City Paper Widget

Friday, August 16, 2013

ANC2B Supports New Liquor Licensee in 17th Street Moratorium Area

Duke's Grocery, a new coffee shop/market/pub/café to open at 1513 17th Street NW, got a pair of important approvals from Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont at its regular monthly meeting on August 14.

Duke's Grocery is located within the boundaries of the Dupont East (a.k.a. “17th Street”) Liquor License Moratorium district. The extension of the moratorium was the subject of a long separate debate at the same meeting.

1513 17th Street NW, future site of Duke's Grocery
First, ANC2B approved a stipulated license for the establishment by a vote of 8-0. A stipulated license is a temporary license for a liquor-serving establishment, good for as long as it takes for the DC government to reach a final decision.

The granting of a stipulated license is one of the few decisions an ANC can take which is binding, not advisory, in nature. It does not need approval from another government body.

Second, ANC2B voted to support the application for a permanent liquor license before DC's Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board. This marked a departure from frequent ANC practice of automatically protesting all new liquor license applications to maintain leverage with prospective entrepreneurs.

Abigail Nichols, Commissioner for district 05, made a motion to protest the application. She then seemed surprised when other Commissioners asked her to explain why the ANC should protest. Nichols said she had documents to support her case for a protest, but she had not brought them with her to prepare. She asked for an hour postponement to prepare, but no motion was made so the debate continued. Nichols said she was concerned that Duke's would have a sidewalk café. The aspiring proprietors and other commissioners pointed out a sidewalk café would require a separate license, and the ANC could discuss this problem when Duke's came back for ANC endorsement of a sidewalk café license. Then Nichols said she was concerned about the possibility the license might some day change hands. ANC2B Chair Will Stephens (district 08) said protesting a licensee for this reason was not looked on favorably by the DC authorities.

Several members of the community told the ANC they supported Duke's Grocery.

The motion to protest was voted down 1-7. Nichols was the only vote for, and Stephens abstained.

Then Nichols put forward a motion to endorse the liquor license application for Duke's Grocery. ANC2B voted in favor without dissent. Three Commissioners did not vote: Stephanie Maltz (district 03), Kishan Putta (04), and Mike Silverstein (06). Maltz and Putta had stepped outside at the moment of the vote. Silverstein does not participate in debates or votes about liquor licenses due to possible conflicts of interest.

Daniel Kramer and Alex McCoy are the future co-proprietors of Duke's Grocery and presented before the ANC prior to the discussion.

Further reporting on other activity at this meeting will follow.

1 comment:

  1. NOTE: Dupont ANC commissioner Mike Silverstein was not in attendance, as he was sitting as an ABC Board member for a marathon 7pm-1:30am license protest hearing against new license applicant Brookland's Finest bar/restaurant. By all accounts it was one DOOOOZY of a lengthy hearing -- with approx. 130 neighborhood residents in attendance to support the business, being opposed by some very crazy ANC-5B members, Baptist ministers railing about 'demon rum' along with their parishioners.