Posted tagged ‘ABRA’

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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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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