Let’s take a break from The Real World: DC and DC Council crime bills… and head over to the blog, 14th & You. The folks there had a posting Tuesday (“Partner of ANC Commissioner Attempts to Scuttle Saint-Ex Agreement; Goes After Policy Employees”) about the brouhaha over Cafe Saint-Ex, Bar Pilar and Policy on 14th Street NW, and the role of ANC 2B-09 Commissioner Ramon Estrada and his partner. (For background, it helps to first read the blog’s postings from June 6 and April 24.)
This story, as reported by 14th & You, is actually about more than just these three establishments on 14th Street NW. It is about our local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, city government, regulation of local businesses, liquor licenses, voluntary agreements and privacy issues–and how our city treats small business owners in general.
The story raises questions about all these issues, and they warrant discussion in our neighborhood and our city. It is a discussion that is long past due. Borderstan.com welcomes comments (even some guest postings) from ANC commissioners (including Mr. Estrada), community groups, city officials and residents of the Dupont–Logan area.
14thandyou has learned that neighborhood activist/filmographer Elwyn Ferris and his partner, ANC2B commissioner Ramon Estrada, have been involved in two dubious actions aimed at local restaurants Saint-Ex, Bar Pilar and Policy. These actions include delaying and attempting to scuttle an agreed-upon voluntary agreement, videotaping patrons, and recording–and identifying, possibly through illegal means–license plates of cars driven by employees whom Ferris believed were violating a voluntary agreement.
Two weeks ago, we reported that local restaurants Saint-Ex and Bar Pilar had reached an agreement with a group of citizen protestants and ANC1B to change their liquor license from a “CR” (restaurant) class to a “CT” (tavern) class, in spite of the best efforts of Ferris, who was seen videotaping Saint-Ex patrons as “evidence” to be used against the establishment. According to sources, the discussions were quite heated, with Ferris growing quite agitated and, in a truly ungrounded tactic, attempting to use Bar Pilar’s conversion application as leverage against Saint-Ex’s.