Posted tagged ‘ABRA’

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.

 

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

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.’

Hush

New Business Moving into Former MaMa’s Southern Cuisine Space

March 3, 2014
MaMa's C

The former MaMa’s Southern Cuisine at 3118 Georgia Avenue.

The former MaMa’s Southern Cuisine space is in the process of becoming a new business that will offer coffee, small plates, and ping pong. According to an ABRA Notice of Public Hearing notice that was issued on February 28th, Colony Club, LLC, has applied for a Class “C” Tavern license for 3118 Georgia Avenue. In addition to the aforementioned focus of the business, the application also lists that there will be a Summer Garden, alcoholic beverages, and entertainment from DJs and musicians.

The applicants hours of operation from their application are listed below:

Colony Club Proposed Hours

(The full ABRA notice is available here)

Petworth Liquors Moving to 3213 Georgia Avenue, Applies to Expand Hours

June 24, 2013
(Click for larger version)

(Click for larger version)

If the June 21, 2013, issue of the DC Register is to be believed, it looks like Petworth Liquors will be moving to the east side of Georgia Avenue into 3213 Georgia Avenue. Since 3213 is the address for the Tibet Shop, I can only take that to mean that Tibet Shop is leaving that location.

I’d started to wonder when Petworth Liquors sold their building at 3210 Georgia if perhaps they’d be moving back to Petworth, but I guess they’ve grown accustomed to their current section of Georgia. In looking over the Notice of Public Hearing, I also see that they’ve listed their hours of operation as:

  • Sunday 11am- 7pm; Monday through Thursday 9am-10pm and Friday & Saturday 9am-12am

These hours of operation would be a significant expansion of their current hours, which are Monday-Thursday until 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday until 10 p.m., and no Sunday hours. I’m checking with ABRA to see if Petworth Liquors’ existing Settlement Agreement would transfer to the new location as well (which I would presume to be the case), which would mean that their Settlement Agreement would need to be amended befor the expanded hours of operation could be implemented.

I’d appreciate any feedback residents have about this business, particularly with their interest to expand their hours of operation.

Petworth Liquor, located at 3210 Georgia.

Petworth Liquor, located at 3210 Georgia.

Gee’s Market Has Business License Revoked

March 15, 2013
Gee's Market is located on the southeast corner of Warder Street and Otis Place.

Gee’s Market is located on the southeast corner of Warder Street and Otis Place.

Readers may recall that on February 22nd, officers with the Third Police District made a significant seizure of 50 pounds of KHAT as well as several cartons of cigarettes not authorized to be sold in the District of Columbia at Gee’s Market (3583 Warder Street, NW).

As a follow up, late yesterday MPD’s Commander Kimberly Chisley-Missouri sent out an email that informed the community that due to MPD’s efforts working with other DC Government agencies, the business license of Gee’s Market was revoked earlier in the day. Her email continued: “There has been several community complaints regarding this establishment and we will continue to work with our partnering agencies as this case makes its way through the judicial process.”

In related news, at the March 13th ANC 1A meeting, the Commissioners voted unanimously to request that Gee’s liquor license be revoked. This request was made due to the business’s history of infractions and its location across the street form both an elementary school and recreation center.

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