Liquor License Update: December 2013
Nude Dancing Nightclubs: ANC3B currently holds the position that nude dancing nightclubs are not appropriate in family-friendly neighborhoods like Glover Park. Both JP’s and Good Guys were grandfathered in place in the early 1990s when the District enacted a moratorium on the issuance of nude dancing liquor licenses. The District now prohibits adult entertainment clubs from locating outside of the Central Business District and restricts locations to 500 feet from any residential building and at least 500 feet from any other similar establishment. JP’s and Good Guys are the only two such places in Ward 3.
JP’s: Five years after the January 2008 fire, JP’s reopened last June under new ownership and with a new mode of operation, both of which ANC 3B has protested.
ANC3B believes the current ownership structure raises serious questions about who the actual owners are and whether the owners meet both the statutory intentions and standards that determine fitness for licensure. ANC 3B believes that the disruptive effects of a nude dancing establishment on the community can only be reduced by responsible and responsive management of good character. However, ABRA regulations do not permit ANCs or communities to weigh in on ownership transfer issues. ANC3B protested JP’s license renewal this fall on the grounds of “fitness for licensure,” which the ABC Board so far is unwilling to accept as legitimate grounds for protest. This matter is ongoing as of this update.
ANC3B also challenged JP’s interior rebuild, which now includes alcoves and tabletop stages for the sale of private nude dances, claiming that JP’s needed ABC Board permission for this substantial change in performance space and mode of operation. The Board finally agreed with the ANC and scheduled a hearing on the matter, barring JP’s from using the private dance stages until the matter was resolved. JP’s owners failed to appear at the hearing and the Board dismissed their application for substantial change. Until JP’s applies again and receives Board permission, it cannot use the private alcoves or tabletop stages.
Good Guys: When ANC3B protested JP’s renewal in 2011, the ABC Board acknowledged our concerns about the appropriateness of a nude dancing club in a family-centered neighborhood by prohibiting nude entertainment before 5 p.m. ANC3B has protested the renewal of Good Guys’ nude dancing license on the grounds that if entertainment at JP’s is not appropriate before 5 p.m., then it is not appropriate for the neighborhood from Good Guys either. A status hearing is scheduled on this protest for January 29, 2013; a full hearing is currently set for March 26, 2013.
Roof Decks: ANC3B’s position on alcohol service on roof decks (and outdoor patios) is that the concerns of those residents living closest to an establishment seeking outdoor alcohol service are given great weight. Last year Mason Inn applied for permission to serve alcohol on its roof. ANC3B and a group of neighbors worked out a Settlement Agreement, in lieu of an ABC Board hearing, that allows Mason Inn to build a roof deck with caveats about hours of service and construction of sound-blocking walls. New owners at 2218 Wisconsin Avenue (formerly Town Hall, then Mayfair & Pine) will have the option of adding a roof deck, also with caveats about hours and walls, based on an ABC Board ruling from 2008.
Click here to see recent ANC3B Resolutions and ABC Board rulings.
ABC’s and Liquor Licenses
Advisory Neighborhood Commissions were created to be the grassroots arm of the District of Columbia and as such the opinions and interests of ANCs are given “great weight” under the law by District agencies in making decisions that affect neighborhoods. “Great weight” means that a District agency must consider and respond to concerns voiced by an ANC, but does not necessarily have to agree with it or abide by the ANC’s decisions.
One of the key areas in which ANCs are consulted is the issuing and renewing of liquor licenses. ANC3B regularly interacts with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) about the licensed establishments that do business in Glover Park. For more information about liquor licensing and ABRA, click here.
Liquor License Moratorium
Glover Park was first granted a moratorium on the issuing of liquor licenses by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) in 1996. The community requested the moratorium because one had just gone into effect in Georgetown and there was concern about a potential influx of bars and taverns in Glover Park as a result. Today moratoriums exist in Georgetown, Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle. The purpose of a moratorium is to help a community maintain an attractive balance of restaurants, retail, and services in its commercial district and to redress problems with peace, quiet, parking and litter that arise as a result of a concentration of ABC-licensed establishments
In 2001, the moratorium was renewed for three years, but it was opened up to allow Class DR licenses (restaurants offering only beer and wine only) to be issued without restriction. It was renewed again for three years as of April 2005 with no changes. In 2008, the ANC recommended, and in 2009 ABRA approved, renewing the moratorium for 3 more years and opening up 3 additional Class CR licenses (restaurants with full alcohol service – beer, wine and spirits). The ANC had hoped to attract new restaurants, but all three new CR licenses were taken by establishments currently operating in Glover Park. The Glover Park Liquor License Moratorium was extended for three years in April 2012, with the addition of two more restaurant licenses.
The following establishments in Glover Park have liquor licenses:
Class DR (restaurant serving beer and wine; unrestricted)
Whole Foods Restaurant
Class CR (restaurant serving beer, wine, spirits; capped at 14)
Slate Wine Bar
Heritage India/Thai Bistro
Sprig and Sprout
Four licenses are currently not in use.
Class CN (nightclub; capped at 2)
Class CT (tavern, no food service requirement; capped at 1)
The Mason Inn
Class A (full service liquor stores)
Wide World of Wines
For questions and concerns, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.