Some Good Scuttlebutt For Ya

Some potentially good, some potentially not so good.

Disclaimer: The following is scuttlebutt, rumor, things I’ve heard. Take it with a grain of salt. Although I have a 95% success rate with these rumors turning out to be true, nevertheless there is always a possibility the following could fall in the 5% false category.

The last retail space in the strip of new retail on Irving Street will be… A Mocha Hut! So now Columbia Heights will officially be a coffee lover’s haven. You’ve got Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Mayorga, Columbia Heights Coffee and now Mocha Hut. So what do you think – a good addition?

Now for the not so good – I’m hearing that the new Yes! Organic Market that is coming to Georgia Ave. is facing some difficulties. What are the difficulties? Well, apparently there is a moratorium on liquor licenses and they may not be able to get one. This would be very bad for their business. And for us. So start whatever grassroots action you can to make sure that the Yes! Organic Market gets a liquor license. Of course I have no idea how that happens. So do you think the Yes! Organic Market should be allowed to have a liquor license?

32 Comment

  • The Yes in Adams Morgan doesn’t seem to have a liquor license. Why would it be such s big deal at the new location?

  • There is a moratorium on licenses in Adams Morgan, but I’m not aware of one in Petworth. People always oppose alcohol for some unknown reason… I say, bring on the booze!

  • There has been a standing moratorium on liquor licenses in DC for years. It’s damn near impossible to get one … well that is unless you have a good amount of money and/or influence.

  • Why does an organic food market need to sell alcohol?

  • I think that having a liquor license will be huge in helping the Yes! market do well (survive?) in that location. Just recently we were in the Brookland Yes! for the first time and my husband was marveling at the beer selection there and we were extremely excited about the one coming two blocks from our house. I will most definitely do a lot of shopping there with or without the liquor license, but I think a nice beer and wine selection will help draw people in.

  • I thought you were going to tell us they couldn’t come at all — I’ll be happy with whatever version of Yes! they bring to Petworth. Phew.

  • People speak out more against alcohol (a legal item) than they do about the crack in their neighborhood. I have never understood how seemingly rationale people are unable to make the distinction between a liquor store and a grocery store. I have a lot of thoughts as to why. And I would say more. But then I would get accused of who knows what for expressing my opinion.

    I will say this though. It is typical of a certain types of people that will overlook the problem and just paint the issue with a broad brush. Sure alcohol has devastated many people in DC neighborhoods. Yet, that is no reason to demonize alcohol. That should serve as a wake up call that there are issues deeper than the alcohol itself. But from that standpoint, if the same people that demonize alcohol could see the bigger picture, alcohol wouldn’t have ravaged many DC communities as it has done.

    Liquor stores don’t open up to go out of business. You can’t stem demand for liquor by banning it. Some people just can’t accept responsibility for their own failings in life. They will stoop to any level to blame others.

  • 1) Don’t forget Sticky Fingers bakery they have a nice selection of goodies to accompany some ‘wake up and smell the kick me in the dopamine receptor good’ coffee. Although with all those caffination stations I think the space could’ve been better used as a local grown products shop akin to an everyday dupont farmers market… perhaps incorporating local microbrews/wines and equipment… well a man can dream can’t he.

    2) Its a shame that a moratorium on liquor licenses is preventing the positive growth within the hood whereas every corner is littered with slanty shanty beer stores selling cheap booz, phillie blunts, and the cheap plastic crap that ends up floating down the streets of our fair city.

  • The Yes! in Brookland has a really good beer selection, and it would be really really good to have something like that so close to home.

  • we have enough damn coffee shops in the area.. why would you want ANOTHER coffee shop… don’t you want some diversity in the stores in the area??

  • yea not that excited about mocha hut….but i’ll take it.

  • 1. I love seeing local coffee houses spring up, although it does seem like we’ve got a bunch in the area as it is. Also, if they’re going to put in another coffee joint, could we at least consider something open later than 9pm? There are so few places for a gal to just unwind/study at night without bar music blaring in the background.

    2. Yes definitely needs to have a nice wine/beer selection. I will gladly sign any petition to make it so.

  • when is the mocha hut reopening on upper 14th st by the bus depot?

  • The Yes in Adams Morgan does not have a liquor license and there is NOT a moratorium in effect that would prevent them from getting one if they chose to.

    The moratorium that is in effect in Adams Morgan is from the issuance of new restaurant/tavern licenses…this also does not mean that an existing license can’t be transferred to new ownership either. It means that a brand-spanking new license cannot be applied for. It also doesn’t mean that someone can’t bring a license into a place that doesn’t have one already (the old Tara Gallery space for instance) if the would-be owners purchased a license from someone.

    Also, Wadzuk, not sure where you’re from originally, but if you think it’s difficult to get a license in D.C., you should ask around…in Ohio for instance, all licenses must be voted on by the community during elections (which would dictate when you could/couldn’t open). In some counties in Maryland, a restaurant has to be open a full six months before they are allowed to serve alcohol….Not saying that D.C. doesn’t have some antiquated liquor laws, because certainly we do, but trust me, compared to some other locales it’s pretty darn easy to ultimately get a new license here.

  • I blame the churches in the area for the moratorium, despite being a solid Democratic voting bloc for years, they are mostly socially conservative and have more in common with the Republican mega-churches than most realize.

  • PoP,
    This sounds like a good research project for an intern. (1) Figure out what’s going with YES! (contacting them directly, as well as the building’s developer); and (2) if there is some sort of challenge to YES! liquor license-wise, the intern could help identify ways that we could help YES! overcome the obstacle(s).

  • Well since this is a rumors post here is another one for everyone.

    Posted on the CH Community Forums regarding Maggie Moos:

    “Signage next to Marshalls taken down. DCUSA signage on the poles that tell what stores on are on what floors is gone.

    Does this mean MM is no longer slated for DCUSA?”

    No one has any answers so does anyone here know? Is Maggie Moos no longer coming to DCUSA?

  • I agree. Churches want to remove all available competing options for their members money. Hence we get nonsensical laws like liquor stores must close early on Sat. night. Liquor stores must close on Sunday. No liquor stores near churches. What is the sense of that other than wanting to limit competition?

    Shiloh Baptist Church in Shaw comes to mind. It owns several abandoned buildings contributing to the blight and retarding growth around the convention center. It is staunchly against gentrification (read: white people taking over). A vegetarian restaurant (Vegetate) opened up near Shiloh. It wanted a liquor license for their restaurant. Shiloh fought them tooth and nail. The irony is that Shiloh is a black church. Yet, they fought a commercial venture by a BLACK man.

    In a community with few black role models, especially men, Shiloh fought a battle to hurt one of its own. The city should not give these churches any voice as they contribute little to the improvement of the city. They hold it back more than anything. Shiloh is a perfect example of that….

  • well, the truth of the matter is that the booze that yes would presumably sell would more likely cotton (no pun) to the folks who like, say, microbrews. so i guess what i would say is that either one is totally in favor of all kinds of liquor (which would include beverages sometimes looked down upon by folks who can swing said microbrews) in a community,
    or not.
    nate- ive never heard my neighbors give the use of crack a (relative) pass.
    but as the child of an alcoholic-i think it would be a mistake to downplay the
    devastation it can wreak on a family.

  • I heard that the Mocha Hut further up 14th is going to be a different restaurant with the Mocha Hut name – managed by different people. Not sure when they are opening, but I keep hearing “soon”.

  • When will we be flooded with too many cute coffee shops on lower GA Ave? I am tired of the empty storefronts up there, particularly next to Temperance Hall, I mean, Looking Glass Lounge. Anyone know the owners of Big Bear, would they open one up here for us????? Please?????

  • “but as the child of an alcoholic-i think it would be a mistake to downplay the
    devastation it can wreak on a family.”

    Not to make light of your situation, but your parent(s)’s alcoholism should not hinder me from buying alcohol at say 10:01PM on a Sat. night. If you feel that alcohol is so bad, then you should be for banning it outright. Trying to artificially limit its availability at certain times of the day or night is asinine. People are not oppose to selling cigs,dutch masters, black & milds and rolling papers at all times of the night. And they kill just as many people.

  • i really like everything youre saying nate… it definitely all makes sense, and i concur. we let churches dictate too much, i think…

  • nate-my dad is deceased, so it isnt a factor. i wasnt drawing a correlation
    between my experience and banning liquor. i dont drink, so it doesnt personally
    impact my liver or my pocketbook. i am assuming you arent opposed to selling “cigs, dutch masters, black and milds”etc. you strike me as a status quo embracing, free market kind of guy…
    enjoy your beverage of choice.

  • I have trouble believing Yes Organic Market would have trouble getting a liquor license with all the support they have from the ANCs and the city council. Also – this isn’t Shaw, the churches do not run Petworth. I strongly support Yes getting a license to sell beer & wine; they will fill a major gap in this neighborhood by supplying good quality beer and wines.

    Regarding the comments on we have too many coffee shops already — that might be true in Columbia Heights, but is NOT the case in Petworth. I’d like to be able to walk to one! And I love Mocha Hut.

  • Wow…for the first time ever, I actually agree with quite a few things Nate said…Who knew?

  • There is no DC-wide liquor license moritorium and, to my knowledge, no Petworth specific moritorium. Sales of single beers are banned in certain areas (H St, NE and Mt. Pleaseant come to mind) and I think Ward 4 was trying to ban singles as well.
    As to why a grocery store would want to sell beer and wine, the profit margin is fairly high and there is little to no spoilage. You only have to look at the fight Harris Teater in Adams Morgan put up to get their liquor license to realize how much retailers value them.

  • Err.. which “strip of retail on Irving” does this refer to exactly? Would be nice if you were a bit more accurate.

  • GforGood:

    Way back when I was a wee lad, I remember my teachers in grade school introducing a little concept called “context clues.” (And, apparently, alliteration…Crap! I did it again!)

    Now, being that all of the establishments mentioned above are part of the mondo commercial development you may or may not have noticed taking place in Columbia Heights I would be willing to venture a guess that the aformentioned “Mocha Hut” will probably be going somewhere along there. I can’t imagine what other “strip of retail on Irving” that’s ALSO in proximity of Starbuck$, Mayorga et al exists that would cause such a need for accuracy.

  • …that is, of course, unless you were being facetious. In which case I pre-apologize for my snarkiness.

    (If you weren’t then the snarkiness is 100% intentional.)

    Okay I go bye-bye now.

  • I wonder if “The House” on Georgia had any trouble getting its liquor license.

  • Speaking of churches and their influence, I find it most annoying that churches filled to the brim with people who have abandoned DC for Maryland think they should have a say in what happens in a neighborhood they’ve long ago abandoned. Just imagine if the old synagouge on Grant Circle hadn’t been converted to a church and you had old jewish folks out in Montgomery County trying to dictate what happened back in their old neighborhood…

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