Archive for the ‘ABRA’ category

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.

Hush Restaurant & Lounge Applies for Liquor License at 3124 Georgia Avenue

November 13, 2014
3124 Georgia Avenue, NW.

3124 Georgia Avenue, NW.

Here’s a new liquor license application that I was alerted to late yesterday afternoon — a Tavern license (Class “C”) for 3124 Georgia Avenue. The applicant is Anyado Hospitality Group, LLC dba Hush Restaurant & Lounge. The placards will go up on the building on Friday according to the official notice.

While Georgia Avenue has a number of successful businesses operating on a tavern license — including DC Reynolds and Looking Glass Lounge — in reading the notice, Hush Restaurant sounds more like a nightclub.  The brief description on the nature of the business lists “Tavern specializing in intercontinental food with seating capacity of 250 and total occupancy of 350. Summer garden with 100 seats. Entertainment endorsement to include cover charge and dancing.”

Due to this, ANC 1A voted unanimously to oppose this ABRA application until we’ve had enough time to engaged both the business owner and the community to better understand how this business will impact the community. It is also an opportunity to enter into a Settlement Agreement should that the be correct path forward.

A copy of the public notice is below.’


Redevelopment of 619 Newton Damages 617 Newton Place, NW

October 29, 2014
619 Newton Pl, NW, as it looked in April, 2013.

619 Newton Pl, NW, as it looked in April, 2013.

The property at 619 Newton Place, NW, has long been a troubled property. For the last couple of years, it was vacant and blighted. When it finally looked like it would be developed a year and a half ago, progress was slow. After much of the building was demolished, a Stop Work Order was issued on March 26, 2014, leaving nothing but the front facade on standing.

DCRA finally issued a permit on September 4, 2014 allowing for the remaining structure to be razed and full scale excavation ensued. Now, I’ve learned that on Monday, October 27th, the adjoining house at 617 Newton Place has been imperiled by the project and the residents of 617 have been informed that their house is unsafe to enter.

619 617 Newton Place(The work-site at 619 Newton showing 617 Newton beyond. The porch is clearly being propped up.)

Thus far, I’ve reached out to both Councilmember Graham’s office and DCRA trying to find out more about this situation. I’m critically concerned to find out what is being done to repair the neighboring property and find out if the residents of 617 Newton are alright and have shelter. I’m deeply disturbed and angered by the thought of anyone being displaced from their residence for any reason, but even more so due to the work of a developer that has already exceeded the scope of their permits at least once.

Danger sticker on front of 617 Newton Place, NW.

Danger sticker on front of 617 Newton Place, NW.

In retrospect, I’m not particularly surprised that a problem arose on this site. The original building permits for this duplex were issued on March 14, 1893, making this structure one of the oldest buildings remaining in Park View. Based on the exposed wall, this wood frame structure appears to have central brick columns in the center that would have been part of a shared support for both structures.

I’ve yet to get a detailed summary/response from DCRA on this, but am definitely pressing them for a solution. Based on the DCRA Property Information Verification System, the developer is listed as EDGE Investment LLC and is based out of Bowie, MD.


Petworth Safeway ABRA Placards Go Up Today

March 21, 2014

It’s official, the ABRA placards for the coming Petworth Safeway will be posted today. Below is the Notice of Public Hearing for those that want to read it, want to know when the petition and hearing dates are, or what to know when the hours of sales and service will be.

Safeway ANC 4C

Update on Petworth Safeway Beer & Wine Sales and Opening Date

March 18, 2014
 3830 Georgia Avenue NW -- future home of the Petworth Safeway.

3830 Georgia Avenue NW — future home of the Petworth Safeway.

Nearly a year ago, there was a discussion on the Petworth listserv on whether or not the new Petworth Safeway should be able to sell beer and wine. In 1999, the D.C. Council imposed a citywide moratorium on new Class B licenses – which allow beer and wine sales – to discourage loitering and public drunkenness. The council later carved out an exemption, but only for new “full-service grocery stores,” or those undergoing “substantial” renovation – requirements this Safeway would seem to meet. The problem for the new safeway, however, is that another, more recent, moratorium restricts Class B licenses in nearly all of Ward 4. The moratorium does not include the exemption for grocery stores. So, absent Council action the Petworth Safeway would not be allowed to sell beer and wine. In April 2013, when I polled readers about this, there was overwhelming support for the new Safeway to sell beer and wine.

Last week, Petworth resident Joe Martin provided an encouraging follow up on the Petworth listserv to last year’s discussion. According to Martin, last week the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board gave the new Petworth Safeway a green light to proceed with its beer-and-wine license application. Martin’s posting continued:

There had been some delay in the process while the Safeway corporation satisfied the Board’s administrative questions over the past few months, i.e. provision of architectural plans and meeting the legal definition of a grocery store.

Craig Muckle from Safeway’s public relations division appeared before ANC 4C [on March 12th … and] stated that the Petworth Safeway plans to open in three-to-four months and that the store can open even while construction continues above it, having done so in other development projects.

Muckle noted that the Safeway will open an office in Petworth in advance of the store opening for the purpose of accepting job applications and interviewing qualified applicants. He stated Safeway hopes to hire a considerable number of area residents and that employees of the previous Safeway will be considered for positions with the new Petworth Safeway. Muckle stated that the new Safeway will create over 200 jobs at the Petworth location.

Placards will soon appear on the building announcing the date for an ABC Board hearing on the beer-and-wine license application for a Retailer B license, #93822. The Retailer B classification permits grocery stores and wholesalers to sell beer and wine.

Once ABRA posts the application placards I’ll post additional details for residents who want to express support or opposition to this license.

Correction to Sweet Mango Entertainment Endorsement Application

January 30, 2014
Sweet Mango, at 3701 New Hampshire Ave.

Sweet Mango, at 3701 New Hampshire Ave.

Here’s an update to the post last week about Sweet Mango applying for an entertainment endorsement. In reviewing the corrected notice of public hearing (below), it appears  that the application will contain dancing and a cover charge.

The original notice of public hearing stated “No dancing or cover charge.” As I stated last week, I’ll keep my ears open for additional details on this application.

Sweet Mango Correction

Sweet Mango Cafe Applies for an Entertainment Endorsement

January 23, 2014
Sweet Mango Cafe, located at 3701 New Hampshire Ave. NW.

Sweet Mango Cafe, located at 3701 New Hampshire Ave. NW.

I’ve just learned that Sweet Mango Cafe, located at 3701 New Hampshire Avenue (at Georgia &  Rock Creek Church Rd.) has applied for an entertainment endorsement. In reviewing the letter (below) I also noted that dancing and a cover charge will not be permitted as part of this application. (A corrected application issued the following week includes dancing and cover charge).

According to the Notice of Public Hearing, placards should be going up at Sweet Mango on Friday, January 24th, the date for petitions is March 10th, and a hearing date has been scheduled for March 24th.

I don’t yet know any more details about this application, but suspect this will be a topic at an upcoming ANC 4C meeting, so will keep an eye out.

Entertainment endorsement

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