ABC Committee Lends Conditional Approval to Acqua Al 2 Expansion – Some Neighbors Raise Strong Objections
by Larry Janezich
ANC6B Commissioner Carol Green’s ABC Committee last night endorsed Aqua al 2 restaurant’s request to add seating for 36 guests upstairs and extend hours of operation until 1:00am on weekdays and 3:00am on weekends. The approval was conditional on the restaurant agreeing not to use either the back of the second floor or the first floor rear garden for guests, to provide an additional trash container in the rear, and to discourage parking in the alley and deliveries to the rear of the business. The restaurant, at 212 7th Street, SE, across from Eastern Market, specializes in Tuscan fare and tends to attract a tony clientele.
Some nearby neighbors objected to the expansion, saying it will make existing problems concerning trash, noise, and deliveries worse. They also said it would be a bad precedent for other restaurants and bars on the block and those which might come.
Co-owner Ari Gejdeson, appeared before the ANC to support the application. He stressed that the expanded hours were meant to accommodate late=staying diners rather than to encourage a late night bar scene.
Much of the neighborhood unhappiness stems from the narrow alley separating the rear of 7th Street restaurants from their back yards. Of particular concern are deliveries to 7th Street restaurants that block the alley and prevent access to garages. Gejdenson explained the lengths he goes to in order to be a good neighbor, an assertion supported by several neighbors who suggested that he provides a good example of a business owner taking responsibility for the conditions which his business created and who works with the neighbors to ameliorate those conditions.
The ABC Committee voted unanimously to forward the application to the full ANC for consideration at its meeting next Tuesday.