Category Archives: Alcohol

West Dupont Liquor Liscense Moratorium Zone Working Group seeking feedback on Moratorium

During the January 2015 meeting of ANC 2B, a working group was appointed to analyze the impact of the West Dupont Moratorium Zone and offer recommendations to the ANC to potentially request an extension of the moratorium.

The Moratorium, established in 1994, limits the number of licenses for liquor stores, beer and wine convenience and grocery stores, special event spaces, taverns, and nightclubs. A full description of the moratorium zone, and a map of the impacted area, is located on the Alcohol Beverage Regulatory Administration website.

The working group, charged with representing community input, is eager to hear your thoughts and is holding two public meetings.

  • Saturday February 21st 2-4PM
  • Wednesday February 25th 7-9PM

Meetings will be held at the Church of the Pilgrims, 2201 P St NW. The meetings will be held in a community room. Please enter through the office door just to the right of the main front doors.

The working group is also accepting comments through an online form if you are unable to make the meetings. The form will be open until March 14th.

If you have any questions about the working group or moratorium please reach out to the working group chair Commissioner Daniel Warwick. We look forward to seeing you at our meetings.

NEWS: After ANC Input ABC Board Continues Suspension of Heritage India

On January 3, 2015 a physical altercation and stabbing occurred inside Heritage India/Zanzibar located within the boundaries of the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 2B) at 1901 Pennsylvania Ave NW. ANC 2B believes this event indicates an emerging pattern of violence at this establishment and at its meeting on January 15th voted unanimously to send a letter to the ABC Board strongly encouraging them to consider revoking this license and finding its owner to be unfit to hold a license.

Violence cannot be tolerated. Not only are the impacts extremely serious for the victims, but there are also real and negative impacts to the character and reputation of the neighborhood.

You can read the full letter to the ABC Board here: ANC Letter to ABC Board on Heritage India Violence 1-15-15

Today, after an over ten hour hearing on the matter, the ABC Board continued its suspension of the liquor license for Heritage India until the establishment “provides an enhanced security plan that addresses the Board’s safety concerns”. The full media release from the Board is below:

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NEWS: ABRA Committee Meeting, Sept 17

The ABRA Committee of ANC2B will discuss revisions to existing guidelines for alcohol service in outdoor space at its 8:00 p.m. (note time change), September 17, 2014, meeting.  Draft minutes of the ABRA Committee’s August 20, 2014 meeting follow.

ANC 2B ABRA (Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration) Committee

Draft Minutes– Wednesday, August 20,2014, Dupont Circle Resource Center

Next Meeting:  8:00 p.m. (note time), Wednesday, September 17, 2014

 

Member Attendance: Chair: Commissioner Abigail Nichols (2B05) (replaced Kevin O’Connor at June 2014 ANC meeting), Ruth Horn, Dupont Circle Citizens Association (2B01); Ramon Estrada, at large (2B09); Caroline Mindel (2B08)

Others: Elwyn Ferris, Jonathan Padget, Sarah Peck

Committee Mission.  Abigail distributed the relevant pages of the ANC2B manual that describe the mission of the ABRA Committee.  She noted that the committee has no authority but rather makes recommendations to the Commission.  Therefore it is important that resident members keep-in-touch-with/lobby their commissioners about committee recommendations.

Meeting administration.  All meetings are public meetings.  Ruth Horn and Jonathan Padget agreed to help with communications for the committee.

Membership:  The Committee agreed we should aim for resident members  directly affected by the various alcohol business areas.  Jonathan Padget from the west P Street area agreed to be nominated for committee membership.  The committee needs a member living close to the 17th Street establishements.

Abigail will reach out to our business members to discuss how we can make best use of their expertise.

ABRA News: 

  • Ozio Board Order limiting roof top music
  • Chi Cha Lounge where the ABC board did not support residents complaints
  • Café Asia – August 15 lifting of summary suspension
  • Saloon 45 Hearing, August 6, where Councilmember Jack Evans and ANC2B argued against any license being granted.  Sarah Peck said this is an important part of the protest process and that it is not too late to ask to submit findings of fact and conclusions of law.  The hearing lasted 8 ½ hours; there was discussion of why this was.

Problem Areas and Information Sharing:

  • Jonathan Padget described noise created by catered evens at Anderson House; he has been working with the manager there.  Said MPD would only respond to complaints about noise that was disturbing the neighborhood after 10 pm.
  • Ruth Horn and Caroline Mindel described voice noise disturbances (in contract to amplified music)
  • Ruth Horn said that protestants should realize that there avenues of appeal beyond the ABC Board decision.

Committee Activities:  Members agreed to work on the following tasks:

  • Ramon Estrada will recruit a committee intern
  • Caroline Mindell will consult Elwyn Ferris and explore how tracking ABRA enforcement actions can inform neighbor work with alcohol establishments.
  • Abigail Nichols will begin modifying the March 2011 ANC2B “Guidelines on Sidwalk Café/Outodor Restaurant Use to include outdoor alcohol service on privately-owned space.
  • The Committee will invite Tom Lipinsky from Councilmember Jack Evans to a future meeting.
  • The Committee will look for opportunities to describe the many trouble-free settlement agreements and other neighbor/establishment successes.
  • The Committee will anticipate the April 11, 2015, expiration of West Dupont Circle Moratorium.

Agenda for Next Meeting:  Outdoor alcohol service and use of ABRA data on enforcement.

NEWS: Minutes from the April 16, 2014 ABRA Policy Committee Meeting

Committee Members In Attendance:

Commissioner Kevin O’Connor (2B02)

Commissioner Noah Smith (2B09)

Commissioner Abigail Nichols (2B05)

Commissioner Stephanie Maltz (2B03)

Soft Closings

Business Comments:

  • Soft closings are designed to address concentration issues when bars let out – if they don’t all let out at the same time, there may be less incidents on the streets at night.
  • The concept has been endorsed by Councilmembers in the past and by groups such as MADD, as it allows for a period for people to sober up after drinking.
  • Other cities, such as Boston, have recently decided to extend hours to address this issue
  • Businesses would have little incentive to stay open later with out support
  • Feedback from MPD may be helpful

Committee Comments:

  • Unsure how the concept would impact public safety and noise.
  • In the past, the ANC has granted soft closings to establishments as test cases. There has not been enough evidence to support a conclusion for or against.
  • There concern that businesses may not be motivated to stay open the extra time if granted.
  • The committee, overall, looked favorably at exploring more soft closings in the neighborhood.

Action items:

  • The ANC will work with Skip Coburn to identify businesses on a block that may be interested in trying soft closings to help determine if there is an impact.
  • If businesses are interested, the ANC will suggest to ABRA to try a limited test of soft closings on a particular block for a period of 3 months to determine the impact on the neighborhood. Businesses would be placarded but would not incur any fees from the proposed experiment.

 

Follow-up: ABC Establishment Promoter Licensing Act of 2014

Alternative language was presented by the public, which would alter existing law and place the onus and responsibilities of hiring of promoters on the establishment.

The Public and the committee were skeptical about why responsibilities should be split between promoters and establishments.

The Committee believes that advocating for a business-support position within ABRA would help address many of the technical questions posed about promoters.

It was decided that the ANC would take no action on the ABC Establishment Promoter Licensing Act of 2014.

Noise Task Force Update

ABRA is set to release results of the Noise Task Force on April 28. As such, discussion was tabled.

Protest Updates

Bistro Bistro (2B01): Renewal granted after refilling application. The ANC contests whether it was properly notified.

Midtown (2B05): Hearing date April 23

Dirty Martini (2B05): Protest Hearing held April 10

Rose Bar (2B05): Mediation May 2

Public Bar (2B06): Substantial change application withdrawn after new Settlement Agreement filed.

18th St Lounge (2B06): Roll Call April 21

Bar Code (2B05): Protest date postponed

Chi-Cha Lounge (2B08): New Settlement Agreement signed.

Other Business

Heritage India (1901 Pennsylvania Avenue NW) seeks changes to Settlement Agreement. They wish to change provisions related to their entertainment endorsement. The Committee agreed to make changes in exchange for including information on a Security Plan in the Settlement Agreement. To be added to the May 2014 agenda.

Local 16 (1602 U St NW) seeks changes to its Settlement Agreement regarding how noise provisions are restricted/enforced. The Committee agreed to delegate negotiations to Commissioner Will Stephens and study the request.

NEWS: ANC 2B April “Resolution Letters by Month” Posted

The following letters that were transmitted to D.C. government agencies as the result of ANC actions at the Commission’s April meeting have been uploaded and posted for public viewing:.

April 2014

1145 19th Street NW (Public Space)

1819 Club (ABRA)

Capital Pride Parade (General)

Doi Moi (Public Space)

G Street Food (ABRA)

Glen’s Garden Market (Public Space)

Kabin Group (Public Space)

Letter of Support for Stonewall Kickball events in Stead Park (General)

 

These letters can also be viewed on the “Resolution Letters by Month” page of the ANC website, along with other letters sent on behalf of the Commission in previous months.