Bullfrog Bagels Liquor License Wins ANC6B Approval
by Larry Janezich
Last week, ANC6B Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg noted that nearby neighbors of the proposed Bullfrog Bagel shop coming into 7th Street, SE, had filed a protest with the Alcohol Beverage Control Board (ABRA) regarding a request for a liquor license. Oldenburg told the ANC’s Alcohol Beverage Control Committee that the ANC had the option of negotiating a settlement agreement regarding the restaurant’s operation in accordance with what they thought was good for the neighborhood and the that neighbors’ protest could go forward in ABRA. At the full ANC meeting on Tuesday night, that’s exactly what happened. In reality, the protest before ABRA has virtually no chance of winning further limitations with respect to the restaurant’s operations.
The ANC wrung only a few concessions for the neighbors most affected by the restaurant: sale of alcohol inside and outside Sunday through Thursday was scaled back 30 minutes to 11:30pm and 10:30pm respectively and sale of alcohol inside by 30 minutes to 11:30pm on Friday and Saturday – sale of alcohol outside will remain at 11:00pm on those days.
The issue of deliveries in the alley was left up to the city’s official interpretation of laws and regulations which are a matter of dispute between the neighbors and Bullfrog, and the latter has agreed to limit and minimize the impact of any early morning alley deliveries if they are permitted by the city. Finally, the agreement allows Bullfrog to haul trash from the second floor kitchen down exterior stairs in back and into the trash room for interior storage rather than transferring it through the restaurant.
Ellen Opper-Weiner, the attorney for the neighbors who are protesting the liquor license, said the residents were very disappointed. Their biggest concerns remain noise and trash. Opper-Weiner objected that the settlement agreement reached was between the ANC and the owners of Bullfrog Bagels, and said the residents felt left out of the process. Opper-Weiner gave credit to Commissioner Diane Hoskins, who, she said, worked hard on behalf of the residents. Hoskins offered amendments to the settlement agreement to soften the impact on neighbors which were narrowly defeated – one restricting rear deliveries on a tie vote.
Asked to react, Hoskins said, “While there are many encouraging elements of the agreement I’m disappointed because rear deliveries before 7am will be quite disruptive for nearby residential neighbors that surround the rear of the property. There is a reasonable alternative available via 7th Street utilizing the designated commercial loading zone, nearly in front of the property which will be available for early deliveries. This should be exclusively utilized before 7am. I strongly believe this is a reasonable compromise. I hope Bullfrog will reconsider their position on rear deliveries before 7am.”
The “roll call” hearing on determining how the protest of the license will play out will be held on Monday, December 14.