- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Owners of three Solomons Island area bars on Thursday told the Calvert County Liquor Board their plans for the Tiki Bar opening weekend, set for April 20 and 21.
Alonzo Barber, liquor board chairman, said the board requested owners of Calypso Bay, Stoney’s and the Tiki Bar come to the Feb. 23 meeting to discuss their plans regarding the opening weekend.
The discussion started with a presentation from Sgt. Todd Ireland, who gave a brief overview of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office’s plans for that weekend. He said that weekend, a crowd of between 7,000 and 12,000 people is expected.
Briefings for officers from St. Mary’s and Charles counties, the Coast Guard, Maryland State Police and the Department of Natural Resources will be given, Ireland said, and representatives from the Comptroller of Maryland’s office will be making sure each establishment’s license is valid. He said a Calvert County command unit will likely be set up in the old Lighthouse Inn parking lot, where fire and rescue personnel will be set up as well.
Signage will be set up to show people where to park, Ireland said. At noon on April 20, the eastbound lanes of Route 2 will be blocked off at Charles Street, and one-way traffic will be available to “loop around the south end of the island,” he said. Police will be directing vehicle traffic as well as foot traffic, he said.
A “major point of interest” is going to be on zero tolerance for alcohol in public areas, Ireland said, and officers will be watching for that. Officers will be assigned to different areas, where they will check for public alcohol consumption specifically. People will be issued citations for violations and e-tickets also will be used this year, where officers can scan a person’s license to get their information and then mail them a citation at a later date, Ireland said.
The county implemented a noise ordinance last October, and Ireland said it will be enforced this year. There are three noise meters that will be used in several locations throughout the island, and if an establishment continuously violates the noise ordinance, “you can count on it that you’ll be shut down,” Ireland said.
From 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., a decibel level of 75 is allowed in industrial areas, 67 is allowed in commercial areas and 65 is allowed in residential areas. Between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., the decibel level remains the same for industrial areas, but the decibel level for commercial areas changes to 62 and for residential areas changes to 55. Exceptions to the noise ordinance include electronically amplified sound between 7 a.m. and midnight created by sporting events, entertainment events, or other public gatherings operating under permit or permission of the county, Ireland said.
Jeannie Stone, owner of Stoney’s, said at Stoney’s Seafood House on Broomes Island, a wedding was booked “practically every weekend” and a band will play every Sunday. She said there are three decibel meters on the premises and the staff has been trained to use them. Most of the functions do not require security, she said, but security will be provided on the Tiki Bar opening weekend, Fourth of July weekend and for the Grand Prix boat races.
“These are the times people seem to have a tendency to get intoxicated elsewhere and then come to our establishment,” she said. “We don’t feel the need for security other than at these times.”
Calypso Bay owner James Talbot said he has come up with a few things this year to make things safer for the neighboring community. He said he is working on making more parking available, he will hire more security so there will be more of a presence in the parking lot “to make sure we can deter people from using the parking lot for anything other than parking” and he is working with the landlord to try to install better lighting for the parking lot.
This year, Talbot said, he wants to have more live music, but the main focus is going to be on improving the restaurant. Talbot said he also plans to work closely with Stone and the owners of the Tiki Bar so that they can handle problems with patrons more easily.
“We … want to exchange numbers, so if we have a problem with a customer we don’t just push him out the door and make it someone else’s problem,” Talbot said.
Tiki Bar owner Pat Donovan said the bar will open at noon April 20 and the Tiki King ceremony will be held that night. The Tiki King will be flown in by a helicopter this year and land out back, Donovan said, which has not been done before. A steel drum band will be set up among a “variety of different activities,” Donovan said. Security will be staffed by off-duty military police and off-duty police officers, he said.
Opening-day rules include being 21 or older to participate, and no bottles, book bags, nudity, gang-wear, motorcycle attire or do-rags are allowed, Donovan said. Staff will be at the entrances to enforce the rules, he said.
“From a business association standpoint, the opening of the Tiki Bar does wonderful things for the community,” Donovan said. People from other areas travel to Solomons Island for that weekend, and will spend their money at hotels and restaurants and for food and gas, he said.
Tiki Bar attorney Charlie Donnelly said the opening weekend of the Tiki Bar gets “better and better each year” because safety measures for that weekend are constantly being improved.
Barber asked if there are any other special events planned at the Tiki Bar for the summer season, and Tiki Bar owner Terry Clarke said there will be five or six events for charitable organizations, but dates for those events have not been set yet.