City Paper Widget

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nude Dancing Liquor License Comes Out of Hibernation

Attorney Lyle M. Blanchard of Greenstein DeLorme & Luchs came before Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle last night (April 9) to plead the case of M Street Management Group LLC, operators of the 1819 Club (1819 M Street NW, see photo). The club hopes in to open in four weeks.

Not quite ready for the dancing
M Street Management Group is the holder of a rare item: a DC liquor license with a nude dancing endorsement. The liquor license has been "in safekeeping" since 2005, when the previous nude dancing club on the spot closed. Since then, the owners have been engaged in a long and difficult renovation of the property, which was built about 115 years ago.

Blanchard told ANC2B that M Street Management Group had bought the club in 2004, operated it for a year, and put the license in safekeeping.

Publicly-available documents from D.C.'s liquor licensing authority (27-page .pdf available here) indicate the property was bought at bankruptcy and had a top-to-bottom renovation. Plans had to be approved by D.C.'s Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) because the building is in a historic district. Then there were prolonged water and sewer problems which were eventually solved by digging a trench all the way across M Street, one lane of traffic at a time. There were also dealings with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) as well as building and fire inspectors.

According to this same document, D.C. liquor-licensing authorities gave (on December 11, 2013) a six-month extension to M Street Management Group's liquor license in safekeeping (until June 11, 2014).

Unusually, the residential neighbors have not voiced any objections. This was said to be because existing strip clubs on the street have been extremely scrupulous about honoring their commitments to the neighborhood and are never the source of excessive noise or security concerns.

It was reported some groups had "religious concerns". This did not seem to effect affect the course of ANC2B's debate on the topic.

Public records available here show that, in 2011, D.C. liquor license authorities dismissed a protest of M Street Management Group's liquor license by the group Downtown Cluster of Congregations.

All the ANC2B Commissioners present voted to protest the liquor license application, with the stipulation that the protest would be dropped if certain conditions were met. These conditions included demonstrating the club occupancy and square footage would not increase as a result of the renovation.

Letters of opposition (or support) of this liquor license can be filed at D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABRA) before April 14. A hearing about the liquor license will occur at 10am on April 28 at ABRA's offices on the fourth floor of the Reeves Center (14th and U Streets).


  1. If you're into typo/grammar fixes: "The club hopes in open..."? Also, not "effect the course" -- affect.