Linwood restaurant project at 2110 New Road

Gerald Bird is developing this site at 2110 New Road in Linwood as a multi-use restaurant, or food hall. The developer successfully bid on a liquor license that will also permit the sale of package goods for offsite consumption. City officials said a June opening has been discussed but is not confirmed.

Suzanne Marino

LINWOOD — City Council introduced an ordinance allowing for the sale of alcohol as package goods during council's April 12 meeting.

The measure would allow developer Gerald Bird, of Ocean City, to sell package goods at a mutli-use development under construction at 2110 New Road.

Once a dry town, voters approved establishing a liquor license by referendum in 2002. Initially that license was for the sale of alcohol strictly in a restaurant with no package-good sales permitted. In November 2016, voters agreed again by referendum to make changes and allow the sale of package goods for offsite consumption.

Bird was the successful bidder on a second liquor license, which fetched Linwood $250,000 in October 2016. He is putting the finishing touches on a 17,000-square-foot property slated to house several different restaurants.

Bird's concept offers patrons their choice of fare from a number of eateries that will share a common space, similar to The Exchange in Galloway Township, which he also owns, though that establishment does not sell alcohol.

Bird said he bid on the license because it will offer more options to customers and giving them an opportunity to enjoy a beer or a glass of wine with their meal will add value to the project.

Linwood police have completed their portion of the required Alcoholic Beverage Control investigation and cleared the way for Bird’s license. Deputy Mayor Darren Matik said he is pleased by the prospect of the new business venture and said he believes the developer is looking to open in June.

The number of liquor licenses a municipality may have is determined by population. Linwood's other license is owned by Robin Karman of Karman Development, the owner of Cornerstone Commerce Center. That license is not in use.

The public hearing for the ordinance permitting the sale of package goods at Bird's development is set for April 26.

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