From David McAuley. Email at david[AT]borderstan.com
Another front on the Borderstan-area liquor sales controversy could open up on Wednesday, 13 February. That’s when the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B will vote on a resolution that will allow liquor and grocery stores in the Dupont Circle area to sell growlers of beer. Growlers are reusable jugs, often glass or ceramic, with a capacity of up to one-half gallon.
ANC 2B is already accepting comments on the resolution on its blog. One anti-resolution commenter on the site declared that allowing the sale of growlers “steps over the line”.
The new resolution comes on the heels of recent attempts by two local citizens groups to establish a new liquor license moratorium in an approximately six-block-wide circular area centered near the intersection U and 12th Streets NW. In response, opponents of the moratorium have started a petition and a website.
The sale of growlers for off-premise consumption became officially legal in the District as of January 15 due to new legislation. However, sales of single containers of beer are banned in all of Ward 2, an area which extends from the Capitol to Georgetown and from the Potomac to U Street.
ANC 2B is authorized to grant exceptions to this ban for liquor and grocery stores in its own jurisdiction, which is a considerably smaller area around Dupont Circle. The resolution, if passed, would effectively grandfather in all liquor and grocery stores in the area that have previously been granted a Single-Sales Exemption for other types of beer container, allowing them to sell growlers as well.
Brewpubs, or microbreweries, in the area do not require an exemption to sell growlers.
The 13 February ANC 2B meeting will be open to the public, starting at 7 pm at the Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW. The text of the resolution can be found on ANC 2B’s website. Comments can be left at the bottom of this page. A map showing the area of ANC 2B’s jurisdiction can be found here.
Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.
If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from DC’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.
Dupont resident Martin Espinoza officially announced his plans in running for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) in the District 04 seat in 2B/Dupont. According to a statement from Espinoza, he would make the neighborhood’s public safety a priority, and focus on the importance of vigilant and active residents, as well as community involvement and aesthetic restoration.
Jack Jacobson, the ANC 2B04 incumbent, is currently running for DC School Board in Ward 2. He was elected to the seat in a 2007 special election before winning a pair of two-years terms. Espinoza sits on the Board of Directors for The DC Center and is co-founder of DC Stonewall Sports and DC Stonewall Kickball.
District 04 is the most densely populated, and smallest in geographic area, of ANC 2B‘s nine districts. By law, each ANC district is to have approximately 2,000 residents. The southern boundary is Q Street, running north to S Street NW, and from 15th Street to 17th Street NW.
Both school board and ANC seats are non-partisan, without primaries. The general election is November 6.
At their first monthly meeting since the tragic shooting at the Heritage India restaurant last month, the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood (ANC) Commission 2B opened debate about safety and security at area bars and restaurants. ANCs are often the first stop for any new establishment that is seeking an Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Administration (ABRA) license.
Frequently neighbors and ANCs protest license applications to ensure leverage in controlling things such as an establishment’s hours of service, type of entertainment and security measures.In the incident at Heritage, the club owners had given permission for a promoter to host an event at the restaurant after they had finished dinner service for the evening.
At some point a fight broke out that continued out onto the 1300 block of Connecticut Avenue NW just south of Dupont Circle. Johnte Coleman of Maryland was hit when gunfire erupted, he later died from his wound, five others were injured.
A few days after the shooting Police Chief Cathy Lanier ordered the restaurant to close for 96 hours. Shortly after that, ABRA pulled the restaurant’s liquor license pending a review. This week the restaurant’s license was reinstated with restrictions – they will only be able to sell alcohol with food, close at midnight and will need to come up with an acceptable security plan. At the ABRA hearing it was disclosed that the restaurant did not follow their established security procedures.
Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) was a guest speaker at the December 14 meeting and expressed shock and outrage at the violence that occurred at Heritage India. He cited the challenges caused by restaurants that morph into nightclubs late at night and pointed out ongoing safety and noise issues at other establishments in the ward, including Mood Lounge on 9th Street NW in the Shaw neighborhood.
Last week Evans introduced legislation called The Reimbursable Detail Expansion & Promoter Regulation Act of 2011 to address ABRA’s current lack of regulation of promoters. The legislation also seeks to expand the Metropolitan Police Department’s reimbursable detail program by requiring certain establishments to pay for adequate security unless they are granted an exemption by ABRA.
Events like the one organized by the promoter at Heritage would require additional security. In his remarks before the ANC, he pointed out that the legislation needs refinement since not every promoted event requires security. He also mentioned removing the word “reimbursable” from the legislation.
After Evans’ remarks, ANC Commissioner Mike Silverstein of Single Member District (SMD) 2B06, who is also a member of the ABRA’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC), added that the ABC Board forwarded the case to the Office of the Attorney General for a show cause hearing. He also emphasized ABRA’s desire to get a handle on bad promoters and cited the challenges of pop-up events promoted through social media on the Internet.
Commissioner Phil Carney (SMD 2B07), whose district includes Heritage India, praised the competent and prompt response by the Metropolitan Police Department in the aftermath of the violence. He added that promoted events have been a problem for years and mentioned that neighboring Prince Georges County, Maryland, requires licensing of promoters.
During the debate commissioners called out other Dupont Circle restaurants who have late-night promoter events and continue to be a source of frustration for neighbors — the other establishments mentioned include Bistro Bistro at 1727 Connecticut Avenue NW and Marrakesh P Street / Pasha Lounge at 2147 P Street, NW.
Commissioner Jack Jacobson (SMD 2B04) pointed out that the ANC 2B knew of problems at ABC licensed establishments but has never opposed a renewal. “Buck shold stop here!” he tweeted during the meeting. We should hear more on the Heritage India incident from Evans and the ANC next month, as the bill moves to a hearing and the ANC continues the discussion at their next meeting.
The June meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B / Dupont Circle is this coming Wednesday, June 10, at 7 p.m. at the D.C. Jewish Community Center. Remember that West Borderstan (west of 15th Street) is part of ANC 2B while East Borderstan is part of ANC 2F/Logan Circle.
Note that the commissioner for District 2 resigned and the seat will be filled at this meeting; this district is mostly northwest of Dupont Circle and also southeast of the circle. Election details are below the fold.
The Borderstan commissioners on ANC 2B are Victor Wexler-District 5 and Jack Jacobson-District 4.