by March 5, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,367 0

From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]

Tabaq, Bistro, U, Street, stabbing, liquor, license, ABRA

Tabaq Bistro on U Street has now been closed until a hearing before the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on Tuesday, March 6. (Cody Telep)

Tabaq Bistro’s alcoholic beverage license was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday (February 29) following a stabbing that occurred inside the establishment on February 25 (Stabbing at Tabaq Bistro Early Saturday Leads to Temporary Closure).

The suspension follows a 96-hour emergency closure of the U Street NW bar and restaurant that went into effect at 6 pm on February 25 by order of Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

The suspension notice is from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board for a violation of Title 25 of the DC code and/or Title 23 of the DC municipal regulations. These titles both deal with alcohol law in the District.

Borderstan has asked the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) for more specific information on the violations and the suspension and will update as soon as we hear back from them.

ABRA announced Friday that a hearing on the license suspension will be held this Tuesday, March 6 at 2:30 pm. We will have more on the status of Tabaq’s alcoholic beverage license after Tuesday’s hearing.

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by February 27, 2012 at 8:00 am 2,998 6 Comments

From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]

A woman was stabbed several times in the leg while inside Tabaq Bistro at 1336 U Street NW early Saturday morning, according to reports from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA).

The victim was conscious and breathing according to a tweetfrom MPD and was taken to Washington Hospital Center. Her current condition is unknown. MPD has not announced any arrests in the case.

Tabaq, Bistro, U, Street, closure, notice, MPD

1336 U Street NW: MPD closed Tabaq Lounge temporarily on Saturday at 6 pm. (Cody Telep)

According to an ABRA investigative report provided by Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) on the U Street listserv, the stabbing occurred during a large fight inside Tabaq Bistro. It is not clear if the fight occurred during the “Love vs. Lust, Roses & Rozay” event that took place Friday night. MPD reported the stabbing at about 3 am Saturday. The ABRA investigation determined that staff at Tabaq failed to notify ABRA or MPD about the incident.

As a result, MPD Chief Cathy Lanier closed the establishment at 6 pm on Saturday. Chief Lanier has the authority to temporarily close establishments serving alcohol for up to 96 hours under the Emergency Suspension of Liquor Licenses Act of 2005.

Such closures can occur when “The Chief of Police finds that continued operation of this establishment would present an imminent danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the public; that there is an additional imminent danger to the health and welfare of the public by not closing this establishment; and that there is no immediately available measure to ameliorate these findings.”

The ABRA investigation continues and the date of Tabaq Bistro’s hearing before the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board has not been announced. The Board does have a regularly scheduled meeting set for Wednesday, February 29,  at 9:30 am. Tabaq Bistro previously faced a fact finding hearing before the Board on October 19, 2011, for an assault inside the establishment. The Board voted unanimously to take no further action after the hearing.

Lanier has previously used her authority under the Emergency Suspension of Liquor Licenses Act of 2005 to close Heritage India and Mood Lounge after violent incidents. Both establishments later reopened after hearings before the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

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by February 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm 1,201 0

"Borderstan""Shaw's Tavern"

Shaw’s Tavern at Florida Avenue and 6th Street NW is open again, serving light fare (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @frijolita.

Shaw’s Tavern has officially announced they will open their doors for service while they await word on their liquor license. They will serve “a light breakfast and lunch menu for weekdays from 7 am to 6 pm and a brunch menu on weekends from 9 am to 4pm.

If you’ll recall, Shaw’s Tavern has seen its fair share of drama. Last year the owners served liquor at an event a wee bit prematurely and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has deemed the owner “unfit for licensure.” Then there was some back and forth, ultimately ending in Shaw’s Tavern being shut down because their liquor license was denied.

Under new ownership, the Tavern hopes to re-open and become a neighborhood fixture.  Will you be stopping by Shaw’s Tavern? Management seems very excited to become an integral part of the neighborhood!

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by February 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm 2,083 0

"Borderstan""Mood Lounge" "9th Street NW"

Mood Lounge on 9th Street NW remains open, but was found guilty of noise violations. (Matty Rhoades)

By Michelle Lancaster. Got news, a hot tip or want to complain about what is or isn’t in this? Let her know on Twitter @michlancaster or via email at [email protected].

The blogger at Shaw Deserves Better shares the news that Mood Lounge was found guilty of the first of five pending noise complaints — the same lounge that managed to keep its liquor license after a January stabbing of two people in front of the establishment. The noise levels were set in the Voluntary Agreement, and the first violation occurred a few short weeks after their grand opening, according to the DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA).

If you are interested in the full set of proceedings laid out in the Findings of Fact conducted by ABRA, check it out here. For those of you not living in Shaw or tracking the issue, you can see the full scope and both sides of the argument on the Shaw Deserves Better blog, through a newspaper story and in the blog’s comments/response to the story.

You might also want to check out Matt Raymond’s take on the situation on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F website. Raymond represents ANC 2F-04. His latest post, The Exquisite Timing of Mood Lounge, reviews a story in The Ethiopian Times that alleges a racial angle around the Mood Lounge controversy.

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by January 18, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,637 2 Comments

"Borderstan""9th Street NW, Shaw

Mood Lounge on 9th Street NW in Shaw retains its liquor license. (Matty Rhoades)

From Michelle Lancaster. Follow her and tell her your news on Twitter @MichLancaster or email her at [email protected].

Mood Lounge keeps its liquor license, reports the Shaw Deserves Better blog. They don’t mince words in their reporting of the issue, either. The “problematic” lounge kept its license after an exhaustive hearing before the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board at ABRA last Friday night. The blog’s author plans on combing through the hearing statements to find inconsistencies and flaws, as well as deceptive language.

This now counts as two establishments in Borderstan keeping their licenses, with few penalties, after violent events outside or inside the premises (see: Heritage India).

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by August 17, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,481 1 Comment

DC parking app, Borderstan

The city’s Pay by Phone parking app started showing up all over the Borderstan area recent weeks. (Luis Gomez Photos)

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and  tell her your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at [email protected]

Parkmobile Parking App Reviewed

As we all learned in Borderstan etiquette class, there are many drivers/parkers in our area. Presumably, you are occasionally forced to leave the hood and/or pay for parking in it. So you may find We Love DC‘s review of DDOT’s Parkmobile app, which will allow drivers to use their mobile phones to make payment to the meters. Early reviews? Plenty of room for improvement.


by July 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm 1,327 1 Comment

The July meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F is Wednesday, July 6. Time is 7 pm and location is the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle NW.

One particular item of interest on the agenda is the liquor license application for Tortilla Coast at the southeast corner of 15th and P Streets NW. It will be interesting to see if ANC 2F decides to protest the application and call for a Voluntary Agreement. The hearing date for the license with the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board is Monday, July 25.

The Tortilla Coast application calls for up to 60 outdoor seats on the 15th Street side (former parking lot), which is causing some consternation among residents of the adjacent residential building to the south. The local chain has four other restaurants in the metro area. The site used to house a McCormick Paint store, which moved to Mount Pleasant Street NW.

by May 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm 2,829 2 Comments

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email. You can follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B voted Wednesday evening to protest the liquor license application for “The Post Office” restaurant project at 1407-1409 T Street NW.

The vote was 7-0 with two abstentions: Jack Jacobson and Mike Silverstein. Silverstein is also a member of the DC Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board and regularly abstains from ANC votes on liquor license related issues.

One speaker on Wednesday evening said that she was not for or against the endeavor, but hopes that a resolution will be achieved in a reasonable manner, not through fear-mongering anonymous fliers.


by May 9, 2011 at 3:32 pm 2,185 6 Comments

Borderstan, "The Post Office," Luis Gomez Photos, ANC 2B

A local entrepreneur, in conjunction with Chow Down Inc. from New York, hopes to open a restaurant at 1407-1409 T Street NW. The building show above, 1409, was a U.S. Post Office. The liquor license application is on the ANC 2B agenda for this Wednesday, May 11. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Matty Rhoades

Two small buildings at 1407-1409 T Street NW could become a new restaurant in the 14th Street corridor — but the path may not be simple. One of them is a former U.S. Post Office that has long been used as an annex for storing furniture for Ruff & Ready. The other has been renovated and sits empty.

The two buildings are zoned commercial and while they face the Room and Board store across the street, everything else on the 1400 block of  T Street is residential, and close by at that. LoopNet lists the property as 1407-1409 and shows the two buildings joined by a two-story addition.

Working with NY-Based Chow Down

Local entrepreneur Blake Kimbrough is behind the Post Office restaurant project. Kimbrough said he is working with John Dempsey with the New York-based chain of trendy, affordable eateries, Chow Down, Inc. Chow Down owns such well-known establishments as Therapy, Barrage, El Centro, Hell’s Kitchen and Vynl.

“We have met with several residents from the building next door and are continuing to reach out to local residents to understand their concerns. We believe that local resident support is the greatest factor in guaranteeing our success in the historic U Street corridor,” Kimbrough told Borderstan.

Kimbrough said they are still working on the overall food concept, but are leaning toward modern-southern.

Application on ANC 2B Agenda

Any new spot in the location would be close to Policy, around the corner on 14th, and Cafe Saint-Ex at the southeast corner of 14th and T Streets. Another space at the northwest corner of 14th and T, a former liquor store, is still vacant.


by December 12, 2010 at 9:30 pm 3,237 4 Comments

Hank's Oyster Bar 17th Street NW Dupont Circle

1624 Q Street NW: Hank’s Oyster Bar received approval Wednesday to expand into the empty storefront to the east, at the left in this photo. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay. Questions or comments for Tom? Send him an email.

The DC Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board has granted Hank’s Oyster Bar permission to expand into neighboring retail space at 1622 Q Street NW.

The expansion, considered a “substantial change” in regulatory terms, has been a months-long effort by Hank’s owner and chef Jamie Leeds that began earlier this year and was followed by the filing of a protest by a group of neighborhood residents.

The December 8 order by the ABC Board granting the expansion did come with some conditions. Leeds must take reasonable steps to install soundproofing and mitigate any potential noise created by the interior or exterior of the establishment, since the expanded restaurant will now share a party wall with a residential property owned by Abdi Poozesh.

It was Poozesh’s testimony about noise concerns that was enough to sway the Board to address noise concerns in their order.

Read the ABC Board order allowing Hank’s to expand into the adjacent property.


by December 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm 1,707 0

ANC 2B Jamie Leeds Hank's Oyster Bar

Hank’s owner Jamie Leeds and her representative, Andrew Kline. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay

Last night Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B voted to withdraw its recent protest of the planned expansion of Hank’s Oyster Bar into the adjoining storefront to the east of the restaurant. The vote was 7-0 with one abstention.

The ANC also passed a second resolution, unanimously, to support continued placarding of all substantial changes in 2B (details follow).

Public Notice of Substantial Change

The special meeting of ANC 2B started a new debate on public notice of substantial changes for an establishment with a liquor license. The meeting was planned shortly after an agreement had been reached with Jamie Leeds, chef and owner of Hank’s Oyster Bar, over the operating hours of the outdoor cafe portion of her restaurant at 1624 Q St. NW.

The original agenda for the meeting was to vote on a follow-up resolution to withdraw the ANC protest on the expansion plans for Leeds’ restaurant. Several ANC commissioners filed the protest with the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board on Nov. 8, which was followed by an official ANC vote on Nov. 10; the vote was 7-1 with Jack Jacobson (2B04) voting no.


by November 17, 2010 at 6:15 pm 1,665 2 Comments

From Tom Hay


Protesters gather outside ABRA Headquarters on U Street as hearing on DC9 nightclub gets underway. (Tom Hay)

The DC Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board ruled unanimously to deny a motion for reconsideration on the reopening of the DC9 nightclub.

The nightclub, located at 1940 9th St. NW, was the scene of an altercation between Ali Mohammed and DC9 staff in the early morning hours of Oct. 15. Mohammed died later that day and a medical examiner’s on the cause of death has yet to be released. The full medical examiner’s report could take up to 90 days to complete.

The hearing, before a packed room of spectators and a crowd of protestors outside, gave DC9’s representative Andrew Kline an opportunity to present to the Board more details on the club’s enhanced security.


by November 17, 2010 at 1:31 pm 3,297 1 Comment

Hank's Oyster Bar ANC 2B ABC Board

1624 Q Street NW: Hank’s Oyster Bar and ANC 2B have reached an agreement over patio dining hours. Hank’s request to expand into the adjacent space is still pending before the ABC Board. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay

Borderstan has learned that an agreement on outdoor patio hours has been reached between Hank’s Oyster Bar and ANC 2B.

At last week’s November meeting, we reported that the ANC passed a resolution and filed a letter to request standing as a protestant in the effort by Hank’s owner, Jamie Leeds, to expand the restaurant into a neighboring building.

The ANC’s move was prompted by fears that the liquor license for Hank’s location would incorporate later hours for the outdoor seating area since the voluntary agreement (V.A.) had recently been vacated by the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board. Leeds had told Borderstan that she had no plans for later patio hours. However, the hours on the license would transfer to any new owner who may operate under the later hours.


by November 13, 2010 at 11:57 pm 2,926 2 Comments

Hank's Oyster Bar ANC 2B ABC Board

Will the ABC Board grant ANC 2B standing to protest Hank’s Oyster Bar expansion plans over patio hours? Hank’s owner Jamie Leeds said she has no plans to change them. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay

It has been a roller coaster of a month for Hank’s Oyster Bar owner and chef Jamie Leeds. On Nov. 3, Leeds was notified by the DC Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board that she had been released from a Voluntary Agreement (V.A.) . The restaurant had operated under the V.A. since opening in 2005 at 1624 Q Street NW, just off 17th Street.

But, less than a week later Hank’s was in the cross hairs of ANC 2B. At issue are the evening hours of the restaurant’s sidewalk patio on Q Street, and Leeds’ request to expand her restaurant into the adjacent empty storefront.


by November 3, 2010 at 2:37 pm 3,231 12 Comments

From Tom Hay

The DC Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board has issued a ruling that allows Hank’s Oyster Bar to operate without a voluntary agreement (V.A.). The 4 to 2 vote follows a six-hour hearing on Oct. 13. (See 6-Hour Hearing But No Decision for Hank’s Oyster Bar.)

Borderstan learned of the ABC Board’s ruling today at a Board hearing on another matter related to Hank’s — its request to expand into an adjoining space. You can read the ABC Board ruling (PDF).

The ABRA transcript from the ABC Board hearing on Oct. 13 hearing is available (PDF).

Owner and chef Jamie Leeds signed the V.A. before opening in 2005, with a group of neighbors and the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA). Leeds asked to be released from the V.A., which she could do after five years.

Hank's Oyster Bar DCCA 17th Street NW

Hank’s Oyster Bar will no longer have a voluntary agreement with a group of neighbors and the Dupont Circle Citizens Association. Hank’s is also seeking to expand into the vacant store front to the east of the restaurant. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The protesting residents argued that a bad precedent would result if Hank’s were allowed to operate without a V.A. A number of other liquor-serving establishments on 17th St. already operate without one.

In addition, Leeds is trying to expand into an empty storefront just east of the restaurant at 1624 Q St. NW. The expansion is being protested by a group of  23 residents, and the hearing was held Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 3.

What was in V.A.?

Leeds said last month that the major operational restrictions under the V.A. were that Hanks’s had to stop serving alcohol two hours before the restaurant’s closing time, and that dinner could not be served outside one hour before closing time. In addition to restrictions on hours, the only labeling that can be on the patio umbrellas is “Hank’s Oyster Bar.”



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