Noteworthy:  Flea Markets, Tavern Licenses/other Barracks Row Issues & Dockless Bikes and Scooters

ANC6B met last Tuesday at full strength. Barracks Row issues figured prominently on the agenda.

Noteworthy:  Flea Markets, Tavern Licenses/other Barracks Row Issues & Dockless Bikes and Scooters

by Larry Janezich


Saturday and Sunday Flea Markets at Eastern Market

The Department of General Services has extended the licenses of the Saturday and Sunday flea market operators to continue the flea markets on the 300 block of 7th Street for an additional six months.  The intent had been to move those operations to the newly re-opened C Street between 7th and 8th Streets by now.  Controversy over how to provide for the survival of Eastern Market as a food market while accommodating the needs of the outside merchants and retailers in the areas surrounding the market has stymied those seeking a compromise.  CM Charles Allen got the city to budget $300,000 for the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to develop a five year strategic plan to determine how best to ensure the future of Eastern Market and determine the best use for the Eastern Market special use area encompassing all of the areas around the market where retail activities occur.  An additional $25,000 will be used to develop a security plan for the 200 and 300 blocks of 7th Street; the favored approach seems to be securing the access points to that portion of 7th Street with pop-up bollards.

Tavern Licenses on Barracks Row

Word is that Orchid, the new LBGT venue on Barracks Row, will apply to change its restaurant liquor license to a tavern license (the difference:  you don’t have to serve food with a tavern license).  ANC6B has been skeptical of supporting applications for tavern licenses on Barracks Row, but recently recommended that ABRA approve a tavern license for the new “Barracks Lane” restaurant coming to the space formerly occupied by Las Placitas.  The owner of the new restaurant explained he will operate as a restaurant, but a tavern license would allow him to reduce the paperwork and number of annual reports the city requires of holders of a restaurant liquor license.  ANC6B restricted the hours of operation in the settlement agreement for “Barracks Lane” to make the property less attractive for use as a tavern in the event the license conveys to a different owner in the future.  “Barracks Lane” hopes to open in about six weeks.  See here:

400 Block of Barracks Row

ANC6B Commissioner Jennifer Samolyk, chair of the commission’s Constituent Services and Community Outreach Committee, will hold a meeting to discuss issues related to the 400 block of 8th Street.  The block has been plagued with drug and panhandling problems.

Dockless Bikes and Scooters

The city has extended until August the trial period for the operation of dockless bikes and electric scooters to operate on city streets.  The Department of Transportation is seeking community feedback.  Jason Star, Regional Manager for Limebike, appeared before ANC6A last Thursday to encourage residents to provide feedback on the program.  He said the company is interested in determining the number of people using dockless bikes and scooters as well as the diversity of ridership, i.e., who in the community is using dockless bikes when other transportation options don’t exist.  In response to a question about disabled bikes, he said the company is improving its ability to retrieved trashed or vandalized bikes and providing better locks to prevent theft.  The scooters’ top speed is 14.6 mph and riders have to have a driver’s license to rent them.  He sees the answer to complaints about scooters operating on residential sidewalks as one of education, while noting that DC law prohibits riding scooters on sidewalks in business districts.  To provide feedback, go here:


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3 responses to “Noteworthy:  Flea Markets, Tavern Licenses/other Barracks Row Issues & Dockless Bikes and Scooters

  1. CDooge

    I wonder if Safeway would have put up with food vendors occupying parking and public thoroughfares outside their store with as much restraint as the EM business people have. I think not.

    • Safeway bought the land for their parking lot, they graded it, paved it and maintained it at full cost. The suburban families who dominate the South Hall at Eastern Market (mostly because they inherited it), have long expected DC taxpayers to pick up the tab for everything related to operating their business, while paying rent more commiserate with parking spaces that prime commercial space.

      The streets have been closed to traffic for a few hours on the weekend for quite few years now, with little affect on the shopping at Eastern Market. The more dramatic change came with the opening of Trader Joe, which people seem to simply prefer, regardless of parking.

      It is indeed a shame that the suburban families of the South Hall spent so many years being subsidized into a competitive stupor, rather than facing the world forming around them.

      • Ditto to what Joe said. Wish people would bother to understand the background of the actual (and for profit) businesses operating in Eastern Market before pretending they are some kind of saints who should be subsidized by actual DC residents (which they are not) rather than be expected to pay their own way. Whole thing is a farce and largely the fault of institutions like EMCAC (Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee).