Yesterday, the ABC board handed down two significant decisions for Georgetown. As reported by the Current and the Citypaper, first they approved the extension of the liquor license moratorium with an additional seven new licenses available. Second, the rejected CAG’s and the ANC’s request to apply a moratorium on the Georgetown Court complex.
GM has discussed both these issues before. The first issue appears to be a commonsense response to the current situation, namely that the market price for liquor licenses in Georgetown have skyrocketed. Moreover, even with these seven new licenses and the sixteen or so licenses in safe-keeping, there would still be fewer licenses available in Georgetown than there were at the time the moratorium was first enacted. GM still thinks that the lack of a use-it-or-lose-it provision for licenses in safe keeping is more to blame for the excessive price of liquor licenses, but this will certainly help. At least for a little while.
While there are valid arguments on both sides of the first issue, it was nonetheless not a particularly contentious debate. That can’t be said for the second matter. Going back to 2008, CAG and the ANC have been fighting the expansion of restaurants in the Georgetown Court complex on Prospect St.
Back in 2008, when CAG and the ANC fought the outdoor seating for Morton’s, the ABC board decided against them but suggested to the groups that a complex-wide moratorium would be a good idea. They took the board up on the idea and submitted a request last year.
That the idea came from the ABC board itself makes yesterday’s decision all the more surprising. According to the Citypaper, ABC board member Nick Alberti cited over 100 letters mailed to the Board protesting the proposed seat limitations and further he stated that the proposal could inhibit the economic development of the neighborhood. GM is awfully curious to know who these letters came from.
So what’s the overall message? More booze for Georgetown. But GM can’t help wondering if that still won’t be enough to attract more new and interesting restaurants to Georgetown.