Voluntary agreements are enforceable contracts that liquor licensees enter into with the ANC, the Citizens Association of Georgetown, and others in order that the counter-parties drop their objections to the issuance of or substantial change to a liquor license. Perhaps in recognition of the functionally non-voluntary nature of the agreements, the city began calling them settlement agreements last year.
The reason GM brings this up, is that he discovered that the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) now publishes all the agreements on the website. Why this is interesting is that it gives you a fascinating look into the history of Georgetown nightlife (at least as far back as the 90s).
And what it provides in particular is a window into what were the residents’ concerns about Georgetown nightlife at the time. True, not much has changed, but enough so that provisions like this are no longer included:
Applicant will not sponsor or otherwise allow on the premises “wet t-shirt” contests or events in the nature of “beefcake” contests or “cheesecake” contests. Applicant will not employ a barker or engage in any practice outside the premises which engages passers-by to enter.
Beefcakes? Cheesecakes? Barkers? Wow, Georgetown was different back in 1995 when this agreement was formed.
Specifically it was formed with Sports Fans, a sports bar that was at 3287 M St. Brit Swan owned it, and eventually he changed it to Modern, which still is open. And thus Modern is still under this wet t-shirt contest and beefcake/cheesecake prohibition.
But GM has to ask: is there a difference between beefcakes and cheesecakes?