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St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawls Imperiled by ABRA Denials

by Tim Regan February 12, 2016 at 12:30 pm 2 Comments

Nightmare on M StreetTwo St. Patrick’s Day bar crawls may not go forward as scheduled due to opposition from D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

The board on Wednesday denied pub crawl applications for Project D.C. Events’ Shamrock Crawl in Dupont Circle and Lindy Promotions’ Leprechaun Lap planned to take place on U Street and in Chinatown and Dupont Circle.

Both pub crawls are scheduled to occur on March 12.

The ABC board adopted new emergency and proposed rules regarding pub crawls last month. Those rules, among other things, create a new event license fee for pub crawls, put greater responsibility on organizers to clean up after events and give the board authority to deny pub crawl applications for any reason.

Just one week ago, the board officially denied the application of Cupid’s Bar Crawl, a similar event organized by Project D.C. Events.

In its most recent decisions, the ABC board said it denied the applications due to concerns over litter removal and possible neighborhood overcrowding. The board also said it sought to avoid a repeat of an incident that occurred last Halloween where several thousand revelers left Dupont businesses covered in trash and vomit and had to be turned away by police officers on horseback.

Both Lindy Promotions and Project D.C. participated in overlapping pub crawls in Dupont last Halloween, the board said.

“In the recent past, pub crawls featuring 3,500 or more patrons caused a number of issues in the Dupont Circle neighborhood,” the board said in its decision regarding the Leprechaun Lap. “Because a vast majority of the establishments for this pub crawl are located in the same neighborhood and the proposed capacity of the event is 3,000 patrons, the board has concerns that Dupont Circle will face similar issues if this pub crawl is approved.”

Mike Bransom, a managing member at Project D.C., said that the company intends to file a motion for reconsideration of the board’s decision. The company’s Shamrock Crawl in Clarendon will move forward as planned, Bransom said.

A representative for Lindy Promotions said that company also intends to file a motion for reconsideration.

Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B commended the ABC board’s new rules during its general monthly meeting earlier this week.

“[Some recent pub crawls] have been pretty tremendous in terms of the negative impact on the neighborhood,” said Noah Smith, 2B-09, during that meeting. “Litter, public safety, trash, noise issues. We’re talking about hundreds and thousands of people coming to the neighborhood. … and there is nobody responsible for cleanup and public safety while this is happening.”

Members of the public and affected businesses will be able to weigh in on the new rules during a hearing at the Reeves Center (2000 14th St. NW) on March 2 at 1:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Golden Triangle BID

Comments (2)

  1. But Lindy Promo is still advertising the Dupont portion of the Leprechaun Lap (4 bars with registration headquarters at James Hoban’s). The website says that the Leprechaun Lap will be limited to only 200 participants. Apparently the ABRA rules on pubcrawls do not apply if the promoter says there will only be 200 participants?

  2. Correct. If you look at the ruling PDF, it says 200 people is the cutoff for legitimization. So if you have 200 or less, you don’t need to inform the city.

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