It was reported late Tuesday night that Mood Lounge, at 1318 9th Street NW in Shaw, had its liquor license suspended indefinitely by the DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). The lounge had been placed under emergency closure by the DC Police for 96 hours after the stabbing of two people outside the club last week.
It was noted in the ABRA suspension notice that: when MPD arrived at the club (1) the owner denied knowledge of the stabbing and (2) the club’s security chief said the copious quantities of blood on the sidewalk was “cranberry juice.” The notice goes on to note the violations in the club’s own security plan and that one of the victims was under the age of 21.
Officers who arrived at the scene shortly after the incident reported a strong odor of marijuana, both in the lounge and on the persons interviewed. In the past year MPD logged 61 calls related to this establishment — about one-half were related to disorderly conduct.
Mood Lounge has 72 hours as of January 3 to request a hearing before the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
Matt Raymond is Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for 2F-04 (Mood Lounge is in District 06, represented by Mike Benardo). Raymond has recounted some of the longstanding problems associated with the club since it opened.
“I’ve gotten so involved in this because I have happily watched an upward trajectory in the past decade in the general condition, amenities and nightlife in our community. Mood Lounge was beginning to look like the Wild West, a place where anything goes. If it can happen on 9th Street, there’s no reason to think it couldn’t spread elsewhere. Our liquor licensees in Logan Circle are largely scrupulous, but imagine the signal you send to bad actors when one of them is allowed to operate with impunity, said Raymond.
In addition, DC Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) called for the permanent closure of the lounge in a news release.
Mood Lounge is the second Ward 2 establishment to face an emergency closure due to violence in the past two months. In late November Heritage India restaurant just south of Dupont Circle was closed for 96 hours after someone was shot during an altercation at a late night promoter event.