Adams Morgan Bar Fined $30K After ABRA Audit

by Tim Regan November 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm 5 Comments

Brass Monkey/Spaghetti Garden/Peyote Cafe/Roxanne

(Updated at 2:17 p.m.) A business in Adams Morgan must pay thousands of dollars in fines and surrender its alcohol license for 30 days on charges it failed to maintain some of the records required under its alcohol license, according to D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

Brass Monkey/Spaghetti Garden/Peyote Cafe/Roxanne, a group of joint businesses at 2317-2319 18th St. NW, must pay $30,000 within 90 days and serve a 30-day suspension of its license starting this Sunday, Nov. 27, according to a D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board disposition published last week.

According to an ABRA case report, investigators found the bar failed to keep the records needed to prove it met its annual food sales requirement under its “class CR,” or restaurant, alcohol license. Under D.C. code, food sales must account for either $2,000 per seat or at least 45 percent of all sales during a gross annual or quarterly period.

When an ABRA investigator in March asked the company’s owner, Iraj Askarinam, for proof the business complied with its food sale requirements, Askarinam “pointed to a pile of guest checks located on some dining tables.” Investigators were unable to complete the audit because none of the checks had dates or times, according to the case report. Furthermore, Askarinam “could not articulate a reason for the guest checks not being dated.”

We were unable to reach Askarinam to comment on the ordered fine or suspension.

This is one of the larger fines and license suspensions levied by District alcohol regulators in recent history. Shaw bar Dacha was fined $42,000 and ordered to serve a 21-day suspension roughly one year ago.

  • patb2009

    that seems like an awfully stiff penalty for what is just crappy recordkeeping.

    • Jim

      To be clear, this isn’t about record keeping at all. They have a restaurant license that requires food to be served out of an operating kitchen. This establishment has no such kitchen and supposedly sells pizza by the slice that no one has ever seen.

      Being able to present records of food sales is required to prove your business’ nature. They cannot. This is also their third such violation, and the previous two were not nearly as harsh. This establishment is simply not what it legally needs to be. They act as a “tavern” and cater to underage drinking. It is for the betterment of Adams Morgan that this is 86’d.

      It is Adams Morgan’s lackluster, stagnant, and even illegal businesses that supply the weekend’s ratchet patrons with cheap drinks, and underage opportunities which do lend to the violent late night situations. This is why that neighborhood is immature and unruly to say the least.

      We have to understand that some of the businesses are trying week in and out to break free of those issues, and those that aren’t are simply doing the wrong thing have to go. I do not understand why a business should even have the opportunity to pay such a steep fine. Shut it down.

      • Jong lee

        You sound like a loser who needs to get laid, find a hobby dick!

  • kjhjklhjhk

    A bar selling alcohol, the horrors!

  • Mr. Commenter

    No surprise whatsoever. That establishment has “seedy” written all over it, and is in no way, shape, or form a restaurant. They should apply for the proper business license if they want to operate as a club on Friday/Saturday nights (which is basically all they do).


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