From Tom Hay
Komi at 1509 17th Street NW is one step closer to expanding the Dupont Circle restaurant. The expansion was on the agenda for the Wednesday evening ANC 2B meeting. The Commission vote to protest the expansion split 3-3, so no action was taken.
Komi hopes to expand into the adjacent space at 1511 17th Street and add a 10-seat outdoor cafe. The restaurant is frequently at the top of many best restaurant lists. Local residents will recall the night in May 2010 when President and Mrs. Obama had a date night at the restaurant.
Commissioners Will Stephens (2B08), Mike Feldstein (2B01) and Victor Wexler (2B06) voted against the protest measure. Commissioners Bob Meehan (2B03), Jack Jacobson (2B04) and Ramon Estrada (2B09) voted to protest Komi’s expansion. One of the concerns raised during discussion was Komi’s plan to install a second entrance.
Komi is in Wexler’s district, while Phil Carney (2B06) represents the district across the street from the restaurant, a block with a number of residential buildings. Commissioners Mike Silverstein (2B01) and Kevin O’Connor (2B02) abstained; Carney was absent.
ANCs are advisory only and cannot pass laws or establish regulations. However, city agencies are required to take into account their opinions. Ultimately, the DC Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board will decide on the Komi expansion.
The 17th Street corridor is part of the Dupont East Moratorium, which means that no new liquor licenses are being doled out in the area. However, the moratorium does allow for expansions by current businesses.