As the story goes in DC, obtaining the necessary licenses to open a restaurant business can be a long process. — especially when dealing with a liquor license from DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). And for local restaurant entrepreneur, David Batista, this battle seemed like an impossible win. (Also, check out Schools and taverns can coexist at Greater Greater Washington.)
This past spring, Batista made the evening news with his efforts to open a neighborhood bar near 8th and T Streets NW. However, these efforts were quickly halted when neighbors of the (currently abandoned) 725 T Street storefront opposed Batista’s business venture.
According to the ABC Board’s “Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order,” some of the opposing neighbors are worried about noise, increased drug activity and public drinking, while others are worried about decreased property values, parking and the proximity of the bar to Cleveland Elementary School.
Despite these grievances, the Board sided with Batista on June 20 and granted him a Retailer’s Class CT License for his bar, All Souls, as well as a Voluntary Agreement (VA) with area neighbors. Not green to the DC restaurant scene, Batista’s previous restaurant experience includes managing Jose Andres’ Jaleo and Zaytinya. All Souls is expected to open in the fall of 2012.
From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email at Tom[AT]borderstan.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann..
Following on the heels of recent press releases of new restaurants and bars in the neighborhood comes the inevitable protest hearings on the granting of a liquor license by DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA).
One battle, over a planned bar near 8th and T streets NW, has made it to the evening news. WJLA reported on neighborhood opposition to entrepreneur David Batista’s effort to open All Souls in a now abandoned storefront at 725 T Street NW.
Neighbors interviewed in the report cited the proposed tavern’s proximity to Cleveland Elementary School across the street as the cause for concern. The report indicates that Batista has agreed not to serve alcohol during school hours, but the protesters are not satisfied.
Batista is represented by Andrew Kline who guided Jamie Leeds through the effort to expand Hank’s Oyster Bar in 2010. The ABRA hearing before the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board for All Souls is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 at 4 pm. ABRA offices are located in the Reeves Center at 14th and U Streets NW.
Protest Over Kuller’s New Asian Themed Place at The District
Speaking of 14th Street… the liquor license application for Mark Kuller’s Southeast Asian themed restaurant at 14th and S Streets is being challenged by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B, subject to a voluntary agreement (VA) to address parking and hours of alcohol service on their outdoor patio. The vote to protest the application occurred at the ANC2B March meeting. Kuller’s latest venture is a few blocks north of his popular Estadio restaurant, and will be part of the large JBG apartment building currently under construction. The restaurant will be located in the portion of the project that includes the preserved facade of the former Whitman Walker Clinic building. The setback along the S Street facade will allow for outdoor cafe seating for 40 people.
It will be interesting to see if the restaurant’s location causes any reaction among S Street residents regarding hours — the 1400 block is entirely residential with row houses. There was pushback last year when a restaurant wanted to open on the 1400 block of T Street in the old Post Office Building.
Residents and community associations frequently protest license applications in the hopes of securing VAs with operators. The VA typically addresses concerns over hours of operation, trash and noise.