Archive for the ‘ABRA’ category

Progress at Union Drinkery

September 15, 2015

At the end of December I posted details and plans about Union Drinkery, a new tavern that was in the works for 3214-3216 Georgia Avenue. Earlier this summer there were a number of questions about if this establishment was still planning to come to the neighborhood. As I understand it, the snag was with getting permits from DCRA. This hurdle has been cleared and anyone walking past the place will clearly see that work has commenced (see photos below).

Union Drinkery is planned to have capacity for 86 patrons inside on the first and second levels and a rear summer garden with capacity for 63 patrons. A separate but complimentary fast casual type of business will be located next door.

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Joselyn Restaurant Applies for Liquor License

July 20, 2015
Joselyn Restaurant, at 3303 Georgia Avenue.

Joselyn Restaurant, at 3303 Georgia Avenue.

The new Joselyn Restaurant, Bar & Lounge at 3303 Georgia Avenue recently applied for a liquor license and placards are currently posted. According to the placard, the restaurant serves Italian and Latin cuisine. The application also includes an entertainment endorsement to accommodate Latin dance lessons. The hours of operation for live entertainment will be 6 pm to 1 am, Sunday through Saturday.

While the ABRA application is new, Joselyn has been open for a little while. It is located between the Post Office and the former Mothership on Georgia Avenue.

Hush Lounge Denied Liquor License

June 1, 2015
3124 Georgia Avenue, NW

3124 Georgia Avenue, NW, where Hush Lounge is hoping to locate.

On Friday, May 29, I learned that Hush Lounge’s Liquor License application had been denied by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. We first learned of Hush’s intentions to move into 3124 Georgia Avenue back in November 2014. During that time, I introduced a protest that was unanimously supported by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A as the business sounded like a club more so than a tavern as it listed an entertainment endorsement, cover charge, and dancing. This seemed like a prudent course of action that would also allow Rashida Brown, the Commissioner-elect for Single Member District 1A10 to take office and work with her community to address concerns.

As it turns out, the precaution turned out to be well worthwhile as there were several serious problems with the application, and another local business associated with the applicant had known problems including operating with an expired license and disorderly patrons. However, in reading the full Board Order denying Hush’s applicaiton, the problems go deeper than this.

The introduction of the Board Order reads:

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (Board) hereby denies the Application for a New Retailer’s Class CT License filed by Anyado Hospitality Group, LLC, tla Hush Restaurant & Lounge, (hereinafter “Applicant” or “Hush”) for the following reasons: First, Mr. Nwaeze is unfit for licensure under District of Columbia (D.C.) Official Code § 25-301, because, as the owner of Taste, he illegally transferred the license to a new owner in violation of §§ 25-301(a)(5) and 25-405, and filed a false renewal application in violation of § 25-401(c). Second, the Board finds the Application inappropriate under D.C. Official Code § 25-313, because Mr. Nwaeze’s actions as the owner of Taste demonstrate that he cannot properly superintend a licensed establishment. Therefore, the Application is denied.

While the liquor license was denied, the Anyado Group is still under a lease agreement at 3124 Georgia Avenue. It is too early to know what, if anything, that may mean. None-the-less, the 11 hour protest hearing that resulted in the Board Order was epic, with Commissioner Rashida Brown representing the community and ANC 1A. She did a stellar job on this protest and is to be commended for her hard work and dedication.

 

Petworth Liquors’ Liquor License Up for Renewal

March 20, 2015

Petworth Liquors(Petworth Liquors, at 3210 Georgia)

Knowing that residents have had concerns about Petworth Liquors in the past, I thought people would like to know that the license is currently up for renewal. The notice that will be posted today is below:

Petworth  Liquors renewal

Notes from Ward 1 Town Hall Meeting and Its Focus on DCRA

February 27, 2015

Orange Nadeau Town Hall(Councilmembers Orange and Nadeau conferring before the meeting began)

On Thursday, February 26, Councilmembers Brianne Nadeau and Vincent Orange hosted a Ward 1 town hall meeting for community members to ask questions related to their oversight role on the Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. The agencies present at the town hall were Employment Services, the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), the Public Service Commission, The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), and the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD). There were roughly 60 people in attendance at the start of the meeting, including Councilmember staff and ANC commissioners.

After opening remarks, Councilmember Nadeau brought the meeting to order. Questions had to be submitted in writing, allowing like questions to be grouped together. No questions were submitted for Employment Services, the Public Service Committee, or the Department of Small and Local Business Development. Residents were primarily interested in DCRA and ABRA.

The questions for DCRA were first — and none of them were positive. Repeatedly residents and ANC Commissioners spoke about DCRA’s unresponsiveness and failure to address issues. ANC 1A06 Commissioner Patrick Flynn stated that he had never had a positive experience with DCRA, whether dealing with them as a resident, small business owner, or Commissioner. He continued by sharing an experience with a problem property in his community which had squatters living in it and frequent calls for service — a situation that in the end resulted in MPD taking charge after the property was set on fire. ANC 1C05 Commissioner Alan Gambrell asked for clarification on how building permits were issued for additions larger than allowed based on square footage requirements, and more importantly for justification on how the square footage was measured and formerly measured areas became areas not measured when calculating additions.

In every instance, DCRA’s response to the community was wanting. Whether responding to the resident who’s house was damaged by the development next door, or the gentlemen wanting to know what protections and assistance exist for residents when their building contractors don’t deliver on the project they’ve been hired to do, DCRA was unable to satisfactorily respond to a single question without redirecting to a phone number or asking the person to stay after the meeting for a personal conversation.

After questions were finished for DCRA, easily half of those in attendance left the meeting. Much less time was devoted to ABRA, and the questions that were asked were more of the type of residents seeking to know more about a process. Unlike the experience with DCRA, ABRA Director Fred Moosally answered questions well and was clearly knowledgeable of his agency and its operations. One of the more interesting questions that was asked of ABRA was why citizens returning to the community after serving a sentence were banned  from applying for a liquor license for 10 years. The concern was that 10 years was excessive, which Director Moosally stated could be revisited to see if the duration was still deemed appropriate to the original concern. Another interesting question was asked by Denis James of the Kalorama Citizens’ Association. James questioned the appropriateness of MPD officers serving on Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), and how that association may bias the ABRA Board  during a hearing.

Overall, the general impression from the meeting is that DCRA has lost the community’s confidence. I also doubt that there will be any concrete improvements that come out of the meeting … but then again, only time will tell.

Town Hall Meeting on Thursday Focusing on DCRA and ABRA

February 23, 2015

Do you have any questions you’d like to ask directly to the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and the DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA)? If so, then Thursday, February 26th is a good opportunity. Councilmembers Nadeau and Orange are hosting a town hall meeting to do just that at the Reeves Municipal Center.

Details from their official announcment below:

Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau invites you to a Town Hall meeting with Councilmember Vincent Orange, Chair of the Council’s Business Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Committee (BCRA), to discuss issues before the committee.

What: Ward 1 Town Hall on Business and Consumer Regulatory Affairs with Councilmember Vincent Orange and Councilmember Brianne Nadeau
When: February 26, 2014 from 6:30pm-8:00pm
Where: Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center (2000 14th Street NW)

Attendees will be invited to submit questions for representatives on hand from both the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. They will cover issues such as permits, inspections, alcohol licensing, noise abatement, landlord violations and construction.

In addition, the town hall meeting will focus on other matters that are before the committee such as wage theft, employment, and the Certified Business Enterprise program.

DCRA Town Hall

More Details About Union Drinkery, Coming to 3216 Georgia Avenue

December 31, 2014
Three new businesses are coming to 3212-3216 Georgia Avenue

Three new businesses are coming to 3212-3216 Georgia Avenue

Last week I posted that a new tavern was in the works for 3216 Georgia Avenue and that the ABRA license placard had been posted. The name of the business is Union Drinkery and is planned to have capacity for 86 patrons inside and a rear summer garden with capacity for 63 patrons. I now have a few more details about the property that I’m able to share.

The building in question is three storefronts at 3212-3216 Georgia Avenue. Union Drinkery will be located on the first floor of the northernmost building (3216) and on the second floor of 3214 and 3216 Georgia Avenue. The first floor of the other two storefronts will contain fast casual eating establishments, but will not serve alcohol — explaining why they are not part of the ABRA application. The photo below outlines where Union Drinkery will be located.

Union Drinkery outline(Union Drinkery will be located on both levels of 3216 Georgia and the second floor of 3214 Georgia — outlined above)

Below are floor plans that will also give an idea of what to expect.

Union Drinkery first floor(First floor plan showing location of Union Drinkery (outlined in red) and areas where fast casual dining will be located (outlined in green))

Union Drinkery second floor(Second floor plan showing area to be part of Union Drinkery, outlined in red).

I’ll continue to post more details as I learn more about Union Drinkery, and the two other businesses.


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