Posted tagged ‘liquor licenses’

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.

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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Amanuel Market Applies for Liquor License

November 1, 2011

Amanuel Market, at 3661 Georgia Avenue, posted notice of a Class A liquor license application on October 28th

As if public concern over King’s Deli’s Class A liquor license isn’t enough, now neighboring Amanuel Market has also applied for a Class A license.

ABRA license classifications roughly break down as Class A (liquor stores), Class B (beer & wine), and several variations of Class C (CR, CT, etc.) for restaurants, pubs, taverns, etc, where consumption is on site.

Opposition to King’s has been strong with both ANC 1A and the community filing protests with ABRA against the license. With Amanuel Market located a few doors down from King’s, one can imagine that the owners will face similar opposition.

In a recent meeting of the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force, the owner of King’s and his attorney were present to discuss what they hope to do with their license. The attorney explained that King’s does not want to sell hard liquor, but that there are no Class B licenses available. So, they applied for a Class A license. Among the comments expressed from community members to the owners were that a license permitting them to sell onsite beer might be more appropriate since they are a Deli. They could also make their business more inviting for those that may want to order a sandwich and eat on site. Another suggestion was to incorporate a coffee shop with free wireless into their Deli, creating a more vibrant community corner. However, these suggestions did not appear to be taken seriously during the meeting.

If ABRA does end up issuing a license to King’s it will be interesting to see what becomes of Amanuel Market’s application. According to ABRA, two Class A licenses are not permitted to be within 400 ft. of each other. Below is a map showing the location of existing Class B licenses (blue — beer and wine) and Class A licenses (red — beer, wine, and spirits) in close proximity to King’s and Amanuel Market (shown in Green).

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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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King’s Deli Applies for Liquor License

October 5, 2011

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

King’s Deli, located at 3651 Georgia Avenue, has applied for a Class A liquor license. The placards announcing the application were posted on September 23rd and the petition date is listed as November 7th. The hearing is set for November 21st.

In reviewing the application, the major concern I have is the concentration of liquor stores in the immediate area of the deli. Within 1,500 feet of King’s there are already four locations with a Class B (beer and wine) license and two locations with a Class A (beer, wine, and liquor) license. King’s is located in the middle of this cluster. Expanding the paramater to 1/2 mile brings the totals up to seven Class B licenses and three Class A licenses for a total of ten.

I’ve long been concerned that Georgia Avenue has too much of its economy devoted to alcohol sales, especially where Class A and B licenses are involved. To see the business locations and license types in relations to King’s see the map below.


(The location of King’s Deli (in green) in relation to businesses with Class B (in blue) and Class A (in red) liquor licenses)

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Proposed Georgia Liquors Facing Stiff Community Opposition

June 23, 2011

2917 Georgia Avenue, site of proposed Georgia Liquors

Six days ago, on June 17th, the placards when up at 2917 Georgia Avenue announcing the application of a Class “A” Liquor Store named Georgia Liquors. According to the placards (read here), the intent of owner Michael Ressom is to open a full service liquor store operating to the full extent that ABRA allows.

Not surprisingly, the reaction in the surrounding community — including local listservs — has been swift and staunchly against adding another liquor store to the already over-saturated alcohol economy of Lower Georgia Avenue. Among the community’s many concerns are the property’s proximity to the Bruce Monroe Park.

In reaching out to Councilmember Graham about the appropriateness of a liquor store near a playground, the Councilmember responded with the following:

DC Code § 25-314 provides that in determining the appropriateness of an establishment for initial issuance of an alcohol license or transfer of a license to a new location, the ABC Board shall consider the proximity of, and the effect on, the establishment to recreation centers, day care centers, public libraries or other similar facilities, and whether school-age children using facilities in proximity to the establishment will be unduly attracted to the establishment while present at, or going to or from, the school, recreation center, day care center, public library, or similar facility at issue. This section also provides that “[n]o license shall be issued for any establishment within 400 feet of a public, private, or parochial primary, elementary, or high school; college or university; or recreation area operated by the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation,” with certain exceptions.

Graham indicated that he would reach out to ABRA Director Fred Moosally on this situation as the Bruce Monroe Park is in the process of being transferred to DPR control.

2917 Georgia is within ANC 1B. Because of this the application went before the ANC 1B ABC Committee on June 21. At that meeting Ressom explained that he intended to run a nice, clean liquor store and thought the community could support such a business. It was pointed out to him that Georgia Avenue already has several liquor stores on Georgia Avenue and nearby streets within 1/2 miles of his location. If one counts establishments that sell just beer and wine in addition to the liquor stores the number comes in at 11 businesses in the area. In the meeting Commissioner Tony Norman (1B10) — within whose district the property falls — and community members voiced their opposition to the application. The ABC Committee decided to recommend to ANC 1B that they formally protest the license and the issue will be taken up at ANC 1B’s July 7th meeting.

Driving home the point, Ressom again received similar feedback the following night at the June 22 Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force meeting. Those in attendance again voiced strong opposition to having another liquor store added to the community. Factoring in the location’s proximity to Bruce Monroe Park , there is also the strong possibility that ANC 1A will also weigh in on this issue before all is said and done.

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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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Morgan’s Seafood Liquor License Application Update

May 27, 2010

Morgan's Seafood, located at 3200 Georgia Avenue

The issue of a liquor license for Morgan’s Seafood has been a contentious one for the ANC 1A commissioners since it first came up in January. At the May meeting, ANC 1A08 commissioner Cliff Valenti resigned from his chairperson roll as things got out of hand between Romeo Morgan and the other commissioners.

Last night, at Morgan’s establishment, a somewhat informal gathering of commissioners —  including William Jordan (1A05), LaKeisha Thomas (1A09), acting chair Bill Brown (1A06), and Valenti — Mr. Morgan and neighborhood residents gathered to get a better idea of what Morgan hopes to obtain for his business.

While the chief point of contention between Morgan and the Commission has primarily been procedural, that is not to say that there aren’t genuine concerns with potentially adding one more liquor license to a section of Georgia Avenue already awash in liquor stores.

Petworth Liquors is located directly north of Morgan's Seafood

To this point, one need look no further than the establishments directly to the north (the oddly misplaced Petworth Liquors) and the south (Georgia Ave. Market) of Morgan’s Seafood for sellers of alcohol in close proximity.

To date, the sticking point with the ANC has been Morgan’s desire to get a stipulated liquor license rather than go through the process of applying for a license as other businesses do. The problem with Morgan’s approach is that it does not give the commissioners anything official for them to consider, or provide a binding document of Morgan’s intent with his property. As such, the stated type of license Morgan has sought has changed from a restaurant license (January), to one supporting a night club (May cooperative agreement), to a tavern license (present). Last night’s meeting attempted to address this.

Interestingly, Morgan stated early in the meeting that he has actually now applied for a regular license, something he’s repeatedly refused to do to date. By taking this step Morgan is removing a huge hurdle in his pursuit to serve alcohol with his food.

Ultimately, Morgan is seeking to serve beer, wine, or mixed drinks in a restaurant type environment. He also wants to have an outdoor cafe area to increase the meager seating capacity he currently has. In order to conduct business outside, he needs to seek additional permits for public space in addition to another liquor license.

Though several residents present were quite supportive of Morgan and spoke highly of his character, there were still concerns voiced ranging from the number of liquor licenses in the vicinity, the possibility of noise from the outdoor cafe, possible changes in clientele the establishment would attract, and that liquor licenses tend to be attached to the building and not the owner should Morgan choose to leave the building at 3200 Georgia Avenue.

The only certainty to come out of the meeting was that  this subject is far from over. Now that Morgan is applying for a tavern liquor license the issue will officially come before the ANC, signs will be posted at Morgan’s Seafood, and there will be a public hearing at ABRA.

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