City Paper Widget

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

No Entertainment License for Ghana Cafe

D.C.'s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board has rejected a request that would have enabled the Ghana Cafe (1336 14th Street NW) to feature live entertainment, potentially until 2 am. The decision came at an ABC Board public hearing on January 15 (see .pdf here).

(Luis Gomez Photos - used by permission)
A group of neighbors, all of whom live in nearby properties on the 1400 block of Rhode Island Avenue, protested Ghana Cafe's request to amend its liquor license to allow live entertainment. The neighbors and Ghana Cafe are parties to a settlement agreement. Some of the neighbors' concerns centered around whether Ghana Cafe has previously honored the terms and conditions of the settlement agreement. The neighbors also wished the details about the proposed live entertainment to be more clearly defined, and enforcement of any amended agreement spelled out.

Attempts by a D.C. government mediator to reach an agreement prior to the meeting were unsuccessful.

At the meeting, ABC Board chair Ruthanne Miller said Ghana Cafe's request should be dismissed because an entertainment endorsement would be in violation of the settlement agreement. Tony Opare, the owner of the Ghana Cafe, said the settlement agreement should be voided because he had been unable to set up a sidewalk cafe as the originally envisioned in the settlement agreement. Miller did not accept this argument.

Then, the motion to dismiss the application was made, seconded, and approved by the ABC Board. Left unanswered were the questions regarding the appropriateness of a restaurant being allowed to modify their agreements and being allowed to host live entertainment until 2 am.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle had a representative at the meeting and is another party to the settlement agreement. It was signed in 2009, at which time settlement agreements were called "voluntary agreements". A copy of the agreement is available as a .pdf document here, starting at page four.

ANC2F's efforts to mediate between the parties was the subject of the December 20, 2013, SALM blog post. ANC2F voted to protest Cafe Ghana's request for an entertainment endorsement on its liquor license in October 2013.

A settlement agreement is an agreement between a liquor-serving establishment and other interested parties. They often address topics such as hours of operation, noise levels, vermin control, parking, and outside service. See a model settlement agreement here.

1 comment:

  1. If you dont like music, restaurants, and bars.....move to a neighborhood without them. They provide valuable tax revenue and are alread on a busy commercial street..