WE WON! The liquor license application has been withdrawn!

It’s now official, the application for a liquor license at 2066 Rhode Island Ave NE has been WITHDRAWN!

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You can view the entire order here. This means we’re officially done with this and we don’t need to show up on Feb 17.
This is a tremendous victory for the neighborhood and it would not have been possible without everyone’s combined effort. The sheer numbers we were able to produce came from everyone chipping in and stepping up – THANK YOU!!

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Final Protest Hearing coming up for liquor license at 2066 Rhode Island Ave

Regarding the application for a liquor license for 2066 Rhode Island Avenue NE. The Protest Hearing that originally scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed until Wednesday, February 17 at 4:30 PM (at the Reeves Center at 14th and U Street NW).

This is the final hearing where we will make our case to the DC Alcohol Beverage Control Board and they will decide to approve or deny this application. In order to prepare the protest hearing, we’ll be having a community meeting on Wednesday, February 3 at 6:30 PM, location TBD (somewhere in the neighborhood).

There are a few things to note as we get ready for the protest hearing:

  • We need to submit all our evidence – in an orderly fashion – 7-10 days prior to the hearing. They will not accept one-off items from the public, it all needs to be gathered and submitted 7 days in advance. Please bring any such evidence to the meeting on Feb 3.
  • Gather evidence! Mostly this means keeping an eye on the other establishment the applicant owns, SIP Nightclub, the one across from the new Woodridge library construction site. If you are out late (or early) and see people being disorderly around SIP, take out your phone and get a video. Same for litter or other quality of life issues. Part of our case to the ABC board will be that the applicant has not been a responsible business owner at his current location.
  • Only people who signed the protest petition are were granted status are able to submit written or verbal testimony. Unfortunately if you weren’t a part of the process at that point, you are not a part of the party that is bringing the protest (in the eyes of the ABC board).
  • Are you a Notary or do you know one who would volunteer for us? Ideally, we would have that person at the meeting on Wed, Feb 3 and they can notarize the letters right there at the meeting.

So the two meetings to be aware of:

Community Meeting to plan for protest
Wednesday, February 3
6:30 PM
Location: TBD (in the neighborhood)
This is a meeting to coordinate the case we’ll bring at the protest hearing

Alcohol Beverage Control Board Protest Hearing
Wednesday, February 17
4:30 PM – until late
Location: Reeves Center, 2000 14th Street NW (At U Street NW)
This is the protest hearing that will determine if the application is approved.
St. Francis de Sales Church is generously sponsoring a bus from the neighborhood to the protest hearing. Details to follow.

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GREAT turnout Monday at the Alcohol Control Board – THANKS to everyone who helped make it happen!

Photo from the ABC Roll Call Hearing, Nov 30
Photo from the ABC Roll Call Hearing, Nov 30 via Twitter user @DrewCourt

 

I am so happy to report that we had a GREAT turnout of residents on Monday morning at the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board hearing to protest the proposed liquor license at 2066 Rhode Island Avenue NE. We must have had over 25 people there in person, and there was no question from the ABC Board that we were ‘granted standing’ as a protest group. Our original petition came in with over 200 signatures and we turned in 95 of the additional sheets we were asking folks to sign (to officially designate a representative of the group).

Folks who would know have told me these are fantastic numbers. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who signed a petition, went door-to-door, printed/dropped off petitions and letters, and/or attended any meetings. This has been a great team effort of concerned residents stepping up, and while it’s far from over, it’s also a good time to acknowledge all the work that has already been done.

The next step is that the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Board asks the two sides to go into mediation. If the two sides can’t come to an agreement in mediation, then it goes to a final protest hearing. The first mediation is set for December 17 and I (Nolan) will be representing the group but I’ll also be looking to bring a small crew to make sure we’ve got all our bases covered. We’ll then have a Status Hearing, where we’ll go before the actual ABC Board and update them on how the mediation is going. Finally, if the mediation fails, the final protest hearing will tentatively take place January 27 at 4:30 PM. The Protest Hearing is where we’ll be asking everyone who is able to come out.

I’ve also learned this week that Councilmember McDuffie is sending a letter to the ABC Board in opposition of this establishment. If you’re interested you can read my letter to the ABC Board detailing my concerns here (PDF).

It was very inspiring to see the community out in force and I’m hopeful this means we can win our case and deny this nightclub (“tavern”) a liquor license.

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