Tag Archives: ABRA

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.

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.