City Paper Widget

Thursday, April 3, 2014

ANC6E Endorses Longer Opening Hours for Dacha Beer Garden

At its regular monthly meeting on April 1, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E/Shaw endorsed longer opening hours for Dacha Beer Garden (1600 7th Street NW).
This mural presides over Dacha Beer Garden.

Dacha Beer Garden sought three changes to its settlement agreement with ANC6E. Specifically, it wanted the ANC to
  • remove restrictions on opening hours
  • allow the Beer Garden to close later (i.e., have weekend hours) on the Sunday evenings of three-day weekends and the days before holidays like Fourth of July
  • allow music to be played outside
Of these, ANC6E voted to endorse the first two suggested changes only. (Outside music was vetoed.) The endorsed changes will now go D.C.'s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board for final approval. 

The motion to endorse the first two changes was made by ANC6E Chair Alexander Padro (Commissioner for district 01). Dacha Beer Garden is in his ANC district. The local civic association had no objections, according to Padro.

"The neighbors had absolutely no objections," Padro also said.

But some Commissioners were not so enthusiastic. If restrictions on opening hours were completely removed, Dacha Beer Garden would legally be allowed to start serving alcohol at 7am. A few Commissioners worried there would be early-morning drinking.

Dmitri Chekaldin, co-owner of the Dacha Beer Garden, told the ANC repeatedly he had no intention of serving liquor so early.

"We're not going to open the beer garden before noon," he said. "We're going to open in the afternoon."

So why, he was asked, was he seeking permission to open at 7am?

Chekaldin explained his eventual plan to build a structure on the site. (The beer garden is currently open to the elements.) Once the structure is built, the plan is to open at 7 and sell coffee in the morning, while continuing to operate as liquor-serving establishment in the afternoons and evenings. Chekaldin did not want to have to come back again to seek separate permission to open at 7am.

Some Commissioners were not convinced of the wisdom of granting 7am opening right away. In the end, there was a roll call vote. The motion to endorse Dacha Beer Garden's request for longer hours passed by a vote of 4 - 2.

Commissioners voting to support the request: Padro, Kevin Chapple (district 02), Marge Maceda (05), and Alfreda Judd (07).

Commissioners voting against: Frank Wiggins (03) and Rachelle Nigro (04)

Liquor-serving establishments often enter into settlement agreements with local ANCs and other parties as a condition of their liquor license. These agreements often dictate the hours an establishment can stay open, use of public space like sidewalks, method and frequency of vermin control, operation of valet parking, and other details of licensee operation that can have an impact on the neighborhood.

(Photo credit:

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