Special ANC Meeting Tomorrow to Discuss Single Sales

Dixie Liquors by Busdriver420.

There will be a special meeting of ANC2E tomorrow at 8:40 AM at the Georgetown BID office (1055 Thomas Jefferson St.). There is only one item on the agenda: Dixie Liquors application to sell singles.

A little background: In 2008, the Council voted to ban the sale of “singles” in Ward 2. Specifically, DC Code Section 25-345 states, in part, that no liquor store in Ward 2 shall:

Sell, give, offer, expose for sale, or deliver an individual container of beer, malt liquor, or ale with a capacity of 70 ounces or less, as well as spirits (liquor) sold in half-pints or smaller volumes.

Similar singles bans exist in other sections of town, including Wards 4, 6, and 8. These bans are aimed at reducing petty crimes associated with public drunkenness. Generally speaking, they have been popular.

But Georgetown hasn’t traditionally had the same public drunkenness problem that have affected other parts of town. In fact, Karen Cruse, CAG’s ABC guru, stated at one ANC meeting that CAG wasn’t particularly for the ban in the first place.

The law permits an establishment to obtain a waiver of the ban, which Georgetown’s Dixie Liquors did. Last spring they appeared before the ANC several times pleading their case. After waffling a bit about whether to support an ANC-wide waiver or to go case-by-case, the ANC appeared to table the issue and it hasn’t come up since.

The understanding among the Commissioners appeared to be that ABRA wouldn’t grant the waiver without the approval of the ANC. Turns out they were wrong. The law merely states that the ANC will receive notice of an applicants waiver request; it doesn’t say the ANC has to approve it (although ABRA is instructed to give “great weight” to any resolution the ANC adopts). Apparently ABRA took the ANC’s failure to disapprove the waiver as a tacit approval. Thus the reason for this special meeting is for the ANC to request that ABRA reconsider the waiver.

Also apparently Wagner Liquors, on Wisconsin Ave., was granted a waiver a while ago. They were lucky to have slipped through without the notice of Commissioner Bill Starrels, who is the main proponent of the singles ban on the ANC.

In GM’s opinion, the single sales ban is not necessary in Georgetown and merely serves to hurt residents and store-keepers alike. What do you think?

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Special ANC Meeting Tomorrow to Discuss Single Sales

  1. Speaking purely as an amateur chef (whose personal drinking habits are usually limited to champagne, cheap white wine, good Spanish brandy, and an occasional cocktail), I sometimes find that when a recipe calls for just a little bit of some alcoholic beverage, the work would be best served by picking up a miniature bottle. The thought of having to get a whole bottle which will just sit in the liquor cabinet and never get used seems wasteful. So I’m for the exception.

  2. At one time, single sales in Georgetown WAS a problem, with the bums who lived in the park across the street from Dixie (now Francis Scott Key Park). There was a convenience store half a block away that sold singles to the bums, who were always drunk and obnoxious, and drank openly in the park.
    Are the bums gone? Hmmmm, let’s walk across the street and check the park….

  3. asuka

    Single sales have no place in Georgetown. The only people who buy them are drunks and drunk students, neither of which are conducive to the general tranquility of the neighborhood.

  4. asuka

    “But Georgetown hasn’t traditionally had the same public drunkenness problem that have affected other parts of town.”

    Do you think that might have something to do with…the ban on single sales?

  5. Phil

    Call me naive, but I doubt homeless people and college students are going to get drunk on the $10+/bottle Belgian ales that Dixie wants to sell.

  6. asuka

    You’re naive if you think that they won’t start selling cheaper singles if they get the license to do so.

  7. Phil

    That’s easily resolved by amending the voluntary agreement…

  8. asuka

    Nothing’s “easily resolved”. Best to simply leave the functional and effective rule in place.

  9. Pingback: Dixie Liquors Keeps Singles Ban Exemption Despite Strongly Worded ANC Resolution «

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