(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Apparent “clerical errors” have caused speakeasy-style bar The Speak to shut its doors, at least for now.
The bar, which reopened at 1413 K St. NW last Tuesday, shared the news with its patrons last night:
Due to some clerical errors we have to go dark for while. Instead, join Vieux Carre this week for delicious cocktails – it's just upstairs.
— The Speak (@thespeakdc) July 29, 2016
“We are working diligently to clear up a simple clerical error and, as a result, have closed in accordance with D.C. regulations,” said brand consultant Seth McClelland in a statement to Borderstan. “In the meantime, we are excited about the opening of Vieux Carre upstairs at the same location to bring delicious New Orleans cocktails to D.C.”
Though the McClelland didn’t specify what the “clerical error” might be, it could have something to do with the speakeasy’s name, according to Washingtonian:
It turns out, however, The Speak may still be a real speakeasy. According to Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration spokesperson Jessie Cornelius, it’s a violation for an establishment to operate under any trade name that has not been approved by the liquor board. The Speak is not an approved trade name — only Vieux Carre is listed on the liquor license. Cornelius says ABRA is investigating the matter.
Cornelius confirmed with us this morning that ABRA regulators are still currently looking into the potential trade name conflict.
This isn’t the first time the bar has shut down after conflicts over its licensing. The Speak was shuttered last November after allegedly operating without a valid liquor license.