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by Andrew Ramonas — February 19, 2016 at 2:50 pm 0

Midtown Partyplex at 1219 Connecticut Ave NW(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) A Dupont Circle bar got a taste of young adult literature from the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board this week as the panel sought to chide the business over noise.

In an order Wednesday renewing the liquor license of Midtown Partyplex at 1219 Connecticut Ave. NW, the board wrote that “the eyes can choose where to look. But the ears can’t choose where to listen.” The quote from Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel, “Gifts,” is “nowhere . . . truer than Dupont Circle, where residents, from the comfort of their own bedrooms, often have no choice but to listen to a barrage of late night music emanating from local nightclubs and taverns,” according to the panel.

Like the views expressed by Dupont Circle’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B, the board wrote in its order that Midtown “contributes to the noise problem experienced by the Dupont Circle community.” But that concern wasn’t enough to let the bar’s liquor license expire.

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by Tim Regan — February 19, 2016 at 10:15 am 0

Odessa, the caviar-centric lounge planned to open at 1413 K St. NW, won’t serve champagne to lobbyists or lawyers anytime soon.

That’s because the company behind the bar, Boyemarketing LLC, withdrew its application for a liquor license earlier this month, according to an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) board order. (more…)

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. (more…)

by Tim Regan — February 11, 2016 at 12:45 pm 0

Nightmare on M StreetABRA’s new emergency and proposed ruling regarding pub crawls now has the endorsement of Dupont Circle’s community leaders.

The rules, which were established on a trial basis last month, create a new event license fee for pub crawls, put a greater responsibility on organizers to clean up after events and give the board authority to veto bar-hopping events for any reason.

ANC 2B, the advisory neighborhood commission that covers Dupont Circle and the surrounding area, voted on a resolution to commend and comment on the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board’s rules during its general monthly meeting last night.

“[Some recent pub crawls] have been pretty tremendous in terms of the negative impact on the neighborhood,” said Noah Smith, 2B-09. “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.”

Smith, who introduced the resolution, added that he “applauds the ABC board for adopting these emergency rules.”

Though Smith said he thought the rules were “pretty good” overall, he did recommend a list of changes, including asking ABRA to notify the ANC of future pub crawl applications and create a rule that would penalize businesses participating in unlicensed pub crawls. Smith also suggested that ABRA create a provision “that assures more than one pub crawl is not licensed at the same time in the same area.”

Commissioner Mike Silverstein, 2B-06 and ABC board member, said three pub crawl applications have been denied since the emergency rules were established last month.

“Pub crawls can be helpful to an area if they’re done right and if they’re small,” Silverstein said. “But if you bring in too many people for a neighborhood to handle, you’re going to discourage retail and all kind of other things. If it’s too big for the neighborhood, it’s not appropriate.”

The ANC supported the resolution by a vote of 7-0-1.

Impacted businesses and members of the public 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

by Andrew Ramonas — February 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm 0

Restaurant diners

(Updated at 8 a.m. Wednesday) D.C. restaurant owners should watch the mail for a letter from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration to avoid a potentially unpleasant experience.

More than 1,100 restaurants, hotels, theaters, museums, trains, boats, clubs and caterers that serve booze in the District are scheduled to receive liquor license renewal applications in the mail this week, according to ABRA. If the businesses don’t have the paperwork filled out and return it to the agency by March 31, they face cancellation of their licenses and a $50-per-day fine starting April 1. But the fines wouldn’t exceed the cost of their licenses.

“More than half of all alcoholic beverage licenses will need to be renewed by the end of next month,” ABRA director Fred Moosally said in a statement. “We strongly encourage businesses to turn in completed applications as soon as possible. This will help both business owners and the agency to avoid long lines at the end of March.”

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by Tim Regan — February 8, 2016 at 1:05 pm 1 Comment

U_Street_Liquor_MoratoriumD.C.’s ABC Board wants to hear from the public on whether it should solidify new emergency and proposed rules regarding bar crawl applications.

The rules, which were put in place last month, establish a new event license fee, put more responsibility on organizers to prevent littering and give the board more authority to veto bar-hopping events.

The new rules also bar organizers from “promoting excessive drinking” and selling unlimited drink tickets, among other things.

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by Tim Regan — February 5, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

Cupid bar crawlCupid’s Bar Crawl, an annual pub-hopping event previously scheduled to take place across Dupont Circle tomorrow, will no longer move forward as planned due to opposition from D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

The ABC panel on Wednesday refused to reconsider its previous denial of a pub crawl application filed by Project D.C., the company behind Cupid’s Bar Crawl. (more…)

by Andrew Ramonas — February 3, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Don Juan Restaurant in Mount PleasantA Mount Pleasant eatery is able to serve booze again following a brawl that left one of its customers hospitalized last week.

Don Juan Restaurant at 1660 Lamont St. NW finished its police-ordered liquor license suspension Monday evening, according to D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration spokeswoman Jessie Cornelius. A Borderstan editor yesterday observed customers eating inside the eatery’s main dining area, which had been closed since Thursday.

Police halted liquor sales Thursday night due to the fight, which ABRA investigated. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board decided Monday that it wouldn’t pursue further action against Don Juan, allowing it to begin serving booze once more.

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by Andrew Ramonas — February 1, 2016 at 1:35 pm 0

A Mount Pleasant eatery is unable to sell alcohol for now following a fight that left one of its customers hospitalized last week, police said.

Don Juan Restaurant at 1660 Lamont St. NW has had its liquor license suspended since Thursday evening under a police order stemming from the brawl. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board today is expected to decide whether the eatery can start serving booze again.

The Don Juan diner was sitting at the restaurant’s bar with his girlfriend and ordering food on Wednesday night when four to five men went up to him from behind, according to authorities. He then was punched in the head, knocking him to the ground.

The customer soon after was punched again and then kicked several times, police said. He also had chairs thrown at him, hitting him at least once.

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by Tim Regan — January 29, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

Cupid bar crawlCupid’s Bar Crawl, an annual bar-hopping event scheduled to take place in Dupont Circle next weekend, may not go forward as planned thanks to a recent order from D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

The panel on Wednesday denied a pub crawl application filed by Project D.C., the company behind Cupid’s Bar Crawl. The denial comes roughly two weeks after regulators issued new rules regarding bar crawl applications. (more…)

by Andrew Ramonas — December 22, 2015 at 5:40 pm 0

A Shaw bar can’t serve alcohol until at least next month after police said a manager punched a customer and hit another one with a bottle.

Oove lounge at 1853 7th St. NW will have the liquor license it has used through Mesobe Restaurant suspended until at least Jan. 6, when the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is scheduled to hold a hearing on the brawl. The bar hasn’t opened since Dec. 14.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told the ABC board she closed Oove that day for posing “an imminent danger to the health and safety of the public.”

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by Tim Regan — December 18, 2015 at 11:30 am 0

The future of a “caviar fusion lounge” planned for K Street seems to be in jeopardy, according to a recent order from D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

The panel has ordered a representative from Odessa to appear at a special January hearing meant to demonstrate whether the bar’s owners are qualified to receive the liquor license they sought to obtain for the lounge in September.

The hearing appears to stem from the closure of faux-speakeasy The Speak, which investigators say operated without a valid liquor license underneath Odessa’s space at 1413 K St. NW. Odessa’s owner, Ajiboye Laosebikan, also owned The Speak and helped sell alcohol without a liquor license in the months between May and November, according to D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.

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by Tim Regan — December 10, 2015 at 2:45 pm 0

Naylor Stabes

A controversial outdoor tavern won’t be coming to Shaw after all.

The proprietors behind the restaurant and bar, which had tentatively been called Naylor Stables, have recalled their liquor license application to open a new tavern at 1322 9th St. NW “due to lack of support from the neighborhood.”

According to the original liquor license application from August, the tavern would have been a “vibrant community gathering place serving kitchen-garden produce, District-made beers and spirits … grilled meats, hearth baked breads and pastries” with outdoor seating for more than 300 people.

(more…)

by Tim Regan — August 28, 2015 at 2:20 pm 1 Comment

Cairo_Liquor_Store(Updated at 10:50 a.m. on Aug. 31) D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board announced on Monday it had voted 6-0 to adopt proposed rules that would lift the liquor license moratorium in West Dupont for all businesses except nightclubs.

The rules heavily modify the current moratorium and extend it for a period of three years.

Though the original moratorium was due to expire on May 17, the board voted on May 13 to extend it for a period of 120 days, during which it would take testimony from members of the community.

West Dupont residents gathered to discuss lifting the moratorium during a public hearing on July 22.

ANC 2B Commissioner Daniel Warwick, 2B-02, called on the board during the hearing to lift the moratorium on new restaurant, bar and tavern licenses, but extend it for nightclubs. He argued on behalf of his commission that lifting the moratorium on nightclub licenses could be disruptive to the peace, order and quiet of the neighborhood.

Warwick also noted that the only way for new businesses to enter the neighborhood is to purchase existing licenses, which are not always available. Warwick added that his ANC was concerned that the moratorium created a secondary market for liquor licenses that would discourage art galleries, distilleries, breweries, wineries and multi-purpose facilities from opening.

Former ANC 2B Commissioner Karyn Siobhan Robinson testified that the moratorium, including the ban on nightclubs, should be lifted entirely. Though Robinson acknowledged that nightclubs could sometimes disturb the peace, she argued that market forces prevented such businesses from flourishing in the area. Furthermore, Robinson said that maintaining the moratorium artificially inflates rent and prices for retailers.

But some residents who testified at the July 22 hearing said they did not support lifting the moratorium wholesale.

One resident said that several local businesses pose problems relating to noise and litter, and that lifting the ban on new nightclubs and taverns would only make the problem worse.

Another resident, whose balcony overlooks an alleyway, testified that he has witnessed patrons of a West Dupont business using drugs, urinating and “fornicating.” That resident agreed that lifting the ban on new tavern licenses would only increase that kind of behavior.

Though the ABC Board wrote it was “sympathetic to [residents’] concerns about the social ills that accompany a vibrant nightlife,” the board added that neighbors should discuss any problems with taverns with their ANC and utilize the ABRA hotline and online complaint submission form.

“The Board makes clear that it will not tolerate tavern licensees who operate in such a manner that their operations create a nightclub atmosphere,” wrote regulators. “It
cautions all licensees to understand that West Dupont is a unique neighborhood. As such, the Board will give great scrutiny to any licensing request that profoundly changes the nature and character of the neighborhood.”

The board added in its decision:

The Board appreciates the balance that must be struck between the interests of the residents in the neighborhood, and the interests that promote a nightlife economy. The Board recognizes that a diverse, dynamic and safe dining and entertainment environment is part of the fabric of the District, and yet, nightlife activity needs to be carefully managed in order to reduce antisocial behavior, noise, public disturbance and other problems.

The Board applauds the ANC’s efforts to solicit the community members’ perspectives on positive steps to transform the West Dupont’s neighborhood and improve urban vibrancy. Like the ANC, the Board believes that if managed properly, a thriving and safe nightlife can act as an economic engine by attracting new businesses and restaurants, diversifying the range of cultural offerings, creating employment opportunities, and increasing tourism. To this end, the Board is in agreement with the ANC that a new direction for the West Dupont moratorium that allows for responsible growth is warranted.

Though the rules are effective immediately, they are still subject to a 30-day public comment window and must also receive final approval by the D.C. Council.

by Tim Regan — August 12, 2015 at 2:30 pm 1 Comment

Atlantic Plumbing building, photo via JGBThe Neighborhood Restaurant Group is one step closer to opening a new restaurant at the Atlantic Plumbing development (2112 8th Street Northwest) near the 9:30 Club and U Street corridor.

A new document from ABRA reveals the restaurant group, which also owns Birch & Barley, ChurchKey and several other local restaurants, has applied for a Class C liquor license for its new restaurant, Hazel.

Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s director of public relations, Megan Bailey, confirmed that the new restaurant will arrive in the “late fall.”

“Hazel will open in the Atlantic Plumbing development in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood,” she told Borderstan via e-mail.

The restaurant, a concept by former Tallula chef Rob Rubba, will feature a 38-seat dining room, a 38-seat patio and a 16 seat bar connected to the patio.

“Rob’s menu will feature his style of progressive American cuisine, combining flavors from around the world with traditional and contemporary techniques to create dishes that are refined, distinctive and satisfying,” Bailey said. “Complementing the menu will be a beverage program from Greg Engert, Jeff Faile and Brent Kroll.”

Photo via JGB

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