From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email at Tom[AT]borderstan.com. You can follow him on Twitter
The Washington City Paper reported today that the District of Columbia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) has ruled that Hank’s Oyster Bar did meet all three criteria for termination of the Voluntary Agreement (VA), which the Dupont Circle restaurant had been operating under since opening in 2005.
The ABC Board had first issued an order in 2010 allowing termination of the VA. That decision was appealed to the DC Court of Appeals by several of the original signatories who protested Hank’s alcohol license. The appellate court ruled in May 2012 that the ABC Board erred in their decision which prompted the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration to shut down half of Hank’s outdoor patio, just as the busy outdoor dining season was getting underway.Hank’s has posted on their Facebook page that full patio seating will be available tonight at 1624 Q Street NW.
The most recent order by the ABC Board allows Jamie Leeds, Hank’s chef and owner, to seat the patio dining area to full capacity. The partial closure of the patio prompted an online petition in support of Leeds and came just weeks before hearings on revisions to the District’s alcohol laws. The proposed legislation limits what may be included in a VA and also further defines who has standing to protest a liquor license.
See the related posts below for more information on the Hank’s saga.
The city drinks a lot, with happy hours all days of the week and patios packing in patrons before the humidity settles over the District. So it’s not terribly surprising that, while the proposal to extend permitted alcohol sales by an hour failed, other measures are slated for debate.
This week, a report commissioned by Jim Graham’s Committee on Human Services was released. The report, issued by the Alcohol Beverage Control Working Group, includes provisions to sell on Sundays, create permits for wine pubs to brew their own juice and brew pubs to fill growlers for patrons.
DCist has the full scoop on the recommendations. So far, we haven’t seen much of what occurred during the meeting but Graham’s blog indicates he will now work on draft legislation that incorporates the recommendations.
Any proposed changes to DC liquor laws are particularly noteworthy in the Borderstan area. Ward 2, which includes the Dupont-Logan area is home to 40% of the entire city’s liquor licenses. Ward 1 (which includes the bulk of the U Street corridor and Adams Morgan) is in second place with 16% of all DC licenses. (See DC Liquor Licenses by the Numbers: Ward 2, 40% and Ward 1, 16%.)
Stay posted (and stay thirsty)!