Fishpaw Marketplace has operated at the same location since prior to Prohibition as a gas station, tavern and liquor store.
The liquor license was established in 1939 under the name “William Fishpaw, Jones Station”. The liquor license office has the property named “Fishpaw’s Service Station” from 1953 to 1961. In 1961 it was changed to “Bill & Etta’s Tavern”, and in 1965 was changed to “Bill’s Tavern”. We believe “Etta” was Etta Juerss who had a license from 1935 to 1938 as “Rustic Inn, Jones Station”. Before the completion of Ritchie Highway in April of 1940, the building faced Baltimore Annapolis Blvd. In the 40’s, Fishpaws’ address was Governor Ritchie Highway Arnold MD Phone Severna Park 225.
In 1971, the business was transferred to John Carpenter who ran the operation as “Bills Tavern” until 1982 when it was sold to Saundra DeVese and the name was changed to “Arnold Liquors”.
The Lawson family bought the business in 1984. When the Lawson’s bought the business, all the locals still called it Fishpaws. They thought it only appropriate to change the name back to its original heritage, hence Fishpaws Marketplace. Brad Lawson and Chris Lawson ran the business from 1983 until 1989 when their daughter Kim become an operating partner. Kim Lawson has been managing the business since 1989 and is responsible for all the day-to-day operations. Chris Lawson worked alongside Kim handling bookkeeping, writing the monthly newsletter and assisting with wine events up until her retirement in 2010. Kim practically cut her eyeteeth on the liquor and wine industry. Her father, Brad Lawson has been in the industry since 1968, as a distributor, supplier, retailer and broker. In 2010 Brad and Chris Lawson sold their shares of stock to Kim making her the sole owner of Fishpaws Marketplace.
Unfortunately when the Lawsons bought the store, the physical plant didn’t portray fine wine & spirits. They wanted to update and expand the building but had to fight 10 years of county and community opposition and bureaucracy. Fortunately, Fishpaws was able to upgrade and expand its physical plant in 2003. The business plans were to continue offering fine wine and spirits but to expand upon the deli and offer more extensive gourmet food items - again, always looking for ways to improve the business and differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Fishpaws is quite proud of the current physical plant and product selection and will continue to strive for improvement.
In July 2011, Fishpaws introduces Napa Technology’s WineStation® Intelligent Dispensing Systems to its’ wine club members and the Arnold-area customers. Building on their considerable reputation for helping customers learn about the wonderful world of wines, Kim Lawson and staff are continuing their long standing commitment to wine education and innovation through WineStation®. Customers now have the opportunity to taste a broad variety of showcased wines emphasizing quality, value and the incomparable experience wine can bring to almost any occasion.
In July 2013, Fishpaws was one of the first retailers in the county to offer Growler Sales to their customers. They started out with 8 tap lines which offered draft beer to go in 64oz. and 32oz. Growler bottles.
In May 2014, Fishpaws decided to close the deli operation. The space was remodeled and reopened in December 2014 with an expanded gourmet cheese and food selection. They also created a Tasting Bar where they host weekly wine and beer tastings and have expanded the spirit selection, They have also moved and expanded the Growler system from 8 taps to 12 to better serve the discriminating beer drinker.
Fishpaws continues to change and expand to meet consumers’ beverage and entertaining needs.
Fishpaws supports the local community in many fashions. We are a member of the Greater Severna Park & Arnold Chamber of Commerce and supports many local charities. Fishpaws Marketplace employs 20-25 employees from the local community. Fishpaws - Not just a shopping trip... its an experience.