City Paper Widget

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Policy Restaurant Seeks Extended Thanksgiving, New Year's Hours

The manager of Policy Restaurant (1904 14th Street NW) appeared before Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle October 9 in connection with his restaurant's settlement agreement. It was the third ANC meeting in six months at which they appeared.

Policy's T Street side
Raj Multhani, owner/operator of Policy Restaurant, asked the ANC to approve later opening hours on the day before Thanksgiving (November 27) and New Year's Eve. If the hours are not approved, Policy will have to close at half past midnight. Many of its competitors can stay open later.

The competitive disadvantage

DC regulations routinely allow liquor licensees to stay open an extra hour or more on the day before holidays. However, if the licensee's normal operating hours are explicitly stated in the settlement agreement, then the operator must seek permission for extended hours from all the counter-parties.

In this case, the counter-parties are ANC2B, the Dupont Circle Citizens Association, and a group of five neighbors. 

Multhani was before the ANC in June, seeking to terminate his settlement agreement. At that time, he noted that newer neighboring establishments had negotiated settlement agreements that do not state operating hours. Multhani's requests to keep Policy open as long as other liquor-licensees were rejected by some settlement agreement counter-parties.

Two previous attempts by Policy to extend hours on holidays have failed, according to information presented at the meeting.

Policy's recent behavior

"I have not received a single complaint since I have been in office," said Commissioner Noah Smith (District 09). Policy is in his district. Smith has been in office ten months.

Smith said Policy Restaurant has been fined twice in the last five years by the DC government. In 2010, it was fined for a violation of its settlement agreement. In 2012, it was fined for keeping inadequate records.

Smith said he would compose a letter to liquor-licensing authorities indicating the ANC is willing to grant Policy's request.

ANC2B voted 6-0 in favor. Two Commissioners were out of the room when the vote was taken, and one recused himself.

Settlement agreements are negotiated between liquor-serving establishments, ANCs, and members of the community. There may be two parties to the agreements, or more. They usually set in writing certain aspects of operations that effect the community, like opening hours, trash collection, vermin control, and public space use.

Multhani was also before ANC2B in August on behalf of Policy-- see the August 23 SALM blog post.

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