Fraud Allegations Behind Closing of Barracks Row Kraze Burger

Kraze Burger Barracks Row Closed Mid-March, Five Months After Opening

Kraze Burger Barracks Row Closed Mid-March, Five Months After Opening

Fraud Allegations Behind Closing of Barracks Row Kraze Burger

by Larry Janezich

Two investors have filed suit against several individuals allegedly involved in the opening of Kraze Burger Barracks Row, naming Virginia attorney Richard MacDowell and his associates as key actors.  MacDowell, reported recently to be the American CEO of Kraze Burger, a South Korean restaurant franchise, is listed as the agent for Kraze Burger Inc., said to be the operator of Kraze Burger on Barracks Row.  The suit filed in DC Superior Court on December 23, 2013, alleges that MacDowell, a partner in MacDowell & Associates, as well as his employees and/or partners in several businesses the documents say are owned by MacDowell, improperly converted funds which the plaintiffs – Great Falls, Virginia, couple Joo Won Kim and T.W. Kim – invested as start-up money for the Barracks Row Kraze Burger.

In related news, the Kraze Burger franchise chain’s first DC-area outlet in Bethesda filed for bankruptcy in late December, listing liabilities between $100,001 and $500,000.  Creditors included restaurant suppliers as well as the county tax department.

According to documents filed related to the Barracks Row lawsuit, MacDowell, in October of 2012, offered the Kims the opportunity to enter into a partnership to open a Kraze Burger franchise at 415 8th Street, SE, Barracks Row.  The documents allege that MacDowell proposed that the Kims would be 70% partners in a Kraze Burger to be set up by MacDowell, who would be the 30% partner, with profits and costs allocated accordingly.  The suit charges that MacDowell “induced” the Kims into allowing him to act as the sole partner responsible to hold and manage disbursement of investment capital as well as serving as counsel for the partnership.

The court documents state that MacDowell claimed startup capital would be $620,948.92 – a figure the Kims now claim MacDowell knew to be “inflated and inaccurate.”  The Kims say they deposited $430,000 in MacDowell and Associates’ escrow account and that MacDowell told them that a “significant portion” of the startup funds would be used to procure a lease with Street Sense, the building’s owner.  The Kims claim that MacDowell subsequently “contracted” with a construction company actually owned by MacDowell to do the build out work to open the franchise.

The documents also claim:

  • The construction company presented false documents which inflated the cost of opening the franchise and that MacDowell only spent funds deposited by Kim to open the franchise without investing his 30% of investment capital.
  • MacDowell never contributed any money whatsoever to the startup costs.
  • After buildout was complete, the Kims were made aware of multiple issues with the franchise resulting from poor management, including delinquent bills.
  • MacDowell ignored or denied numerous requests for accounting of expenditures and of funds being held and the Kims were “left no choice” but to conclude that funds were improperly taken and that MacDowell “intentionally misappropriated” funds and that MacDowell had “acted with malice.”

The documents do not address whether MacDowell put a price on his legal representation or on any activities he engaged in to further the project, nor whether MacDowell agreed to put up any funds at all as a portion of the $620,948.92 estimate for opening the restaurant.

The suit lists ten counts alleging improper “conversion of funds deposited [by the investors] for the use and purposes of… Kraze Burger and/or MacDowell outside the partnership” by ten individuals and an eleventh count alleging conspiracy to commit improper conversion naming all ten defendants.

When contacted by Capitol Hill Corner, MacDowell’s attorney referred questions to MacDowell, who was unavailable for comment.  There was no immediate response from Kraze Burger’s US headquarters.   The attorney for the Kims said that because of the pending litigation, he could not comment.

The building that houses Kraze Burger was once a Dollar Store and Chinese carryout that was purchased and remodeled by DC real estate and development company, Street Sense.  Although ANC 6B seemed anxious to limit the number of carryout restaurants on Barracks Row, commissioners raised no objections to Kraze Burger’s proposed arrival.  While open, the restaurant appeared to be doing little sit down business.

For the time being, it is not clear what the future holds for the Kraze Burger on Barracks Row.  The effect of legal troubles on the other four area Kraze Burgers and a proposed NoMa outlet is uncertain.  CHC reported on Barracks Row Kraze Burger’s opening October 17, 2014 here:  http://bit.ly/1nkoGQR

 

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The Week Ahead…..We Should All Be Watching the Wizards

The Week Ahead…..

by Larry Janezich

Monday, April 21

ANC 6A Transportation & Public Space Committee meets at 7:00pm, Maury Elementary School (1250 Constitution Avenue, NE) PLEASE NOTE LOCATION CHANGE:  Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith Annex (1230 C Street NE)  

Among items on the agenda:

Consideration of safety improvements at 10th Street NE and Maryland Avenue NE while Florida Avenue NE transportation project is pending.

Consideration of new Capital Bikeshare station location originally planned for 12th Street NE and H Street NE in the proximity of the streetcar electrical substation.

Review of fence application before the Historic Preservation Office concerning lot adjacent to 147 Tennessee Avenue NE (at the intersection of 13th Street NE and Tennessee Avenue NE)

Monday, April 21

ANC 6A Community Outreach Committee meets at 7:00pm at Maury Elementary School,

1250 Constitution Ave NE (enter from 13th St.)

Review of grant requests for recess/sports equipment for Miner Elementary School (pending receipt of application) and for picnic tables for outdoor classroom for Eliot Hine Middle School.

Wednesday, April 23

ANC6B Outreach & Constituent Services (O&CS) Task Force meets at 7:00pm, in Hill Center.

Wednesday, April 23

ANC6A Economic Development & Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm in Sherwood Recreation Center.

Among items on the agenda:

819 D Street, NE (HPA 14-180) – Applicant seeks Historic Preservation Board approval for redesigned plans for renovation of existing church and two adjoining rowhouses into proposed 30-unit development.

1511 A Street, NE – Committee will review most recent drawings provided by developer and consider providing further comments to the Zoning Administrator.

 

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The Week Ahead….Remington’s Last Stand

Remington's née Equus , 1980 - 2014

Remington’s née Equus , 1980 – 2014

The Week Ahead….Remington’s Last Stand

By Larry Janezich

Monday, April 14

Remington’s Last StandRemington’s closes today.  Expect a crowd this evening to celebrate the end of a 30/34 year run for the Capitol Hill institution.  The building (actually two adjacent buildings) was reportedly sold a year ago for $3 million to Mountain View Burleson, LLC.   Equus, the city’s original gay country-western bar which occupied half the building, took over the adjacent Gallagher’s and became Remington’s in the mid 1980’s.  Word on the street is that the building(s) will be gutted and divided.  Half will be occupied by a Sprint outlet; the new owners hope to open a food and beverage venue in the other half – the latter being uncertain.  Mountain View Burleson is a Texas LLC which lists its principle operation as Mountain View Development Company, Virginia Beach, VA.

Monday, April 14

ANC 6D meets at 7:00pm, DCRA Meeting Room, 1100 4th Street SW, 2nd Floor

Agenda items:

WMATA Presentation – Development at Navy Yard Metro

Channel Square Use Variance

Tour de Cure Race, American Diabetes Association

Monday, April 14

Quarterly RFK Community Outreach Meeting hosted by Events DC. Meeting is at 8:30pm in the RFK Stadium Media Room (South entrance, 4th Floor).

Tuesday April 15

CHRS Board of Directors meets at 6:30pm, Capitol Hill Townhomes, 750 6th Street, SE

Wednesday, April 16

ANC6a Economic Development Committee meeting has been postponed until Wednesday, April 23.

Thursday, April 17

PSA 108 meets at 7:00pm, Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue SE.

MPD Lt. JB Dykes.

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Residents Turn Out for Rat Summit – Barracks Row Restaurants, Not So Much

 

The Norwegian Rat, by James Audubon

The Norwegian Rat, by James Audubon

Bobby Corrigan, Rodentologist, Featured Speaker at Today's Rat Summit

Bobby Corrigan, Rodentologist, Featured Speaker at Today’s Rat Summit

Residents but No Restaurant Reps Attended Today's Rat Summit

Residents but No Restaurant Reps Attended Today’s Rat Summit

Residents Turn Out for Rat Summit – Barracks Row Restaurants, Not So Much

by Larry Janezich

Some 20 residents and a handful of ANC commissioners showed up for the Community Ward Six Rat Summit in Hill Center today.  The owners and managers of the source of many of the area’s rodent problems – the Barracks Row restaurants – appeared to be under represented, if present at all.  This was despite the efforts of the ANC commissioners Peisch and Oldenburg to encourage turnout among the restaurants in the 400 and 500 blocks of 8th Street, SE.

Restaurants are key players in the problem, according to Bobby Corrigan, Ph.D., of Corrigan Consulting, of Richmond, the featured speaker and one of the area’s leading experts on rodents.   He noted that one 60 pound bag of restaurant trash can supply edibles for 1,000 rats for a day.

According to Corrigan restaurant and resident trash disposal is a primary contributor to sustaining a neighborhoods rodent population.  Regarding restaurants, he said the push for enforcement by residents and resistance by business can create a weak link in the eradication chain which allows rats to take advantage.  Today’s meeting provided evidence to back up this statement.

Corrigan said that rats need food, shelter, and water.  The first two of these are the factors which can be controlled – water is widely available, and a rat can survive on the water from the morning dew on grass.

Some key rat facts listed by Corrigan include:

  • Doughnuts, bagels, and fried chicken are favorite rat foods, which they learn to like from the milk produced by a nursing mother who feeds on those items.
  • Rats live an average of 5 – 7 months of life when on the street; in a cage, they would survive longer.
  • A rat’s range can be as short as 25 feet from the nest up to 450 feet, depending on the source of food.
  • Corrigan says there are no “super rats,” and he will buy dinner for anyone bringing him a two pound rat.
  • Rats love alleys and other areas where residents regularly put out trash.
  • Rodents can enter a building through a hole the size of a dime, or through a crack the width of a Number 2 pencil.  The oily smear surrounding a rat hole in a wall is characteristic and comes from sebum secreted by the rat’s sebaceous glands.
  • Composting does not attract rats if cone correctly.
  • If you garden in an area with rats, it is difficult to keep them out.
  • Black box bait station poisoning is not particularly effective for rats regularly dining on a favorite food to which they have become accustomed.
  • Treating burrows with poison bait can be effective if monitored and followed up on by the city. Poison Tracking powder can be effective but affects pets and other mammals, and like bait takes a week or two to kill a rat.
  • Construction excavation does not necessarily produce rats – the rats have to be present.
  • “Excluder Rodent Proofing” is probably the best technology available on rodent control.

Some residents participating in today’s meeting said they were there because of rodent issues attending the restaurant group at 1st and D, SE (Tortilla Coast, Talay Thai, and Bullfeathers, and Ninella on 13th Street, SE, on Lincoln Park.  Capitol Hill Corner has posted several articles on Capitol Hill’s rat problem pointing to the restaurant group at 13th and Pennsylvania SE, http://bit.ly/RdVSfW ,  the Starbuck’s at 3rd and Pennsylvania http://bit.ly/1hZbdJN , Barracks Row  http://bit.ly/NK8lps , and Metro Center http://bit.ly/1aHa3T8.  ANC6b has enlisted city agencies to conduct a coordinated effort to address the Metro Center problem and individual commissioners are moving to address some of the other areas.

The key to rodent control is a joint effort by the community and city to make the environment unfriendly.  Restaurants must clean up and power wash alleys, clean disposal bins, and control trash disposal by keeping it inside until hauled away or disposing of it in a rodent proof trash compacter.

Things which community can do are the following.

Dispose of dog waste in residential trash bins with lids (your own, not those of other residents) or in public disposals which are impervious to access by rats.

Dispose of household trash in bins with lids – never in plastic bags.

Use landscaping which is unfriendly to rodents – bush and shrub choice (conical) are critical.

Corrigan stressed that “the rat is not forgiving of our mistakes,” and offered to answer questions which are emailed to him at: cityrats@icloud.com.

Today’s event was sponsored by CM Tommy Wells, DC DOH, and ANC6b.

 

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A “Sky Ear” Experience at The Fridge

Allegory Six.  Radio Sebastian.  Pen, acrylic paint, and acrylic medium on panel, 9X12"  $600

Allegory Six. Radio Sebastian. Pen, acrylic paint, and acrylic medium on panel, 9″ X 12″ $600

Codie (part 1) Stephanie Williams.  Wood, Fabric, Steel.  18 X 36"  $1000

Codie (part 1) Stephanie Williams. Wood, Fabric, Steel. 18 X 36″ $1000

A “Sky Ear” Experience at The Fridge

“Dance Of The Soramimi”

by Larry Janezich

Mishearing a word that sparks a creative leap to an unrelated idea is a common experience and is often the source of inspiration for poets and writers.  The Japanese name for the experience is “soramimi” – literally “empty ear” (according to Wikipedia) – or as three artists currently exhibiting at The Fridge more accurately translate it – “sky ear.”  The collaboration team of Radio Sebastian (Corwin Levi and Yumiko Blackwell) based in DC and Stephanie J. Williams of Virginia find inspiration in the experience to create visual soramimi.

Both Radio Sebastian and Williams reference childhood to explore the ways that what we see differ from what we experience.  Both use design to capture the attention.  Williams explores identity through soft sculpture sewn from cloth.  Radio Sebastian addresses the space between tranquility and anxiety in drawings and prints using mixed media.

Williams is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art in the Foundations Department at James Madison University and has shown her work nationally and internationally.  http://www.stephaniejwilliams.com/

Levi is a law school graduate and Blackwell, currently a  librarian.  Radio Sebastian has  shown in numerous national venues.  http://www.radiosebastian.com/

Dance Of The Soramimi  - the exhibit –  opened last Saturday and runs through April 27.   This month, the Fridge’s Mini Gallery also features “The Art of Storytelling:  Carlos FOES Aguilar.”

The Fridge is open Wednesday – Saturday, noon until 7:00pm.   516 8th Street SE, Rear alley, Washington, DC   http://www.thefridgedc.com/

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The Week Ahead……The ANCs Are Busy

 

Khaliyl Nubian plays guitar weekends, 9:00am – 6:00pm at Baked and Wired in Georgetown.  http://bakedandwired.com/   Last week found him at Eastern Market, 7th and C Streets.  His card reads, “Have Guitar, Will Travel.”  I Want 2 Play 4 U.  Khaliyl999@hotmail.com

Khaliyl Nubian plays guitar weekends, 9:00am – 6:00pm at Baked and Wired in Georgetown. http://bakedandwired.com/ Last week found him at Eastern Market, 7th and C Streets. His card reads, “Have Guitar, Will Travel.” I Want 2 Play 4 U. Khaliyl999@hotmail.com

The Week Ahead……The ANCs Are Busy

Monday, April 7

CHRS Historic Preservation Committee meets at 6:30pm, at Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE.

Tuesday, April 8

ANC6B meets at 7:00pm, Hill Center.

Among the items on the agenda:

Presentation on 11th Street Bridge Park Project: Scott Kratz, Director

Presenttion on The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project: Joel Schwarz, Development Manager

Vacant Building at 531 8th Street SE, concept/storefront alterations/rooftop addition

Tandoor Grill 419 8th Street SE, second story addition

Letter to Office of Planning regarding Barney Circle/Southeast Boulevard Planning Scope of Work

Wednesday, April 9

ANC 6B Hill East Task Force Meeting at 6:30pm at St. Coletta’s, the first of two community meetings this month (the second, on April 30) to determine community priorities for the development of the Eastern Branch Building.  The now vacant building at 261 17th Street, SE, was formerly the Boys and Girls Club.  The city owns the building and is prepared to lease it to a developer.  A special task for chaired by Chuck Burger recommended uses for the building related to community needs, including daycare, aging and senior services, wellness and fitness and recreation.

Wednesday, April 9

ANC 6C meets at 7:00pm at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.  Among items on the agenda:

Update on the Insight Properties Group Apollo Project – the planned high-end mixed-use community that would include approximately 321 residential units and 23,000 square feet of retail space in the 600 block of H Street, NE.

Presentation on a new establishment at 400 H Street, NE, the site of the former TruOrleans, shut down by DC Department of Revenue last year for failure to pay taxes.

Thursday, April 10

ANC6A meets at 7:00pm, Miner Elementary School, 601 15th Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Community Presentation: Commander Dierdre Porter, MPD Fifth (5th) District

Conditional support of a bike rack in public space outside of Chupacabra, 822 H Street, NE

Conditional withdrawal of opposition to sidewalk café application by Nomad Hookah Bar, 1200 H Street, NE

Request that the Zoning Administrator investigate density and parking issues surrounding a proposed 18 unit condo project at 1511 A Street, NE.  (The height and mass of the project has neighbors livid over what they see as a violation of the spirit of what the Zoning Regulations intend and the developer and real estate broker taking advantage of an anomaly in the regulations which would give the developer the right to proceed  as a matter of right.)

Request that the Office of Planning upzone the remainder of the block containing the above project to R-4, with the exception of those properties on the south side of the block that front on East Capitol Street.

Thursday, April 10

CHRS Zoning Committee meets at 7:30pm, at Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE

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Eastern Market Pottery – Photo Essay

The Entrance to Eastern Market Pottery is Down the Stairs at the 7th and C Streets Corner of Eastern Market

The Entrance to Eastern Market Pottery is Down the Stairs at the 7th and C Streets Corner of Eastern Market

Enter

Enter

Eastern Market Pottery's 1100 Square Foot Studio and Display Space

Eastern Market Pottery’s 1100 Square Foot Studio and Display Space

For Sale

For Sale

For Sale

For Sale

For Sale

For Sale

For Sale

For Sale

One of the Studio's Two Electric Kilns

One of the Studio’s Two Electric Kilns

Instructor Lynn Murphy at the Potter's Wheel Last Sunday

Instructor Lynn Murphy at the Potter’s Wheel Last Sunday

Eastern Market Pottery – Photo Essay

by Larry Janezich

Eastern Market Pottery has been a fixture of Eastern Market since 1968.  After the April 2007 fire, the studio was relocated from the tower at the rear of the market to market’s south end lower level, entrance at 7th and C Streets.

In addition to selling pottery inside the studio, Eastern Market Pottery offers classes in pottery making four nights a week and on Thursday mornings.  Classes are taught by skilled potters and instruction is individualized to meet the needs of students at all skill levels.

Eastern Market Pottery was established in 1968 by Harold Guilland in Eastern Market to help cover living expenses while he finished writing Early American Folk Pottery, published in 1971.  Current owner Chuck Brome purchased the business in 1974 after working as an instructor and studio manager.

The staff includes owner, Chuck Brome; studio manager and instructor, Susan Jacobs, and instructors Ellen Jaffe, Audrey Jones, and Lynn Murphy.

For more information see here:  http://www.easternmarketpottery.com/ or call (202)544-6669.

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