More on Those Two New Liquor Licenses

Last week GM reported the news that on top of the seven newly minted liquor licenses being issued to Georgetown establishments, two additional licenses that were held-in-safe-keeping were going to be also issued. The news was announced at the September ANC meeting by none other that ABRA head Fred Moosally. This is what GM had to say about the two applicants:

  • Come To Eat – ABRA Director Fred Moosally was at the meeting last night. He spoke briefly about the moratorium and revealed that two licenses that were held in safe keeping were released. One of them will likely go to a restaurant called Come to Eat to be located in the mall. No details on what that would look like.
  • Ma Maison – More excitingly, Moosally mentioned that the other license would likely go to a restaurant called Ma Maison, which would move into the old Hibiscus Cafe space on Water Street. GM could have misheard it, but he swears Moosally said that the same family behind Cafe Bonaparte would also run this restaurant.

GM was a bit wrong on each of these.

First of all, Come To Eat isn’t going into the mall, but rather 3222 O St. (Moosally got M and O mixed up). As the public notice states, the applicant, Sheldon Arpad, wants to create a “Family-style American restaurant [with] Taped background music only; no other entertainment provided. Sidewalk Café with 20 seats. Seating capacity is 79. Total occupancy is 99.”

This application will likely face a steep challenge given its location. First of all, it’s off the main drag. Even worse for its prospects, it’s almost directly across the street from Hyde-Addison. It’s not impossible for a restaurant to get a liquor license that close to a school (Cafe Divan is right next to Hardy and the British School) but it’ll take some lobbying.

As for the second restaurant, GM ha the name wrong: it’ll be Malmaison. GM’s sub-conversational French tells him that means Bad House. Hmm. While GM didn’t state it in his write up, he assumed a restaurant with the name “Ma Maison” would be a quiet French bistro. Well, Malmaison will be nothing of the sort. According to the public notice, Malmaison will be a “New European dessert bar and lounge specializing in gourmet pastries, refined hors d’oeuvres and exotic cocktails, with DJ and dancing. Seating capacity is 81. Total occupancy load is 241.”

Of all the places for a DJ and dance party bar, the proposed 3401 Water St. location is about as close to perfect (as far as limiting public opposition) as you could hope for. It’s nowhere near any residences (the glitzy 3303 Water St. condo is a couple doors down but there’s a commercial building separating them).

But Georgetown isn’t likely to accept a new dance club without making them jump through some hoops. Since the hearing for both these applications is in October, one would expect said hoop jumping will commence with earnestness next ANC meeting.



Filed under ABRA, ANC

6 responses to “More on Those Two New Liquor Licenses

  1. Malmaison – or more specifically, the Château de Malmaison- was the name of the country estate of Napoleon and his first wife Josephine. If the same family that owns Bonaparte in Gtown and Napoleon in Adams-Morgan is behind this venture, it obviously fits among these.

  2. Medusa

    Neither of these restaurants sounds particularly appealing or special. Who, in this equation, is looking out for Georgetown’s best interests? ABRA? That’s the controlling authority for the kinds of restaurants that will define the community? Sad.

  3. Sheldon Arpad could be related to the once prominent antiques dealer Michael Arpad who ran a storefront on M Street (where Old Glory is today) and later moved to O Street, and I believe at the same address as the proposed restaurant.

    As to the latter proposed patisserie/nightclub on K Street, I say go for it! The newly refurbished waterfront needs as many attractions as possible to draw people down there………..I wish Charlie’s was still here, the fabulous nightclub owned by guitarist Charlie Byrd. I wish the Bayou was still here too. Right now, Chadwick’s and the movie theatre are the only real draws to the waterfront area. We need more life down there!

  4. Em Kayess

    Re: Sheldon Arpad. He is the son of Michael Arpad, and the O St. location was indeed the final location for Arpad Antiques.

  5. Pingback: ANC Preview: Ah, That’s Better Edition «

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