(Updated at 11:45 a.m.) Dacha in Shaw has negotiated a $42,500 fine with the District to resolve claims that it let too many customers inside its gates, its lawyer said today.
The beer garden at 1600 7th St. NW has until Dec. 4 to pay up, according to a D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board order published this week. The penalty is one of the largest fines ever leveled against a business in a matter before the board, said a representative of the panel and Andrew Kline, Dacha’s lawyer.
Dacha also will have its liquor license suspended for 21 days.
Allegations that Dacha increased its 126-person capacity without the board’s approval have dogged the beer garden this year. But Dacha’s owners agreed to the fine to avoid a lengthy appeals process and to focus on the future, even though they have “viable defenses to many of the charges,” Kline said.
“It will be quite painful for the owners,” he said. “But we expect the business to survive under current or new ownership.”
Earlier this week, Dacha secured the blessing of Shaw’s ANC to expand its outdoor capacity to 250 customers, which was less than what the beer garden’s management initially wanted. But the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has yet to decide whether it will give the approval Dacha needs for the expansion to take place.
The panel is expected to consider the Dacha-ANC 6E expansion agreement on Nov. 18.
Dmitri Chekaldin, who owns Dacha with Ilya Alter, told Washington City Paper in a story published today that they considered selling the beer garden to an unnamed German beer brand. But they scrapped the idea after ANC 6E endorsed an expansion.
“Selling the business was a last resort … If you have nowhere to go, then of course that would have been the course of action that we would have pursued,” Chekaldin told the newspaper. “My heart and soul went into this place, and so I’d rather not sell it.”
Photo via Facebook/DachaBeerGarden
Dacha in Shaw has received the blessing of the neighborhood’s ANC to proceed with an expansion that is less than what the beer garden’s management initially wanted.
ANC 6E last night backed a deal with Dacha (1600 7th St. NW) that would allow the beer garden to increase its outdoor capacity from 126 to 250 customers. At first, Dacha’s management looked to serve 350 people outdoors, drawing a protest from the commission over concerns about noise.
Under the agreement, Dacha also could serve 250 customers indoors, which is what the beer garden’s management has sought since this spring. Dacha’s management is looking to open an indoor space adjacent to the beer garden.
Although it wasn’t the 600-customer capacity Dacha’s management originally wanted for their indoor and outdoor space, the 500-person capacity was a “fair compromise,” the beer garden’s lawyer, Andrew Kline, said at the ANC meeting.
“There’s quite a bit that went into this agreement, quite a bit of thought, quite a bit of discussion,” he said.
The D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board now must approve the agreement for it to take effect.
Photo via Dacha
Dog lovers and beer lovers are set to come together on Thursday for “Dogtoberfest” at Dacha Beer Garden, a fundraiser for a Shaw dog park.
Patrons who donate to Bundy Dog Park will receive happy hour discounts on DC Brau’s Oktoberfest beer from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday.
The Bundy Dog Park at 470 P St. NW is managed by a non-profit, which holds fundraisers to pay for park cleanup and plastic bags in the park. Funds raised during Dogtoberfest will also go toward building a water source for dogs in the park, according to Dacha Beer Garden.
Photo via Facebook/ Bundy Dog Park
‘Walters’ Waltzing into Park View — A new bar called Walters is opening at 3632 Georgia Avenue tomorrow at 5 p.m. The tavern will serve house-made jerky, salted pretzels and plenty of booze. [Park View DC]
New Mural Finished…Maybe? — Shaw has a new mural in Blagden Alley, but it’s unknown whether the black-and-white painting will receive a color treatment. [BadWolf DC]
Parade Your Pooch — Pet owners are invited to flaunt their furry friends in the first-ever D.C. State Fair Pet Parade this September. The parade will be led by an unannounced “celebrity pet.” [Borderstan]
Serving Judgement — Dacha Beer Garden general manager dishes the dirt about ways food-industry servers profile customers when they walk through the door. For example, gay men typically spend more and women in their young 20’s tend to dine on a budget. [Washington City Paper]
Shaw residents will be able to drink mimosas and adopt pets at the same time this weekend.
Patrons will also be able to enjoy brunch and bottomless mimosas while they meet with rescue cats and dogs.
“Dacha Beer Garden is a notoriously dog friendly establishment in the Shaw neighborhood,” said Dacha’s Deputy General Manager Nina Liggett in an e-mail.
“On top of that, much of our staff are owners of rescues … we only have to help ourselves from adopting all the animals that will be here this weekend,” she added.
Photo courtesy of Dacha Beer Garden
(Updated at 3:41 p.m. to correct name misspellings, add additional statements from Dacha, and accurately reflect the ANC voting process)
Shaw beer garden Dacha has hit a roadblock in its proposed 600-person capacity expansion.
The 6E Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) voted to protest Dacha Beer Garden’s request for an expanded liquor license and capacity during its monthly meeting at Shaw Library last night.
In March, Dacha asked the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) to allow it to expand its capacity to 600 people, up from its current capacity of 126.
The 3 to 2 vote — commissioner Alfreda Judd abstained — came after one of Dacha’s litigation attorneys, Scott Rome, and deputy general manager Nina Liggett gave a presentation to the packed basement room in Shaw Library.
Rome said Dacha is facing nine incident reports — eight for capacity violations — but emphasized the lengths co-owners Ilya Alter and Dmitri Chekaldin have taken to soundproof walls and reinforce fences.
“Even if we consider your application, how in the world are we going to have any control since you don’t obey what you are allowed to have now?” 6E05 Commissioner Marge Maceda responded. “How can we assume that you’re going to stick within the limits that you are able to have if we increase it?”
Both Rome and Liggett proposed that Dacha would build another fence and increase wall insulation for soundproofing if the 600-person capacity request was approved.
Some Shaw residents who showed up to the meeting publicly expressed concerns about what the increased capacity might mean for the neighborhood.
Katie Peters and husband Brian said that even though they support Dacha’s sound abatement efforts, the noise level already disturbs their sleeping infant and toddler and will only get worse if capacity increases.
But 7th Street NW resident David Abensour was not convinced the nightly noise comes from Dacha.
“My window is literally between Dacha and Uptown and I can tell you after midnight the noise doesn’t come from Dacha,” Abensour said.
Liggett said today by phone that she believes more than 50 people came out to support the beer garden, and that she wanted to address the commissioners’ concerns after the meeting, but was not able to due to time constraints.
“We wanted to give time for the community to talk,” Liggett says. “Unfortunately, I did not get to deliver a rebuttal at the end [because the library was closing].”
After hearing a long list of community comments — with several still in line to speak — 6E01 Commissioner Alexander Padro motioned to vote on the standing protest Dacha received from the commission’s ABC subcommittee last Thursday.
While Padro unwavered in his opposition, some anticipated upsetting their constituents.
“No one who represents a group of people wants to anger any segment of that group,” said 6E02 Commissioner Kevin Chapple. “But sometimes you have to.”
The council voted against Dacha’s proposed expansion by a vote of 3 to 2.
After the vote, Rome announced that Dacha would like to keep discussions between the business and residents open.
Rome also requested 6E ANC appoint a representative to work with Dacha when it comes to neighborhood issues and future expansion. He pointed out that Commissioner Padro repeatedly declined to speak with Dacha, to which Padro said he refused because Dacha would not work with the area’s civic association.
“We hope to move forward,” Liggett told Borderstan today. “Our ABRA hearings are coming up. We’ll prove our side. We take decibel readings every night and we are well below what is D.C. law,” she said.
The ANC has until Aug. 3 to file a formal protest against Dacha’s application.
Mural photo via Facebook.com/DachaBeerGarden