City Paper Widget

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cork Market In Danger of Losing Liquor License over Ownership Issues

DC's Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board is investigating Cork Market & Tasting Room (1805 14th Street NW) for possible "ownership interest issues". According to ABC Board document available here, the ABC Board is investigating to determine if it is appropriate to forward the matter to the DC Office of the Attorney General for prosecution, and to determine if the ABC Board can legally renew their liquor license.

A hearing on the matter was scheduled for yesterday, February 25, at the ABC's Board offices at the Reeves Center (14th and U Streets). The hearing was postponed until April 22.

The ABC Board document cited above asks the proprietors of Cork Market & Tasting Room, Diane Gross and Khalid Pitts, to supply all bank records for the establishment plus their federal income tax returns for 2012 and 2013.

The document also said the Board was looking into whether Cork was "not in compliance" with several parts of the DC Code. One of them is section 25-301 (a)(5), which states that, before the ABC Board will issue or renew a liquor license, the applicant must be able to show that he or she
is the true and actual owner of the establishment for which the license is sought, and he or she intends to carry on the business for himself or herself and not as the agent of any other individual, partnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation not identified in the application.
Another section cited is section 25-403 which states in part
The making of a false statement, whether made with or without the knowledge or consent of the applicant, shall, in the discretion of the Board, constitute sufficient cause for denial of the application or revocation of the license.
Khalid Pitts ran unsuccessfully for an At-Large City Council seat last year. His Linked In profile says he is active in an executive capacity in a number of other organizations, including Democracy Partners, DC Health Link, and USAction.

Cork Market & Tasting Room's sister establishment, Cork Wine Bar, is located across the street at 1720 14th Street. It is not named in the ABC Board document. Cork Wine Bar was one of the first upscale establishments to appear on 14th Street. It won Pitts and Gross the title Restaurateurs of the Year from Washingtonian Magazine in 2009.

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