believes there is blame to go around.

"I think both the fraternity and the Recher share some responsibility," Marks wrote in a text message response to questions. "I appreciate the investment the Recher owners have made over the years but I am disappointed in the situation and hope this never happens again."

Brian Recher was not available to comment for this article.

In an interview earlier this week, Recher told Patch that he had previously worked without incident with the promoter of the event, who he described as a graduate of Towson University.

"We've never had any problem with their clientele," Brian Recher said.

Incidents at the bar near the traffic circle in Towson have been few and far between, according to county records.

In May, the bar was ordered to appear at a hearing related to an underage drinking complaint. No action was ultimately taken against the bar.

"Following testimony, the board found that the bar was not at fault," Mohler said.

In August, the liquor board sent owners of the Recher Theatre a letter after fights broke out both in front of and behind the bar.

Police arrived after 1:30 a.m. to find about 100 people outside the bar, which had just closed. A fight to the rear of the bar was just breaking up, according to a police report.

In front of the bar, police found another 10 people fighting in the northbound lane of York Road, blocking traffic.

Police arrested three men and charged then with disorderly conduct.

The incident did not result in the bar being brought before the liquor board for a hearing but a letter of concern was sent to the license holders.

Despite the recent incidents, Hafford said the business owned by the Recher brothers is a good member of the Towson business community.

Hafford said she didn't know if police would ultimately find a reason to cite the bar for violating liquor laws but said the business should not be penalized for something not in their control.

"I'm sure the business community in Towson would be very very disappointed if [the county] took away their ability to do business in Towson," Hafford said.

 

Nayana Davis, local editor of Towson Patch, contributed to this article.

Karl September 30, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Nancy Hafford is right. And I'm not inclined to blame the Fraternity either. The blame belongs to the participants of the riot. Lets learn from this situation. In the future exclusive sponsors using any event hall should be required to sell only a specific number of tickets beforehand and tell their patrons that no tickets will be sold at the door.

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