Liquor License Update: October 2012
JP’s: On October 3, 2012, the ABC Board approved the transfer of JP’s nude dancing liquor license to a group of new owners, a decision opposed by ANC3B. 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. Now that the Board has approved the license transfer, JP’s will be able to reopen once it completes its interior rebuilding, obtains a certificate of occupancy, and asks to get its license out of safekeeping. Once JP’s reopens, the license must be renewed. At that point, the ANC and/or residents can protest the renewal to the ABC Board. ANC3B protested JP’s renewal last year; the ABC Board renewed the license, although the Board did acknowledge ANC 3B concerns about the appropriateness of a nude dancing club in a family-centered neighborhood by prohibiting nude entertainment before 5 p.m. Click here to see recent ANC3B Resolutions and ABC Board rulings regarding JP’s.
Margarita’s: This restaurant was located where the new Sprig and Sprout restaurant will be and its license has been in safekeeping (inactive) for more than 3 years. In January, the ABC Board ruled that that the owner of the license had six months to use it or transfer it. In July, the ABC Board cancelled the license at the end of this six-month period. The owner appealed that decision and in October, the Board ruled to restore the license but required that it either be used for a restaurant or sold to someone who will use it by the end of 2012. Because this license counts in the Glover Park Moratorium (see below), ANC3B asked the Board to make sure it would be used or sold before restoring it. ANC 3B Commissioners support the Board’s ruling.
ANC’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
The Glover Park Liquor License Moratorium was extended for three years in April 2012, with the addition of two more restaurant licenses. Similar 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 ABC-licensed establishments
In 1996, Glover Park was granted a five-year moratorium on the issuing of liquor licenses by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). 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.
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.
In April 2012, ABRA’s extension of the liquor license moratorium and the addition of the two new restaurant licenses was supported by ANC 3B.
The following establishments in Glover Park have liquor licenses:
Class DR (restaurant serving beer and wine; unrestricted)
Class CR (restaurant serving beer, wine, spirits; capped at 14)
Slate Wine Bar
Heritage India/Thai Bistro
Kavanagh’s Pizza Pub
Mayfair and Pine
Sprig and Sprout (to open soon)
Margarita’s (in safekeeping)
One license available
Class CN (nightclub; capped at 2)
JPs (in safekeeping)
Both establishments are nude dancing clubs. There is a moratorium on allowing nude dancing in the District and restrictions as to where such clubs can be located. The District permitted nude dancing clubs that had been in business prior to these changes to continue in their current locations. Both Good Guys and JPs were operating in Glover Park prior to this moratorium.
Class CT (tavern, no food service requirement; capped at 1)
The Mason Inn
Class A (liquor stores)
Wide World of Wines
For questions and concerns, contact email@example.com.