Jeffery Evans, owner of Favorites Pub, had never heard of Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger before Tuesday afternoon.
Evans was also unaware that Shellenberger sent a letter to the Baltimore City Liquor License Board portraying his bar as something out of the movie Animal House earlier this month.
The letter, sent to liquor board Chairman Stephan Fogleman, portrayed the bar as a danger to students' health.
"First and foremost, we are concerned for the health and safety of our students. In one week, from January 31 to February 3, 2011, Towson University transported three students to local hospitals because of alcohol poisoning. All three students were transported after returning from a night of heavy drinking at Favorites Pub," Shellenberger wrote.
Evans objected to assertions that his bar, located in the 5800 block of York Road, is a problem. He said Shellenberger sending the letter to the liquor board was “preposterous” and “audacious.”
Evans argued that he hasn't been in trouble with the city liquor board. Shellenberger’s claims that the pub has served underage drinkers are unsubstantiated and false, he said.
But Shellenberger’s letter paints a completely different picture of the pub.
“… Loyola and Towson University expressed concern about the increase in the number of students cited for alcohol violations and/or transported to area hospitals due to alcohol poisoning. Of particular concern for both institutions is an increase in the number of underage students self-reporting heavy, high-risk drinking at Favorites Pub,” Shellenberger wrote.
Samuel Daniels, the city liquor board's executive secretary, said the letter sent by Shellenberger is a "rhetorical letter" that can not be used as evidence of Favorites Pub doing anything wrong.
"I think that all we can do is to indicate that it's an establishment under investigation, and will continue to be under investigation," Daniels said.
Daniels said the liquor board has tried to catch the pub selling to minors in the past using "sting" operations, but has been unsuccessful.
Towson University officials could not be reached for comment.
Joan Flynn, assistant vice president of administration at Loyola University, backed up the portrayal of the bar in Shellenberger’s letter.
She said the university continues to see problems with Favorites Pub serving too much and serving underage students.
“We see it as a considerable and continuing problem,” Flynn said.
Baltimore City Councilman Bill Henry, D-District 4, said he's aware of neighbors' and nearby universities' concerns about the bar.
Surrounding communities declined to challenge the bar’s liquor license during this year’s renewal process, Henry said.
“There was not the feeling we had the depth and breadth of evidence to take before the liquor board,” Henry said.