City Paper Widget

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ANC1B Liquor License Roundup

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B/U Street made relatively short work of a long list of liquor license renewals during its regular monthly meeting on November 7. The meeting clocked in at under two hours, an astonishing achievement given ANC1B's previous practice.

ANC1B meets at the Reeves Center (14th and U)
A few licensees received the majority of the committee's attention.


Indulj Restaurant and Lounge (1208 U Street NW) testified at the meeting in the hopes of overturning the recommendation of ANC1B's liquor licensing affairs committee (reported in the October 23 SALM blog post) to protest the application to renew.

The general manager of Indulj testified that, in the wake of a high-profile shooting in December 2012, Indulj had acted quickly to provide police with Bevidence from the establishment's security camera. This evidence showed the shootings took place outside the establishment, using guns taken from cars after the participants exited Indulj.

The vote was 5 - 0, with three commissioners abstaining, to endorse the application for liquor-license renewal.


ANC1B voted unanimously to protest application of Climax Restaurant & Hookah Bar (900 Florida Avenue) for a renewal of its liquor license.

According to official documents, Climax was fined $2000 in September as for operating an outdoor "summer garden" without a license. The summer garden was found operating in June 2012 by an investigator from D.C.'s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). Other documents show that, in February, Climax was fined $500 for a separate instance of the same charge of operating an unauthorized summer garden.

Also in September, ANC1B missed a chance to protest an application by Climax to make its outdoor summer garden legal because the ANC's representative missed a mandatory meeting with D.C.'s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board about the matter.

No representative of Climax attended the ANC meeting.

Chuck and Bill's Bison Lounge

At the previous meeting of ANC1B's liquor licensing affairs committee, it was reported that Chuck and Bill's Bison Lounge (2718 Georgia Avenue) had received five liquor license-related citations in the last three years, including citations for sale to a minor and interfering with ABRA investigation. There had also been a homocide in January near the club, and an incident of groping in September. The committee recommended no action on the liquor license renewal request until further community discussion.

At the meeting of the full ANC, it was reported that the operator of Chuck and Bill's Bison Lounge had agreed to install cameras and meet with police. The operator of the establishment was expected to sign an agreement with the ANC the following week.

ANC1B voted unanimously to protest the liquor license renewal, with the provision that the protest would be dropped if the agreement was signed.


ANC1B agreed to lift its protest of a substantial change to the liquor license for Town Danceboutique (2009 8th Street). The proprietor appeared before ANC1B with a scale model showing the improvements he had made to mitigate noise coming from the club.

Town Danceboutique is working with architects and Polysonics Acoustic & Technology Consulting on this project, which features sound-absorbing walls 10 feet tall and 5.5 deep, of the type used to absorb noise from airport runways.

Town Danceboutique also had letters of support from its neighbors.

Routine approvals

About 30 other liquor licenses were on the agenda, all the subject of little or no discussion. On many of them, ANC2B chose to take no action. In a few others, ANC2B voted to endorse the request for a renewal of their liquor license. In either case, it seems the licensees won't have a problem renewing their licenses.

Establishments in this category include: DC9 (1940 9th Street), Dodge City (917 U Street), Ben's Next Door (1211 U Street), Bar Pilar (1833 14th Street), Mockingbird Hill (1843 7th Street), Bohemian Caverns (2001 11th Street), Lost Society (2001 14th Street), Cafe St. Ex (1847 14th Street), and many others.

Of the twelve Commissioners on this ANC, three were absent for this meeting: ANC1B Chair Tony Norman (district 10), Commissioner Sedrick Muhammed (district 03), and Commissioner Deborah Thomas (district 04). In Norman's place, Vice-Chair E. Gail Anderson Holness (district 11) presided. Anderson Holness said her practice when presiding was to vote only to break ties. She did not vote about any liquor-licensing matters.

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