Neighbors Furious Over Barracks Row Eatery Back Alley Grease Dump
by Larry Janezich
An across-the-alley neighbor of Ambar, set off alarm bells this morning when he circulated a set of photos of “grease, liquid food waste, and other foods” dumped either accidentally or intentionally in the alley behind Ambar on Barracks Row.
The response from the community was fury over this latest in a long series of complaints about conditions in the alley behind restaurants on the west side of Barracks Row.
One resident put it this way: “This is so wrong on so many levels – mostly as it affects the health of the neighborhood and our river. Why oh why do the gentleman who own Ambar and Cava (not to mention Teds and Medium Rare) continue after nearly four years of hand holding and education…to persist in failing to understand that our neighborhood is not a garbage dump to be used and abused in their pursuit of a profit.”
An appeal to ANC6B Commissioner James Loots in whose district the restaurants in question reside brought a prompt response. (Loots, an attorney, also serves as legal counsel to a number of restaurants on 8th Street. He has been active in using liquor license renewals to require Capitol Hill restaurants to adopt “best operating practices” to address complaints by nearby neighbors.)
Loot’s announced a two part plan to address the issue:
- Initiate a campaign to publicize the issue, naming the offending restaurants, and contacting the restaurant ownership.
- Work with DDOT and DOEE to create as necessary and then enforce a ban on grease storage in public spaces. No grease in public space. Period
Neighbors agree that a legal ban on storage of grease on public space is a good first step toward indoor storage of trash, recycling, and grease. But virtually all of them think that more needs to be done. To that end, mandatory indoor trash, recycling and grease storage is the necessary next step. The success of & Pizza and EatBar are good examples showing that these best operating practices work.
ANC Commissioner Chander Jayaraman, chair of ANC6B’s Alcohol Beverage Control Committee, told CHC: “On Barracks Row, we worked very hard to build a bridge between the community and the growing number of restaurants. This is not the first incident with Ambar – they are repeat offenders. It highlights the need for best practices. I’ll work hard with Commissioner Loots going forward to achieve the indoor storage of grease containers.”