Dacha Agrees to $42.5K Fine in Battle Over Beer Garden’s Capacity

by Andrew Ramonas November 6, 2015 at 11:30 am 2 Comments

Dacha mural (Photo via Facebook/DachaBeerGarden)

(Updated at 11:45 a.m.) Dacha in Shaw has negotiated a $42,500 fine with the District to resolve claims that it let too many customers inside its gates, its lawyer said today.

The beer garden at 1600 7th St. NW has until Dec. 4 to pay up, according to a D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board order published this week. The penalty is one of the largest fines ever leveled against a business in a matter before the board, said a representative of the panel and Andrew Kline, Dacha’s lawyer.

Dacha also will have its liquor license suspended for 21 days.

Allegations that Dacha increased its 126-person capacity without the board’s approval have dogged the beer garden this year. But Dacha’s owners agreed to the fine to avoid a lengthy appeals process and to focus on the future, even though they have “viable defenses to many of the charges,” Kline said.

“It will be quite painful for the owners,” he said. “But we expect the business to survive under current or new ownership.”

Earlier this week, Dacha secured the blessing of Shaw’s ANC to expand its outdoor capacity to 250 customers, which was less than what the beer garden’s management initially wanted. But the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has yet to decide whether it will give the approval Dacha needs for the expansion to take place.

The panel is expected to consider the Dacha-ANC 6E expansion agreement on Nov. 18.

Dmitri Chekaldin, who owns Dacha with Ilya Alter, told Washington City Paper in a story published today that they considered selling the beer garden to an unnamed German beer brand. But they scrapped the idea after ANC 6E endorsed an expansion.

“Selling the business was a last resort … If you have nowhere to go, then of course that would have been the course of action that we would have pursued,” Chekaldin told the newspaper. “My heart and soul went into this place, and so I’d rather not sell it.”

Photo via Facebook/DachaBeerGarden

  • Michael

    The ABC Board certainly seems to be one out-of-control power-drunk control board without a vision of what is good for a modern District of Columbia. Even after reviewing their names, the membership of the board is a mystery to me. How they so easily bend to parishioners to pay taxes elsewhere and impose their puritanical ethics on us amazes me. The board is still stuck in the 1970s, determined to thwart development unless it’s for a mega-corporate restaurant in city center. Imagine if New York worked that way.

  • D_Rez

    $42.5k fine payable into city coffers and a doubling of allowed capacity going forward?

    Cry them a river and give them a canoe- so they can paddle all the way to the bank.


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