By Michelle Lancaster. Follow her and let her know your news on TwitterÂ @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.
The most recent town hall event in Foggy Bottom yielded some interesting feedback from the crowd, who seemed decidedly opposed to Mayor Vincent Gray’s proposal to extend liquor sales hours. The move is intended to make up a budget shortfall, but some residents and Council members fear the short-term budget solution would cost residents peace, quiet and safety.
Would longer hours for liquor sales and bars keep taxes down? (Luis Gomez Photos)
If approved, the change would allow bars and restaurants to continue slinging libations until as late as 4 am beginning October 1.Â The proposed change would also allow retail liquor sales to begin at 7 am, two hours earlier than what currently stands, Monday through Saturday (same for beer and wine sales at grocery stores). Sunday sales at liquor stores would still be prohibited.
TheÂ GW HatchetÂ covered the event and provided a choice quote. We’ve discussed the resident suing Mood Lounge in the past, and he showed up to voice his displeasure at the idea of having to hear more Beyonce at 3 am (we sympathize).
But the group opposing the liquor extension had best be careful about who they enlist to their cause, because a certain Mr. Smith’s comment may inflame some folks. During his remarks, he said, “â€śIâ€™d rather have every citizen of DC pay an extra $10,000 a year in taxes to fill the budget hole than have this plan.”
Of course, I am sure the amount would not hit anything close to $10k per year per citizen in extra income taxÂ â€” but you get the idea.
As noted in an earlier post from Alden Leonard,Â some local neighborhood listervs have been abuzz over the proposed changes (particularly theÂ U StreetÂ one), in areas with a high concentration of bars and clubs. There are concerns about trash and litter, in addition to people being out and about drinking even later.
As a lady that likes her cocktails and just paid DC a good bit of money in taxes, I have to admit this gave me some pause. Clearly, it is not an either booze-all-hours or take a giant-tax-hike-choice. But put in terms like that…”All the Single Ladies” sounds a little less terrible to this writer.
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