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.
About That Liquor
Several different liquor license issues came up last night. The first was an update on the Georgetown moratorium. Last month ABRA approved a temporary extension of the moratorium to prevent the moratorium from expiring while giving the interested parties a bit more time to come up with an agreed upon game plan. What they are likely to approve is the creation of seven new liquor licenses for the Georgetown moratorium zone. Originally the ANC was discussing adding only two, but when research showed that about 14 licenses have “gone” from Georgetown since the institution of the moratorium (either they were transfered out of Georgetown or expired) they felt that a larger increase would still be in keeping with the original intent of the moratorium. Commisioner Charlie Eason made the observation that as long as we still have 16 or so licenses in safe-keeping (i.e. they are issued to licensees but not currently in use) then maybe we ought to address that issue instead of just adding seven more to the mix. During the conversation it was mentioned that there is legislation under consideration that would force licensees holding licenses in safe keeping to use it or lose it (a good idea, if GM doesn’t say so himself). Since that legislation is still speculative and the moratorium won’t come up for review for another five years, the ANC voted to support the addition of seven new licenses.
Also discussed last night was George restaurant. George is an exclusive night clubish-restaurant that took over the Georgetown Billiards space last year. They want to change their voluntary agreement, which they inherited from Georgetown Billiards. The biggest item they’d like to change is the occupancy cap. The VA caps their occupancy at 99 while the actual space occupancy (per the fire department) is closer to 200. Additionally they would like to expand into the courtyard outside. The discussion grew heated at times. Both sides accused the other of acting in bad faith. The upshot is that some sort of conversation will take place between George and the powers-that-be, but that discussion did not start off well.
Finally, the ANC considered a handful of waterfront restaurants: Riverside Grille, Cabana’s and Tony & Joe’s. Essentially these three restaurants have their licenses up for renewal but have also applied to have their VAs amended. Commissioner Lewis wanted to just condense any consideration of a VA change with the consideration of license renewal, but efficiency lost the day and the discussion over their VAs will be split from the ANC’s non-objection to the license renewal.
The Overhead Wire Discussion is So Thin You Can Barely See It
The ANC wanted to discuss the issue of streetcars in Georgetown, in particular the question of whether overhead wires would be used on K St. and whether streetcars would be routed up Wisconsin. Unfortunately DDOT failed to respond to the ANC’s request to send someone to the meeting. There seems to be a will on the part of the ANC to object to overhead wires but keep an open mind on a Wisconsin Ave. streetcar (so long as major concerns are addressed) but they decided to just table the discussion until DDOT can give a presentation first.
Odds and Ends
For a meeting with a visually short agenda, it had an all too common ability to stretch out. Thus the bullets!
- There will be a tree forum held at the House of Sweden this Wednesday night at 6:00 to teach you all about the proper care of our precious trees. Teaser: Look out for the upcoming “Tree Week” here at the Georgetown Metropolitan. It’ll be like Shark Week except not nearly as interesting.
- The farmers markets start up again this week! Check out the Georgetown farmers market in Rose Park on Wednesday and the Glover Park-Burleith farmers market at Hardy on Saturdays.
- One architect presented a plan for a home on O St. that would be “off the grid” and be a totally green house. Oh except for the part about the garage they want to put in. That’s like quiting drinking except hard liquor.