ANC 3B February 2012 News Update

Glover Park Liquor License Moratorium Up for Renewal

At the February 9 meeting of ANC 3B, we will be discussing whether or not to renew the freeze on certain new liquor licenses for another 3 years.  We encourage all Glover Park residents to register their opinions on this issue either by showing up at the meeting or by emailing the Commission at info@anc3B.org.

In 1996, Glover Park was granted a five-year moratorium on the issuing of liquor licenses by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). The moratorium has been reviewed and renewed by ABRA three times since then.  The current cycle expires April 2012.

Today, moratoriums exist in Georgetown, Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle East, Dupont Circle West, and Glover Park.  The ABC Board reviews each moratorium for results every 3-5 years and has consistently found that liquor license moratoriums in these areas have helped communities maintain an attractive balance of restaurants, retail, and services in their commercial districts and redress problems with peace, quiet, parking and litter that are a consequence of an over-concentration of ABC-licensed establishments.

The Glover Park Moratorium covers a maximum of 21 liquor licenses: 12 for restaurants with full-service alcohol; 2 nightclub licenses (Good Guys, JP’s); 1 tavern license (Mason Inn); and 5 retail licenses. There is no cap on liquor licenses for restaurants that offer only beer and wine.  Right now, two of the 12 restaurant liquor licenses are open and unused, leaving opportunity for new restaurants to enter the neighborhood even if the moratorium is renewed.

In Glover Park, the character of our nightlife has changed significantly over time.  Where once most liquor licenses were held by establishments like Old Europe and Sushi-Ko, which are primarily restaurants that serve alcohol and close at 10:30 or so, now an increasing number of establishments depend on a late-night bar scene to stay in business. [Jackie – might be helpful to give a few examples of restaurants that have been replaced by bars…]  The moratorium has worked to stabilize many of the problems that arose when our nightlife scene got livelier around 2005.  Because the moratorium is in place, we are dealing with a fixed number of owners and have been able to develop relationships that have markedly reduced the problems of noise and drunkenness. It also has helped stabilize the commercial area by providing enough competition to attract patrons to all the current establishments, but not so much competition that might drive one or another of them out of business. Today, support for the moratorium comes from both business owners and residents.

Given both the stability fostered by the moratorium and the fact that there are two liquor licenses still available in Glover Park, one of which has been on the market for 3 years, it is highly likely the ABC Board will approve another 3 year renewal if the ANC votes in favor of renewal. For more details on the Glover Park Moratorium, go to www.anc3b.org.

Be Alert and Aware Walking Around Town

There have been a rash of armed robberies in Northwest D.C. in recent months occurring at all times of day and night, particularly in the Chevy Chase area.  But Glover Park has also had a few incidents:  three times in the area of Davis Place between 39th St. and 41st. St, robbers have accosted pedestrians, taking their property at gun-point and then telling them to look away or move away as they escape in the opposite direction.  They are taking cell phones to prevent 911 calls and dumping them immediately to prevent tracking. In some incidents, cars were stolen for the getaway.  So far no one has been injured.  Lt. Ralph Neal of MPD told us at the January ANC meeting that the police have activated a comprehensive plan to protect neighborhoods and are following leads to catch the perpetrators. But MPD advises everyone to stay alert.  Don’t walk around with earplugs on.  Do pay attention to your surroundings.  If you are held up, give the robbers what they want and do what they say. Then call 911 as soon as possible.  Updates on this will be issued to ANC3B’s online list and at our website.