Posted tagged ‘ABRA’

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the community that due to MPD’s efforts working with other DC Government agencies, the business license of Gee’s Market was revoked earlier in the day.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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ABRA in a Nutshell

February 20, 2013

ABRAThe Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, commonly referred to as ABRA, recently held some training sessions for ANC Commissioners. As part of the training, they developed several handouts that I thought the greater community could benefit from. Because liquor licenses tend to be one of the areas residents care about the most (and with ABRA’s permission), I decided to share some of the handouts and information.

Probably the most common question residents have is how to file a complaint. According to the ABRA handout,  there are four ways this can be done.

  1. The ABRA Hotline (202) 329-6347, where calls are answered until 2 a.m. on weekdays and 3 a.m. on weekends;
  2. Calling 311;
  3. Online via the ABRA Website, although this requires navigating the site; and,
  4. Via the DC311 Smartphone App.

One of the most common issues where a complaint might be filed would be a noise complaint. According to ABRA, the penalty for violating § 25-725 is a secondary violation punishable on a sliding scale of fines beginning at $250.00 depending on the number of past violations. In order to merit a violation, the noise must:

  • Be heard inside another premise; and,
  • Be created by instruments, amplification devices, or other devices specifically designed to make noise (i.e., drums, speakers, TVs, radios, microphones)

Settlement AgreementsThe noise cannot be created by unamplified human voices, emergency vehicles, safety signals, alarms, or HVAC systems. Additionally, it is unlawful for a person to make an unreasonably loud noise between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. that is likely to annoy or disturb one or more other persons in their residences. In such cases, ABRA suggests that residents contact MPD for patron noise (i.e., loud patrons exiting the bar or disturbing the neighborhood).

Other nifty handouts supplied by ABRA include a list of what IS and ISN”T enforceable in a Settlement Agreement (see document above), a flowchart of the Protest process that can occur when a new license is applied for, a flowchart of the ABC enforcement process, and a breakdown of penalties.

All in all, I think all of these documents provide a much better and clearer understanding of ABRA and the licensing process than in the past.

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Sweet Mango Has Its Day at ABRA

January 14, 2013
Sweet Mango Cafe, located at 3701 New Hampshire Ave. NW.

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

The Sweet Mango saga that began on August 4th with a kitchen fire seems to finally be drawing to a close. Upon the restaurant’s closure due to the fire, DCRA became involved and worked with Sweet Mango to ensure that recent construction was to code and permitted. Even after the restaurant’s November 28th reopening, there were still issues that needed to be address with ABRA regarding two violations of its Voluntary Agreement and failure to pay taxes in 2011.

Well, the ABRA Show Cause Hearing was held last Wednesday, January 9th, and the results from the hearing are as follows:

As shared on the Petworth listserv:

Violation of Voluntary Agreement, Failed to Obtain Entertainment Endorsement, Failed to File Quarterly Statements (1st and 4th Quarters 2011)

Disposition: The Government amended the Show Cause Notice for Case No. 12-AUD-00030 (Sweet Mango) to drop one charge. The Board accepted an Offer in Compromise: $10,000 to be paid within 60 days ($8,000 for Case No. 12-CMP-00010; $2,000 for Case No. 12-AUD-00030), 5-1 (Jones).

While I agree that voluntary agreements need to be enforced once they have been entered into, I also feel that it is time to review the voluntary agreement in place for Sweet Mango. Their current VA  is between Sweet Mango and ANC 4C, the Petworth Action Committee, and the United Neighborhood Commission. It dates to 2004 making it one of the earliest VA’s in the neighborhood — and I think it reflects its time. When comparing it to VA’s in place with other area businesses, such as Blue Banana, DC Reynolds, or Looking Glass, the one for Sweet Mango includes restrictions — such as a requirement for valet parking — that are neither in those for other Georgia Avenue businesses or all that relevant.

In this instance, I think it’s time to meet with Sweet Mango’s owner, discuss the problem areas with the current VA, and incorporate appropriate changes that are in keeping with other local businesses.

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Final Word on King’s Deli ABRA Liscence

June 8, 2012

King’s Deli & Grocery on the corner of Georgia and Quebec

At the end of April, I reported that King’s Deli’s application to sell beer, wine, and spirits was approved by the ABRA Board.  However, they weren’t yet able to do that because there was no signed Board Order documenting the protest hearing and the outcome of that hearing.

A signed Board Order was expected as early as May 2, 2012, but actually did not get signed until June 6, 2012. In reading over the Order, the most important detail is that the Class A license was issued to King’s with a ban on selling singles in place. The full text of the Order is below:

(Click for larger version)

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Despite Community Protest — King’s Deli Gets Green Light to Sell Beer, Wine, and Spirits

April 27, 2012

King's Deli & Grocery on the corner of Georgia and Quebec

Despite a strong community showing protesting additional liquor licenses on Georgia Avenue, the ABRA Board decided to approve King’s Deli’s (3551 Georgia Avenue) application for a Class A liquor license. Since there isn’t a signed Board Order on the application yet, it isn’t possible to know if there will be any restrictions on the license. One possible restriction could be the prohibition of single sales. A signed Board Order could happen as early as May 2, 2012.

The Class A license will allow King’s to sell beer, wine, and spirits for off site consumption. They began the process of getting this license in September 2011 and drew a significant amount of community opposition, as did the application by Aman Liquor Store (3661 Georgia Ave.) that followed in November 2011.

Because of the decision to grant a Class A license to King’s, the new application for Aman Liquor Store was denied. Below is the text of the decision from ABRA:

Decision: Denied, because under § 25-333(a) “No new off-premises retailers license, class A, shall be issued for an establishment which is located within 400 feet from another establishment operating under an off-premises retailer’s license, class A.”  Because the Board approved King’s Deli & Grocery, which is within 400 feet of Aman Liquor Store, this application must be denied.

Below is a map of area business selling beer and  wine (blue markers) and liquor stores (red markers) in relationship to each other … including the new King’s Deli location. Take note that the area between the Georgia Avenue Metro station and Park Road, NW, now has three full-fledged liquor stores.

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More on Liquor Licenses

December 26, 2011

King's Deli & Grocery on the corner of Georgia and Quebec

One of the things I’ve learned in working on the issue of the Class A liquor license applications for King’s Deli and Amanuel Market is that there is a moratorium on Class B licenses with a few exceptions. As I’ve noted before, Class A licenses allow the sale of beer, wine, and spirits for off-site consumption (liquor stores) whereas Class B licenses allow the sale of beer and wine for off-site consumption (frequently convenience and grocery stores). Class C licenses are for the various types on on-site consumption establishments.

In the case of King’s Deli the moratorium on Class B licenses is in part responsible for their application for a Class A license, which they see as a way around the moratorium. In essence, they want to apply for the A license and have a voluntary agreement provide the necessary restrictions reducing it to a Class B. Personally, I find this a dangerous precedent since there is no guarantee that a license once issued will remain with the same owner over time.

At this time the application by King’s is headed for a full protest hearing and a roll call hearing is scheduled for the Amanuel Market application on Tuesday, December 27th.

Between the staunch opposition to additional Class A licenses in the community and the moratorium on Class B licenses, moving forward the chief issues the Park View community will need to consider with regards to alcohol sales are going to be where bars, taverns, and restaurants are concerned. Here the issue will not be the additional licenses so much as the accompanying voluntary agreements.

But back to the class B moratorium, as I stated above there are a few exceptions that would allow additional establishments on Georgia Avenue.  The DC Code is below with those exceptions.

§ 25-332. Moratorium on class B licenses

(a) No new off-premises retailer’s license, class B, shall be issued.

(b) The moratorium shall have a prospective effect.

(c) This moratorium shall not apply to an applicant for an off-premises retailer’s license, class B, for the sale of alcoholic beverages in an establishment if:

(1) The primary business and purpose is the sale of a full range of fresh, canned, and frozen food items, and the sale of alcoholic beverages is incidental to the primary purpose;
(2) The sale of alcoholic beverages constitutes no more than 15% of the total volume of gross receipts on an annual basis;
(3) The establishment is located in a C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, or C-5 zone;
(4) The establishment is a full service grocery store which is newly constructed with a certificate of occupancy issued after January 1, 2000, or is an existing store which has undergone renovations in excess of $ 500,000 during the preceding 12 months in which an application is made; and
(5) The opinion of the ANC, if any, has been given great weight.

(d) An exception to the moratorium shall be granted for 4 new class B licenses on Connecticut Avenue, N.W., between N Street and Florida Avenue, N.W., after October 22, 1999; provided, that no licensee shall devote more than 3,000 square feet to the sale of alcoholic beverages.

So, what does this mean? In essence that a grocery store, like the proposed Petworth Safeway, or any similarly new or renovated grocery, would be eligible to apply for a license to sell beer and wine. This seems more than appropriate to me.

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Update on King’s Deli Liquor License Application

October 25, 2011

King's Deli & Grocery on the corner of Georgia and Quebec

Over the last few weeks I’ve had a number of residents contact me with concerns and opposition to King’s Deli’s liquor license application. I’m sure there are others who are concerned that have not reached out to me. So to help keep everyone posted, here’s where things are.

This Wednesday, October 26, the owner of King’s Deli and his lawyer are scheduled to be at the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force meeting to discuss their application. That meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at G II (2632 Georgia Avenue). I encourage all neighborhood residents who are concerned about King’s to attend this meeting.

Thus far, ANC 1A passed a resolution protesting this application at their October 13th meeting. Additionally, the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force and members of the Park View community are also working toward protests of their own.While ANCs have great weight, any community group of five or more can protest a liquor license.

Placards went up at King’s on September 23rd alerting the community of their application for a  Class A license. Unlike most convenience stores which sell beer and wine (Class B), a Class A license permits the selling of beer, wine, and spirits.

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Liquor License at Sweet Mango Cafe Up for Renewal

June 16, 2010

Sweet Mango Cafe (3701 New Hampshire Ave, NW)

On June 4, 2010, notice of Sweet Mango Cafe’s intent to renew their liquor License was posted. It’s possible that many in the community may not be aware of this. The posted ABRA notices are only visible when the restaurant is open (the metal security door hides the notices when the business is closed).

The class of license that is being renewed is a Retailer CR-03, which is described on the ABRA Web site as being for a Restaurant with seating capacity of 200 to 499 patrons. In this regard, its important to note that Sweet Mango does not have a CN-03 license, nor is it applying for one, which is the license that would support a night club of the same size.

In reviewing the renewal notice (which you can read by clicking on the image to the right), the next important date in the process is July 19, 2010, which is when petitions and/or letters either opposing or supporting the license’s renewal are due. The last important date is that of the hearing, currently scheduled for August 2, 2010. The application also lists hours of operation.

Though its hard to find many in the community that don’t appreciate the food at Sweet Mango, there have also been problems with the restaurant ranging from its closure and liquor license suspension after a shooting that occurred there in early December,  2009, to its erection of a fence on public space without the necessary permits in mid-May of this year. The fence issue still has not been resolved.

Are the problems at Sweet Mango Cafe severe enough to deny them a liquor license, or are such issues the price one pays for having a restaurant in their community?

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Outcome of Sweet Mango Status Hearing

January 20, 2010

0031Today, the issue of Sweet Mango’s liquor license came before ABRA for a status hearing. The outcome of that hearing is as follows:

The Board accepted an Offer of Compromise (OIC). The terms of the OIC were a $3,000.00 fine, a 77 day suspension (47 days will be served up to 1/21/09) and thirty days are stayed pending no violations for one year of the VA or other primary violations. The parties are required to return to ABRA in 90 days to report back to the Board about violations of any kind.  In the future, if the party seeks an entertainment endorsement, or any other substantial change, it will simultaneously present a security plan.  The final term was that the attorney for the establishement was required to discuss the residents’ issues such as cleaning greasy equipment on the sidewalk and power washing noise at night.

As a reminder to residents, violations can be reported directly to the appropriate DC agencies if attempting to resolving an issue by other means fails. Agencies that can be contacted are ABRADOH, DCRA, or DPW depending on the violation.


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