Tag Archives: Moratorium

ANC Round Up: Holy Crepe Edition

Peach Crepes by sonicwalker.

The ANC met for its May session last night. Heavy on liquor discussions and mercifully short on residential permit issues, the meeting was a lively one. But are you even reading this or are just thinking about how much you’d love some peach crepes right now?

About Those Crepes

Sometimes words said just cannot be unsaid. Exhibit A: Last month the proprietors of the new Crepe Amour restaurant on M St. described their restaurant as a “grab and go”-type restaurant while asking to get approval to remain open 24-7. There are probably few phrases that they would be worse off using than “grab and go” if they ever hope to get approval as an all-night dining option. For that reason, the owners were back this month desperately explaining all the ways in which they are neither grab nor go.

The commissioners weren’t buying it. They believe that if Crepe Amour is permitted to go to 24-7 operation, they will become Philly Pizza redux. While GM can sympathize with the fact that that part of Georgetown might be sensing a bit of deja vu all over again, he believes that there are fundamental differences. Most importantly, Crepe Amour is on M St. not a side street like Potomac. This is a key difference. The reason that Philly Pizza was such a problem was that it attracted drunk and loud revelers off of M St. who then congregated outside of the restaurant, which happened to also be the outside of a bunch of homes. The commissioners kept harping on the idea that Crepe Amour would “attract” only drunks. But so what? If a drunk student is going to walk back to the campus or their off-campus home through the lower West Village, they are going to do so regardless of whether they stop by for a crepe on M St. beforehand. Maybe 24 hour service is unacceptable for other reasons, but GM thinks the ANC is making an illogical comparison to Philly Pizza in this instance. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by M.V. Jantzen.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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Georgetown’s Liquor Licenses Held in Safe Keeping

Two weeks ago, the Current dug into the story about how ABRA is considering adding two more liquor licenses to the Georgetown Moratorium. One of the bigger issues that stem from the moratorium is the issue of liquor licenses held in safe keeping. Which got GM wondering, who’s holding on to those anyway?

Quick background: There is a moratorium on new liquor licenses for Georgetown. Thus, ABRA cannot issue any new licenses for bars or restaurants in Georgetown (hotels aren’t subject to the moratorium).  They can, however, buy licenses from people or entities that already have one.

This legislated scarcity has reportedly pushed the going rate of a liquor license in Georgetown up to $70,000. As the Current reported, the most recent five year moratorium period is coming up, and ABRA is proposing to add two more licenses to the total. The stated reason for these two new licenses is, in the words of ANC Commissioner Bill Starels, to “dampen the bidding wars.”

But who are they bidding to? An active restaurant or bar isn’t likely to sell its liquor license, so any new establishment must look to the defunct restaurants and bars that are still holding on to their inactive licenses (known as licenses held in safe keeping). Continue reading

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ANC Roundup: Moratoriums get Moratoriumier

So soon did lose his seat and all at once – King Henry V, Act I, Scene 1

Seats are wonderful things. They allow us to stop standing, at least for a little while. They also allow us to eat sitting down. And drink. And drive cars to restaurants in order to eat or drink sitting down. And in Georgetown, anything that might attract more people in cars to anything is immediately viewed with suspicion. So it is from that observation that GM turns to the great Seat Moratorium War of 2009. Skirmish One of this war took place last night at the ANC meeting, and it was just one of the highlights of the last ANC meeting till September. Continue reading

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