City Paper Widget

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Howard Theatre Neighbors Mobilize ANC6E Against Beer Garden

At its regular monthly meeting last night (May 6), Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E/Shaw heard from neighbors opposing a planned beer garden in the rear parking lot of the Howard Theatre (620 T Street NW). ANC6E voted to send a letter to D.C.'s liquor-licensing authorities stating it wished to be included in the decision-making process concerning the beer garden.

Wiltberger Street (Google Street View)
A trustee of the Howard Theatre rolled out the idea on April 16 to the liquor-licensing affairs committee of ANC 1B/U Street -- see SALM blog post of April 22. At that time, the trustee said the planned beer garden would operate in the parking lot behind the theater on Saturday and Sunday evenings during the summer until 11pm.

The Howard Theatre, and its rear parking lot, is located on the border between two ANC districts. The theater is in ANC1B. Its neighbors are in ANC6E. The border runs down the center of Wiltberger Street, on the east side of the Howard Theater. On the west side of Wiltberger Street are seven small single-family homes, six of which are currently occupied. A resident of Wiltberger Street appeared before ANC6E to ask for help.

"We really don't think this parking lot on Wiltberger Street is the right place", the resident said. "We're really concerned about the noise issue."

"The Howard Theatre has not been a particularly good neighbor," she also said. "We don't think they'll get better."

The ANC Commissioner for the neighbors is Kevin Chapple (district 02). Chapple told ANC6E he had met with the Howard Theater May 5. The meeting was "unsatisfactory", Chapple said.

Chapple then said -- incorrectly -- that ANC1B had voted to support the beer garden. He urged ANC6E to oppose it.

ANC6E Chair Alexander Padro (Commissioner for district 01) said he had communicated with ANC1B Chair James Turner on this matter. Padro said the liquor license application had not yet been placarded so it was not yet the right time to protest the application. Instead, Padro suggested sending a letter to D.C.'s liquor-licensing authorities, asking them to include ANC6E as "active participants" in the deliberations about the Howard Theater's liquor license.

ANC6E voted unanimously to support Padro's proposal.

Read an article about the Howard Theater's planned beer garden from Washington City Paper's "Young and Hungry" blog here.

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