Category Archives: ABRA Policy Committee

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.

My Resignation


I write to you today to inform you that I will be resigning from my position as Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner of Single-Member District 2B02. I am relocating to Petworth, where I have recently purchased a home. While I am very excited to be a homeowner and to remain here in the District, I am also sad that I have to leave the community I have called home for over 10 years now.

As Commissioner, I have been fortunate enough to play a role in a number of important changes and developments across Dupont Circle. Before I resign, I want to take this opportunity to thank you, my community and supporters, and reflect upon some of the things that we have accomplished together.

I must give thanks to the dedicated public servants in District government for their tireless efforts to assist me and my fellow Commissioners as we work to make neighborhood services operate smoothly and to keep Dupont Circle a destination for locals and tourists alike. My Single-Member District has benefited the diligent efforts of folks like Matthew Marcou at the District Department of Transportation, as well as Ruth Werner, and Sherri Kimbel; two of the truly outstanding staff members of Councilmember Jack Evans.

I would also like to voice my appreciation to those at the Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Administration (ABRA), with whom I have worked very closely in my capacity as ABRA Committee Chair with the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC). I am grateful for the assistance of Fred Moosally, Martha Jenkins, Bill Hager, LaVerne Fletcher, and Sarah Fashbaugh for their continued assistance in helping the ANC on alcohol policy matters ranging from small questions about the particulars of a Settlement Agreement to briefings on moratoria.

My appreciation also extends to the outstanding community groups I have worked with throughout my term, including Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets, Golden Triangle Business Improvement District, and Dupont Festival. Each makes vital contributions to our neighborhood and its unique character.

I am extremely appreciative to have had the opportunity to work with a number of talented Commissioners during the past three and half years. During my first term, I was able to serve with the support of long-time community leaders such as Bob and Susan Meehan, Victor Wexler, and Phil Carney. The guidance of Ramon Estrada on ABRA matters has proven to be invaluable; Jack Jacobson’s dedicated work ethic and focus is something I have strived to emulate during my two terms; and, I owe my initial interest in running for this position to the mentorship of Mike Silverstein and Mike Feldstein.

To my current colleagues, I could not be more proud to work with you. I know that under the leadership of my friend Will Stephens this Commission has and will continue to set the standard for the rest of the District. I could not possibly be more optimistic about the range of talents and experience my newer colleagues Leo Dwyer, Stephanie Maltz, Kishan Putta, Abigail Nichols, and Noah Smith bring to Dupont Circle. I am excited to watch them excel and regret that I will not have the opportunity to continue to work with them on the vast array of projects we have undertaken.

Over the past three and a half years, we have worked together to improve our neighborhood and make it a better place to live. I am proud to have helped bring more bicycle parking and bikeshare stations to my neighborhood; established model standards for businesses and residents to follow with regard to both public space and Settlement Agreement negotiation; led the discussions allowing for increasing restaurant licenses both on P Street and 17th Street; helped establish new rules and guidelines to improve the governance of our ANC; and supported progressive zoning and historic preservation guidelines to support the future growth of the District.

Finally, I would like to show my appreciation to my 2B02 constituents that I have tried my best to serve over the course of my terms. To the folks at The August apartment building where I have lived these past 10 years: thank you for your continued support and encouragement. To the folks I have worked with on different projects ranging from liquor matters, to zoning, and transportation (Karyn Siobhan Robinson, Peg Shaw, Alan Rueckgauer, Jonathan Padget, Rudi Riet, and far too many more) thank you for your passion and commitment to making our neighborhood a better place.

At the conclusion of our May 14th meeting, I will formally tender my resignation. With my absence on the Commission, I will be nominating our outstanding public policy intern and ANC2B02 resident Daniel Warwick to serve as liaison to the ANC until my replacement is elected. I encourage you to reach out to him and introduce yourself; I know that he will serve our community well.

Thank you for your time and for allowing me to serve. Know that I will always remain an active advocate for the well-being of my community District-wide, and that I look forward to working alongside you to help make the District of Columbia a better place for all of its residents.

All the best,

Kevin O’Connor

April 2014 ABRA Policy Committee Agenda

Agenda for the April 16, 2014 Meeting of the ABRA Policy Committee

  • Discussion about including “Soft Closings” in Policies and Procedures Manual
  • Thoughts on Progress of Noise Task Force
  • Follow-up on Councilmember Graham’s “ABC Establishment Promoter Licensing Act of 2014″
  • Protest Updates
    • Bistro Bistro (2B01)
    • Midtown (2B05)
    • Dirty Martini (2B05)
    • Rose Bar (2B05)
    • Public Bar (2B06)
    • 18th St Lounge (2B06)
    • Bar Code (2B05)
    • Chi-Cha Lounge (2B08)

NEWS: Minutes from the March 19, 2014 ABRA Policy Committee

Committee Members In Attendance:

Commissioner Kevin O’Connor (2B02)

Commissioner Noah Smith (2B09)

Discussion on March 10th Public Safety Meeting 

The meeting, over all, was successful. Several follow-up items were identified.

1)   Work with business to lobby ABRA/Council to institute a liaison to businesses. The ANC will work to promote this position and help over come the “us versus them” mentality that can arise between neighbors, the ANC, and business owners.

2)   Work with Police around the timing and outreach of the Club Action Team (CAT). Try to promote use of the CAT on Sundays.

3)   The ANC should move to show more support for soft closings. This will help alleviate the noise issues that arise from all bars releasing patrons at the same time

Based on initial conversations, the ANC believes the ABRA/DCRA/MPD Noise Task Force has helped successfully mitigate noise south of Dupont Circle

ABC Establishment Promoter Licensing Act of 2014

The Committee was not clear as to what, in particular, the proposed legislation would adequately address. It is unclear what the objective would be.

Additionally, the Committee was concerned about the narrow scope of the proposed legislation, which wouldn’t apply to many categories of promoting that may or may not be bad actors.

The legislation focuses more on registration and less on distinguishing good versus bad behavior.

The Committee does not believe that the legislation will address “morphing.”

The Committee recommends establishing a voluntary registration process for promoters, where promoters may voluntarily take the initiative to register with ABRA. This may make a promoter more attractive to businesses hiring, which would offer an incentive to register. There should also be training offered to promoters, which should have specific components that have been developed by ABRA, business owners, promoters, and community input.

Protest Updates

Midtown (2B05): April 2014 protest date, near agreement on Settlement Agreement

Dirty Martini (2B05): April 2014 protest, near agreement on Settlement Agreement

Rose Bar (2B05): Protested as of 2/18/2014, near agreement on Settlement Agreement

Public Bar (2B06): Settlement Agreement agreed upon by all parties

18th St Lounge (2B06): Protest re-instated at March 2014 Meeting

Bar Code (2B05): still negotiating over use of public space – April 2014 protests date

Bar Charley (2B08): Settlement Agreement signed by all parties.

Chi-Cha Lounge (2B08): Awaiting update


NEWS: March 2014 ABRA Policy Committee Meeting Agenda

Agenda for the March 19, 2014 Meeting of the ABRA Policy Committee

  • Debrief: Thoughts/Next Steps from the March 10, 2014 Public Safety Meeting
  • Discussion of Councilmember Graham’s “ABC Establishment Promoter Licensing Act of 2014”
  • Protest Updates
    • Bistro Bistro (2B01)
    • Midtown (2B05)
    • Dirty Martini (2B05)
    • Rose Bar (2B05)
    • Public Bar (2B06)
    • 18th St Lounge (2B06)
    • Bar Code (2B05)
    • Chi-Cha Lounge (2B08)

NEWS: Public Safety Meeting 3/10/2014 7pm

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B and the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District will host a public safety meeting Monday night, March 10th at 7pm at the Embassy Row Hotel, 2015 Massachusetts Ave NW.

The meeting is in response to a series of violent crimes in the area south of Dupont Circle and other nightlife areas in DC. Residents and officials will be briefed on recent incidents and steps being taken to ensure public safety.

Representatives of the Metropolitan Police Department will take part, along with the Director of the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. Other District officials will also be there.

The primary focus of the meeting will be public safety, but there will also be an update on steps being taken to enforce the District’s noise laws.

NEWS: Minutes from the Feb. 19, 2014 ABRA Policy Committee

Committee Members In Attendance:

Commissioner Kevin O’Connor (2B02)

Commissioner Abigail Nichols (2B05)

Commissioner Noah Smith (2B09)

Ruth Horn, Dupont Circle Citizens Association Representative

Discussion on Proposed Public Safety Meeting 

Discussion focused on where a public safety meeting should be held

Commissioner Nichols strongly believed meeting should be held within “club central”

Questions were focused on to whom the main audience of the meeting will be

It was decided that notice of the meeting should go to Jefferson Place, Palladium, and N St Follies

Invitations should be extended to MPD, ABRA, and the Golden Triangle BID

The Committee agreed to ask about the following at the meeting:

Ask if the ANC can provide support by asking MPD to extend support to the Club Action Team to Sunday.

Propose that the ANC support increasing the funding for additional ABRA investigators

Ask Golden Triangle BID to conduct additional outreach to property owners where nightclubs are located.

Protest Updates

Bistro Bistro (2B01): Lost standing and currently seeking reinstatement

Fireplace (2B02): Protest drop, reimbursable detail has been reinstated, will work with DDOT on use of public space. Public Safety meeting with MPD forthcoming.

Midtown (2B05): April 2014 protest date, near agreement on Settlement Agreement

Dirty Martini (2B05): April 2014 protest, near agreement on Settlement Agreement

Rose Bar (2B05): Protested as of 2/18/2014, near agreement on Settlement Agreement

Public Bar (2B06): Settlement Agreement agreed upon by all parties

18th St Lounge (2B06): replacarded on 2/21

Bar Code (2B05): still negotiating over use of public space – April 2014 protests date

Bar Charley (2B08): close to a Settlement Agreement with all parties

Chi-Cha Lounge (2B08): Awaiting update

Additional Items

Commissioner O’Connor will survey members about changing meeting times for future meetings.

NEWS: 17th Street Moratorium

On September 24, 2010 the District Council approved final rulemaking continuing the 17th Street moratorium. The moratorium, initially established in 1990, creates a set of restrictions on the number and types of alcoholic beverage licenses that can be permitted within its boundaries.

These boundaries are defined in the statute as:

“the area bounded by a line beginning at New Hampshire Avenue and S Street, N.W.; continuing east on S Street, N.W., to 17th Street, N.W.; continuing south on 17th Street, N.W., to Riggs Place, N.W.; continuing east on Riggs Place, N.W., to 16th Street, N.W.; continuing south on 16th Street, N.W., to P Street, N.W.; continuing west on P Street, N.W., to 18th Street, N.W.; continuing north on 18th Street, N.W., to New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.; and continuing northeast on New Hampshire Avenue, N.W. to S Street, N.W.”

Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 3.56.15 PM

Within that area the following license restrictions are in place:

License Type

Number Allowed Under Moratorium

Class A (liquor stores)


Class B (grocery stores)


Class CR or DR (restaurant)


Class CT or DT (tavern)


Class CN or DN (nightclub)


Class CX or DX (special purpose)


Since it’s creation in 1990, the moratorium has been renewed four times: in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010.  It is currently set to expire September 2013.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B is currently soliciting feedback about the future of the moratorium. Ultimately the Commission may take one of three courses of action with regards to the moratorium: take no action and allow the moratorium to expire, propose a continuation of the existing moratorium, or propose a new moratorium with different conditions.

To make help in our decision, we are soliciting public comments on the moratorium. There are several ways to share your thoughts with us.

We are holding several listening sessions:

All meetings are held at the Chastleton Ballroom (1701 16th Street NW) at 7pm

Additionally, you may submit your comments via email to:


East Dupont Circle Moratorium Zone Final Rulemaking (2010)


For community reference and deliberation, ANC2B has compiled a list of all current licensees in the existing Moratorium zone.

The document can be found here.


NEWS: Draft Resolution on the Proposed 14th and U Moratorium

ANC2B will present the below resolution at its regular meeting on May 8 at 7pm at the Brookings Institution (1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW).

We encourage interested individuals to contact their Commissioners to share their thoughts on the proposed Resolution in advance of the meeting on May 8. ANC2B has hosted and co-hosted several listening sessions on this topic, but we continue to welcome community feedback prior to our vote. Unfortunately, due to the ANC schedule there will only be a limited time to debate the matter at the meeting.

For more information on the proposed moratorium, we encourage you to read about the proposal, put forth by the Shaw-Dupont Citizen Alliance here (via Borderstan).

Three other ANCs have voted on the matter as well. ANC6E and ANC1B do not have resolutions available online. ANC 2F’s resolution is here.

Feel free to leave your comments below or contact your Commissioner directly.

Here is the text of the Resolution:

Dupont Circle ANC 2B
Proposed Resolution on a Liquor License Moratorium Petition in the

14th and U Street Corridor

To Be Considered at the May 8, 2013 Meeting of ANC 2B

  WHEREAS, The Shaw-Dupont Citizens Alliance on December 10, 2012, petitioned the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board of the District of Columbia (“ABC Board”) seeking to establish a moratorium on the issuance of new retailer-class liquor licensees, including restaurants, taverns, nightclubs, and caterers; and

  WHEREAS, The proposed moratorium would encompass a zone extending within the boundaries of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B (“ANC 2B”); and

  WHEREAS, The written advice of ANC 2B, as an affected ANC, must be accorded “Great Weight” by the ABC Board, pursuant to section 13(d)(3) of the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions Act of 1975; and

  WHEREAS, The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has scheduled a hearing on the petition on May 22, 2013 and has solicited formal comments from affected ANCs; and

  WHEREAS, ANC 2B has discussed and received public comments on the proposed moratorium at a joint listening session held March 20, 2013 with ANCs 1B and 2F, a further listening session hosted by ANC 2B’s ABRA Policy Committee on April 17, 2013, an ABRA Policy Committee meeting on May 1, 2013, and a full ANC 2B meeting on May 8, 2013 – in addition to individual and online community outreach between Commissioners and constituents; and

  WHEREAS, based on these discussions, ANC 2B believes that overall community sentiment is opposed to the moratorium, including residents within and outside of the proposed moratorium zone; and

  WHEREAS, ANC 2B has two liquor license moratoria in its boundaries and has a unique perspective on the effectiveness, including positive or negative outcomes, that a moratorium may have; and

  WHEREAS, ANC 2B believes there is insufficient evidence that a new moratorium will positively impact rates of crime, noise, parking concerns, and other issues; and

  WHERAS, ANC 2B believes a moratorium under existing law is a blunt tool that does not allow petitioners to request more reasonable boundaries; and

 WHEREAS, ANC 2B believes that current tools exist, and other creative solutions should be pursued, to address the concerns raised in the petition, including enforcement of the existing ARTS Overlay, use of Settlement Agreements, encouraging reimbursable police details and specialized police units in the area, and a series of dedicated taxi stands; and

WHEREAS, ANC 2B acknowledges the negative impacts that accompany the growth of liquor licenses in our area; and

WHEREAS, ANC 2B sees positive steps the community should take to address those impacts, including ensuring a well-functioning Advisory Neighborhood Commission and ABC Board with the authority to appropriately punish delinquent licensees; and

WHEREAS, ANC2B has previously been very successful in utilizing these tools, such as Settlement Agreements, to help ensure that the needs of residents are appropriately balanced with the desires of the business community to effectively manage noise, public safety, and parking concerns; and

WHEREAS, A new moratorium would be a market-distorting mechanisms that would unfairly advantage incumbent businesses by transforming liquor licenses within the moratorium zone into commodities that may cost tens of thousands of dollars, pricing local entrepreneurs out of the market; and

WHEREAS, Moratoria treat all liquor-licensed establishments the same and do not distinguish among types of licenses and between good and bad actors, rather than allowing the ANC and the ABC Board the opportunity to consider each potential application on its own merits; and

WHEREAS, ANC 2B believes that many of the new businesses, including liquor-licensed establishments in the proposed moratorium zone have been welcome and positive additions to the 14th and U Street neighborhood; and

WHEREAS, There has been strong collaboration among ANC’s 2B, 1B, 2F, and 6E throughout the new moratorium petition process and all ANC’s have come to similar to conclusions regarding the proposed moratorium; and

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, that ANC 2B advise the ABC Board to reject in its entirety the pending petition to create a retail liquor license moratorium zone in the Historic 14th and U Street Corridor and to decline to move forward with any rule-making process to effectuate such a moratorium zone; and

Be it FURTHER RESOLVED, That ANC 2B recommit itself to working with District agencies, the City Council, the Metropolitan Police Department, residents, the business community, neighboring ANCs and other stakeholders to improve the enforcement of all applicable laws and regulations governing liquor licensees and potential community impacts, and to seek changes in such laws and regulations, where deemed advisable; and
Be it FURTHER RESOLVED, ANC2B strongly urges the Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Administration to develop a formal and transparent process with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the Office of Zoning to enforce the existing ARTS Overlay in the neighborhood.

NEWS: Liquor License Renewal Season!

Over the course of the coming months, ANC2B will be reviewing the Alcohol licenses for all restaurant licenses within our boundaries. This includes both DR (Beer and Wine) and CR (Spirits, Beer and Wine) licenses across all nine single-member districts.

This is the community’s opportunity to weigh-in and review the establishments located in our neighborhood. As Commissioners, we review each of the establishments to see if they have notable incidents on their ABRA compliance history and gather input from our neighbors as well.

As you can tell, the list below is quite extensive and covers a lot of establishments. It may be difficult for each of us to keep tabs on any issues that may exist with a particular establishment. We strongly suggest that you notify your Commissioner about any issues you may have in advance of our meeting so that your thoughts may be weighed during our consideration of each license.

We will post a new list each month as the renewals come in to us.

First Set: Renewal of CR (restaurant full bar) licenses:

Petition date 4/29/13; Hearing date 5/13/13

  1. Alero Restaurant, 1724 Conn Ave NW (2B01)
  2. Thai Chef, 1712 Conn Ave NW (2B01)
  3. City Lights of China, 1731 Conn Ave NW (2B01)
  4. Food Corner Kabob, 2029 P St NW (2B02)
  5. Scion Restaurant, 2100 P St NW (2B02)
  6. Kramerbooks & Afterwards Café, 1517 Conn Ave NW (2B03)
  7. Dupont Italian Kitchen, 1637 17th St NW (2B04)
  8. Mari Vanna Restaurant, 1141 Conn Ave NW (2B05)
  9. The Meeting Place, 1707 L St NW (2B05)
  10. Trattu, 1823 Jefferson Pl NW (2B06)
  11. Sichuan Pavilion, 1814 K St NW (2B06)
  12. The Palm, 1225 19th St NW (2B06)
  13. Bertucci’s, 1218 Conn Ave NW (2B06)
  14. Otello, 1329 Conn Ave NW (2B07)
  15. Café Citron, 1343 Conn Ave NW (2B07)
  16. Kababji, 1351 Conn Ave NW (2B07)
  17. Selam Restaurant, 1524 U St NW (2B09)

Petition date 5/6/13; Hearing date 5/20/13

  1. Mandu, 1805 18th St NW (2B01)
  2. Pesce, 2002 P St NW (2B02)
  3. Ping Pong, 1 Dupont Circle NW (2B02)
  4. Raku, 1900 Q St NW (2B03)
  5. McCormick & Schmick, 1652 K St NW (2B05)
  6. Vapiano, 1800 M St NW (2B06)
  7. Nooshi, 1120 19th St NW (2B06)
  8. Vidalia, 1990 M St NW (2B06)

Second Set: Renewal of DR (restaurant beer/wine only) licenses (Petition date 5/6/13; Hearing date 5/20/13):

  1. Zorba Cafe, 1612 20th St NW (2B02)
  2. Loeb’s Deli, 1712 I St NW (2B06)

Third Set: Renewal of CX (multi-purpose) licenses (Petition date 5/6/13; Hearing date 5/20/13):

  1. Art Jamz, 1728 Conn Ave NW (2B01)
  2. Washington Post, 1150 15th St NW (2B05)

Fourth Set: Renewal of C (hotel) licenses:

Petition date 4/29/13; Hearing date 5/13/13

  1. Hilton Washington Embassy Row Hotel, 2015 Mass Ave NW (2B02)
  2. Tabard Inn, 1739 N St NW (2B05)

Petition date 5/6/13; Hearing date 5/20/13

  1. Courtyard by Marriott, 1600 Rhode Island Ave NW (2B05)

Fifth Set: Renewal of C (club) licenses:

Petition date 4/29/13; Hearing date 5/13/13

  1. Cosmos Club, 2121 Mass Ave NW (2B02)

Petition date 5/6/13; Hearing date 5/20/13

  1. Sulgrave Club, 1801 Mass Ave NW (2B07)