Georgetown has a moratorium on new liquor licenses. So unlike the rest of the city (with the exception of the other moratorium zones) a restaurant or bar that wants to open up in Georgetown can’t simply go downtown, apply for a new liquor license, and pay a small fee. Rather, a new Georgetown restaurant or bar needs to buy an existing license off the secondary market. And for all intents and purposes, that means buying one of the licenses that are held by restaurants or bars no longer in business. The going rate for these licenses has reported to be as high as $75,000.
This barrier to entry has been frequently cited by restaurateurs as a significant reason not to open a restaurant in Georgetown. But GM’s hear to say: act now and this won’t be a problem!
You see, last year the ABC Board authorized the issuance of seven new liquor licenses in Georgetown. This was done partially in acknowledgement that since the moratorium was put in place, at least seven liquor licenses had left Georgetown, so the number of available licenses was actually lower than when the moratorium was put in place. Additionally, there was a sense that Geogetown’s restaurant scene has grown a little stale and that new licenses might inject a little blood back into the scene. Continue reading
Yesterday’s Georgetown Current contained an article discussing the decision by the ABC Board to expand the available liquor licenses within the Georgetown Moratorium by seven. ABRA officials had previously stated that the licenses would be issued on a first-come-first-served basis. The Current listed the seven parties who have applications pending and thus who are likely to take home the new licenses. Some are familiar faces, some are new, and others just left GM a little confused.
Bill’s Bar & Burger – 3347 M St.
That’s the old Philadelphia Cheesesteak Factory Building, so it would seem a new tenant has been found. It also seems that this is related to a bar with the exact same name in the Meat Packing District in New York. So like Serendipity 3, it would be a DC outpost of a NYC establishment. Given the lackluster appearance of the burger on the restaurant’s own website, GM is not too excited for this arrival.
Tackle Box – 3245 M St.
This is no surprise. Jonathan Umbell has been trying to secure a license for Tackle Box for quite some time. Hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy a beer with your lobster roll soon.
Puro Cafe – 1529 Wisconsin
A recent arrival to the upper Wisconsin Ave. neighborhood, Puro Cafe has received positive reviews. The only sticking point GM can foresee is if they want to serve drinks in their backyard late at night. Since that backs up to residences on Q St. and 32nd, those homeowners might object. Continue reading