From Tom Hay
Wednesday morning’s status hearing on the Hank’s Oyster Bar expansion effort shined a light on how drawn out and complex the ABRA protest process can be—that’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration in DC-speak.
The hearing before the The ABRA’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) was on the expansion/substantial change that chef-owner Jamie Leeds is seeking for Hank’s, her popular 17th and Q restaurant.
Wednesday’s status hearing should not be confused with the protest concerning Leeds’s request to vacate the voluntary agreement (V.A.) that the restaurant has been operating under since Hank’s opened in 2005. The V.A. protest is the second Hank’s case before ABRA.
ABC Board chairman Charles Brodsky opened the case by asking the parties to identify themselves. Jamie Leeds and her attorney, Andrew Kline were present along with David Mallof, representing the signatories to the expansion protest, and his attorney, Mike Hibey. Also seated at the table was Robin Diener, president of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA).
DCCA Not Seated at Today’s Hearing
Brodsky asked Diener if the DCCA had filed a protest in the case before the ABC Board. Diener explained that DCCA was a signatory to the original V.A. with Hank’s. As as result, Diener said it was her understanding that for the expansion/substantial change to move forward that the V.A would have to be amended—which would have given her a place at the table as a representative of DCCA.
But, Brodsky asked that Diener step away from the table since only parties to the specific case may appear before the ABC Board—in this case the expansion/substantial change and not the V.A. itself.
The two parties had no further updates on the protest, so Brodsky scheduled the formal protest hearing for November 3 at 1 pm.
If you have not been keeping up with the Hank’s Oyster Bar story, below are links to related posts. In addition, 14th & You recently analyzed the protest line by line. It’s a long read, but well researched and written—make it worth your time: Hank’s: Analysis of a Liquor License Protest
- City to Set Hearing Date on Hank’s Expansion Request
- Residents Fight Hank’s Expansion; DCCA Protests V.A. Request
- No ANC 2B Protest on Hank’s Oyster Bar Expansion
- Hank’s Oyster Bar Makes Progress on Expansion
- Q Street: What’s Up with Hank’s Oyster Bar?
- ANC Approves Limited Changes to 17th St. Moratorium
- ANC 2B Committee Report on 17th St. Liquor Licenses