ANC ABC Committee Hamstrung by Previous Vote on Liquor Licenses
Sends Mixed Signals on New Liquor Licenses
by Larry Janezich
Posted Friday, December 10, 2010
At last night’s regularly scheduled ANC ABC Committee meeting, the Committee voted 5 – 0 with two abstentions to protest a new restaurant license for Pacificos, a proposed new restaurant at 514 8th Street (site of Capitol Hill Video).
Voting to Protest: Garrison, Green, Jarboe, Oldenburg, Wright
To Abstain: Glick, Metzger
Prior to the vote, several commissioners stated that they felt their hands were tied on the Pacificos application. It appeared that this is a restaurant many of them would prefer to see on 8th Street, as opposed to the back-up lease for a Kawasaki Motorcycle dealership and repair shop that the building’s owner is holding in reserve. Several commissioners stated that they couldn’t undermine ANC6b’s credibility by approving this application when they had rejected two liquor licenses last month for proposed restaurants slated to come in the Chateau Animaux building. In addition, they noted a residents’ petition in opposition, signed by 53 people, as well as an announced intention to file a formal protest before ABRA (Alcohol Beverage Regulatory Administration).
It seems that certain commissioners attempted to assuage the disappointment of liquor license applicants; Dave Garrison, for instance, noted that he wasn’t sure the ABRA would support the recent ANC 6b position to protest new liquor license applications based on “over concentration.” Commissioner Jarboe commented that the vote in opposition should be looked at as a “time out rather than forever and ever.”
Owner of several Barrack’s Row restaurants Xaviar Cervera presented the case for Pacificos. He submitted a petition signed by 300 Capitol Hill residents in support of his application, as well as a strong letter of support from BRMA. One of the more interesting components to his presentation, and the entire meeting, was his description of efforts that he and other Barracks Row restaurateurs were willing to consider to alleviate parking issues for the neighborhood, including possible free parking as well a discount for patrons using the currently under-utilized 60-space lot under the freeway. Cervera’s response built on a proposal put forward by BRMA which includes creating a resident parking plan for the nearby neighborhood and 4 hour free parking to Ward 6 residents in the freeway lot. Cervera offered to come back before the full ANC next week with compromises on hours of operation and seating.
The committee then voted to support the application for a new tavern license for the Bavarian Beer Garden at 720 L Street with a voluntary agreement, the details of which are still being worked out. The vote was 6 – 1.
Voting to support, with conditions: Metzger, Jarboe, Green, Wright, Garrison, Glick
To Protest: Oldenburg
Co-owner Mark Brody presented the case for the Bavarian Beer Garden which he hopes will open next year. The Commission felt that more activity on lower 8th Street would benefit the area, an assumption that was reinforced by the owner of the Ugly Mug opposite the Marine Barracks as well as Mr. Cervera.
At Thursday night’s ANC Special Call Meeting which preceded the ABC Committee meeting, the Commission voted 7-0 with one abstention to protest the application for a new tavern license for the 8th Street Bar & Grill. Note that this is a tavern—not a restaurant—liquor license application, and that the proposed venue contemplates live music and late hours of operation.
Voting to protest: Commissioners Metzger, Jarboe, Green, Wright, Garrison, Glick, Oldenburg
To abstain: Commissioner Patterson
Khaled Hoss present the case for 8th Street Bar and Grill. The Commission expressed concern about discrepancies regarding occupancy between the drawings submitted and the application, and noted objections from neighbors and other nearby businesses, including plans for filing formal protests by the owner of the Ugly Mug and the Barracks Row Merchant Association.