Sports Bar with Belly Dancing Coming to New York Ave, NE

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This is one of the more interesting new venues planning on coming soon. The new tavern, New York New York, is slated to come to 33 New York Ave, NE. Apparently this used to house a Go-Go club called Mirrors. Well a new liquor application just went up saying the space will be:

“New Tavern with Sports Bar Lounge serving sandwiches and microwave foods with
DJ, live bands, belly dancing and dancing by patrons. Seating capacity is 190. Total
occupancy load is 190.”

A sports bar with belly dancing has to be one of kind, right?

65 Comment

  • what a disaster in the making, but they dont want big bear to be able to serve beer and wine?

  • Since the spot used to be a crappy club (I remember reading/hearing that Mirrors was owned by cops and when there were parking problems on New York Ave in the evenings, parking enforcement looked the other way), is there a point in this process where the public can influence this? Or is there an existing liquor license that can continue as a matter of right?

    Surely we can insist on at least a toaster oven.

    • why is this something that you would want to fight?
      and if you do want to fight it, why do you care how they prepare their foods?
      its just another bar in a space that had a bar, in an area that has a number of good nightlife spots.

      • Well, what people aren’t happy with is places that have no intention to operate as anything other than a nightclub, but avoid the process of applying to become a nightclub by getting a microwave oven and calling it a day.

        It’s shady and it usually leads to a shady business operating which often flouts other laws and ignores neighborhood decorum.

        • not to mention the shady patrons of those shady establishments: litter and loiter. I’m willing to withhold judgment on this, but a microwave menu and belly dancing are red flags, methinks.

      • That’s hilarious. What “good nightlife spots” are remotely near that area other than a methadone clinic?

  • or Bunsen burner!?

  • this sounds like a quasi strip club dive. microwave food? really?

  • I bet the microwave food is popcorn

  • Sounds like a quality establishment. Good for them…

    • second that

    • +1

      Its a main street. Should be business area. Don’t be NIMBY. It isn’t a strip club. There is a restaurant down the street that has belly dancing and its 7 blocks away on NY AVE.

      • Well, there’s a difference between NIMBY and NAIVE.

        NIMBY is having no basis to oppose something, but doing it anyway. However, given that the previous business that occupied this is notorious, it’s fair to question the motives of the incoming business especially given the obscure business model.

        No one so far is saying no, but asking questions and expressing concerns is certainly warranted.

      • +1

        NY Ave is hardly a residential street, it is a good place for restaurants and bars. And maybe this will help bring life to that area.

  • I think the nucleus of anyone in the community objecting to this place is that our leadership actively works to slow down(not quite stop, I hope) bars like Boundary Stone and cafes like Big Bear – but there was no hoopla and certainly no request for comment from the community on this place that has a much broader focus than just serving a few drinks in teh evening and being a community gathering spot. This place is a sports bar, with limited food service, and belly dancing (whatever that is, in this context).

    I hope that this is a successful venture, but I want to see all of our business owners receive fair treatment and consideration. Mirrors was actually a relatively productive community member – with dance classes and the such. Its not someplace I would go, but its a place that I can appreciate being there.

    Something that just swoops in and receives no scrutiny when our leadership is questioning why ANYONE would want to eat after 11pm, expressing concern for the safety of those who have been drinking, are worried that spurring alcohol sales in sitdown establishments will lead to an increase in crime, noise, and public urination – where are they now?

    Its great that some people are excited by the project – but I cant understand people who accuse others of NIMBYism or worse. Its about fairness in the process and equal opportunity.

    • + 100

      And perhaps someone on the ANC can explain why NY Ave (this place) is a business area and gets a pass with little or no discussion, while RI Ave (Boundary Stone) isn’t somehow a business area, or seems to have go to greater lengths to defend its potential liquor license to our ANCs.

      • Sorry for the tortured prose. Recasting, to wit:

        And perhaps someone on the ANC can explain why NY Ave is a business area and this place gets a pass with little or no discussion, while RI Ave isn’t somehow a business area, and Boundary Stone seems to have go to greater lengths to defend its potential liquor license to our ANCs.

        • what pass has this place gotten? they just applied for their license.

          you want to protest it? you can.

        • my cynical guess would be that it has something to do with the races of the owners of each of the establishments in question.

          Admittedly, I have no facts to base this on, but I’d guess that the folks who are finding it hard to get their liquor licenses in this neighborhood are much lighter skinned than those opening up a belly dancing joint with microwave food, occupying the space of a former go-go joint.

          my captcha: “mass concern”. weird.

          • what actual hardships have big bear or boundary stone faced?

          • woah. Watch it with the accusations, I think thats a bit over the top and unnecessary.

            As for the hurdles that BBC and BS have faced? They have been well publicized on blogs, including this one, newspapers, and twitter – not to mention community list servs.

            How can you seriously ask that question? Whats your agenda of asking it?

          • eckington neighbor,
            i ask because its a serious question.
            so people have been talking about it. so? whens the abra vote? have they been denied their license?
            Boundary and BBC did something most places don’t do ( i commend them deeply for it) they opened themselves up to criticism before they even applied for their license.

            is the dialogue a hardship? does it adversely affect their business?

          • No, the continued implications by many ANCs that they will throw up as many procedural roadblocks as they can and use the system however tehy can to make life difficult for these business owners. The rhetoric surrounding these projects is charged and they’ve made it clear they do not want the projects to move forward. Having an ANC that is standing in the way isnt necessarily an “undue burden” its part of the process. However, when they create a double standard – thats completely unfair.

            There were multiple community meetings before the red placard was even placed in BBC or BS. This place has received no scrutiny.

            It seems the ANC is prepared to sacrifice their values (as they have voiced them in regards to BBC and BS) by not even asking for input from the community on this bar/club/sports bar/whatever.

            Even if it is just a transfer of the license, the ANC has an obligation to evaluate and scrutinize – even if they have fewer procedural tools at their disposal. However, they arent – no one would ever have known about this place if it werent for PoP.

          • Additionally, this place is actually admitting to wanting to do what some of the ANCs were concerned BBC would start doing. Inadequate food service, fostering an environment that encourages out of control behavior and drunkenness, etc.

            Even if the ANC cant do anything, where is the outrage? where is the oversight?

      • This place gets no discussion because there’s nothing around there. I walk past that block on my way home and other than a few clinics, dc housing auth, and parking lots, that side of n. cap is mostly vacant. The other side are a few section-8 towers.

        Big Bear and that location may as well be across the city for how much the two neighborhoods mirror each other.

  • Well if this place is replacing an old club they likely purchased the old licensing. This would give them the ability to operate as a club as a matter or right no? The same way as The District (douch club in Adams Morgan) was able to open. They bought Chloe (former douche club in adams morgan). Boundary Stone and Big Bear are attempting to get new Liqour Licenses which is a whole different beast from what I understand.

  • FOr those of you thinking that this place will somehow operate as a club, don’t worry. It may happen in the short run But it won’t last long. Black clubs never do. Too much fighting, violence, and all the other issues get them shut down. There is a reason why Mirrors has been closed. there is a reason why Lve (right down the street) was closed. Not to mention all the other black clubs over the years. It won’t last long. THe owners know it. That is why they only invested in a microwave. There is a saying in the black community It is that club’s have a short lifecycle. This is true but not for the reasons they think. It is due to the patrons. White club owners don’t see their clubs as being faddish.

  • yeah, leave the racial stuff outta this convo…I’d like to see BBC and anyone else who wants to open a REAL restaurant along 1st st get their licenses ASAP…these guys with the bellydancing: they are replacing a spot that already had a liquor license. a MUCH easier task in DC

  • Its a really commercial area, with no residences that close. There are 2 clubs, ibiza and fur a couple blocks away. I dont see a problem with it. Also the club Mirrors wasnt exclusively go-go, they had some really good NY and Chicago house DJs spin a few times.

    • the type of music being played seems irrelevant to this discussion.

      and I agree with yuk (posted below) that a sports bar + dj + belly dancing + liquor license just sounds gross. All they need is a “Champagne Room” in the back to complete the picture.

  • a sports bar with belly dancing sounds gross.

  • I think the point isn’t how good their music used to be, it’s the tenor and actions of the ANC towards two different businesses seemingly applying for the same opportunity and using different standards.

    And it’s just speculation that they could inherit the old liquor license.

    And I third the request to remove the unwarranted comments from BungieBoy. It’s not appropriate to this topic.

    • See the difference between the two sides is that one side is opposed to some establishments due to certain reasons that I’ve expanded upon earlier- but these same people arent opposed to other establishments.

      The other side is admittedly more excited about some establishments than others, but wants the rules and procedures (and skepticism) to be fairly expressed and implemented. This side is not opposed to any places opening, but they do want everyone on the same playing field.

      At least, thats the way I see it.

    • “remove” them?
      Disagree with them if you like, but don’t I have the right to be part of this supposedly open discussion? Or should we entertain only those opinions that are most popular?

      At any rate, just because nobody wants to talk about it doesn’t mean it’s not an issue. If the ANC is indeed applying two different standards to two very comparable scenarios, it begs the question: Why?

      All other things being roughly equal, granting one place a license while denying it to the other is arbitrary, capricious and suspicious. I don’t think examining the motifs of those decision-makers is out of line. Those motifs could fall into several categories, not limited to: bribery, ignorance, indifference, and racism.

      • what licenses have been granted or denied?

        • it’s about the discussion and the scrutiny and the opposition that has been voiced up to this point. It may be that no official votes or actions have taken place yet, but if you think the people who are very vocal against allowing BBC and BS to get a license won’t be pressing their ANC reps, then you’re mistaken.

          and the lack of discussion (excluding this blog) about the Belly Dance Joint speaks volumes as well. Therein lies the discrepancy and the inequity.

  • I think this is located in a different ANC than Big Bear or Boundary Stone.

  • i don’t understand why people are talking about this as if the anc is rubber stamping this place.
    what has the anc done differently?
    has this even been on the anc agenda yet?
    i just don’t understand why this place is a problem for you people. “gross” is not really a valid reason. and it is applying for a tavern license, not a restaurant class. so food is not the issue.

    • BS is seeking a tavern license.

      Mirrors/new club is on the line of 5B and 5C, though it is on the 5B side of the border, and since 5A could come and meddle in 5C affairs, I cant imagine anyone, with a shred of intellectual honesty, can argue that this is solely a 5B issue.

      The point, anonymous, is that NOTHING has been done from the ANC. No oversight, no meetings, no notices, no discussion. BS and BBC were targeted as the bastard children of gentrifiers and satin worshiping lushes, early on in the process. Though, this place is getting no attention at all.

      That is exactly where the double standard exists. If it weren’t for this blog – the club would have just opened one day and none of us would have known.

    • I agree that “gross” isn’t a reason to deny the place a license. That’s not what I meant.

      I’m calling it gross because the concept – on its surface – sounds gross to me. It’s a reason for me not to go, a reason for me not to eat hot pockets there or watch some skeevy chick dance around with electrical tape over her nipples. That all.

      If I’m wrong about all those assumptions, then all the better. I’d be happy to be wrong. But the picture that the description paints in my mind is gross.

      • totally wrong assumption about belly dancers – maybe you’re thinking of go go dancer?

  • This is like a dream come true. I get look at a girl shaking her thang, while watching the game and eating a hot pocket. Life just doesn’t get any better!

  • Ok, I made a mistake – its on the other side of the street from Ward 5.

    Do you understand that residents dont give a damn about arbitrarily drawn political boundaries and that they expect elected leadership to work together toward solutions?

    Copping out on the “oh its not on my turf” line is crap. It absolutely affects Ward 5. Ward 5 ANCs should be at the table as well as Ward 6. Sure Ward 6 has final say, if any say is had, but right now – no one is even paying attention.

    • Things that will/do affect me before this ever does.

      1. MMW low-income housing next to the SOME feeding center
      2. LAYC group house/clinic disguised as a school going on P. St.
      3. Douglas wasteland parking lot across N.Y. AVE.
      4. All the vacants on the west side of N. Cap.
      5. Heroin distribution center at N.Cap and Fl.

      Like the existing clubs over there, this won’t affect me. Most of the patrons are from MD/VA, travel NY-AVE/395, they will park in an industrial area or metro. Any/all the BBC/BS arguments don’t really hold over there.

      Given that lot and what exists around there already, I won’t even notice it. I’m surprised NOMA isn’t up in arms w/ all the nice new shiny buildings they are tossing up.

    • you missed the point entirely, but i’ll bite anyway.
      how will this place affect you?

      do you know that you are free to protest their application? you only need 4 more people to sign on. you have about a month and a half to get it together.

      • The fact that I can protest it, really isnt the point. I dont really want to protest it, because I’m not one of the people who has passed judgment.

        I want our elected officials to examine this one as closely as they’ve examined other projects.

        It will affect me because I live in the neighborhood. All local businesses affect me. Tax dollars, amenities, future economic development. All of this and more is at stake with every project. Which is why the ANCs should be equally interested in this.

        I know that the border is a problem, but I also know that people in Ward 5 and Ward 6 want to see cooperation, inclusion, accountability, and transparency.

  • Are you Belly enough?

  • I think a sports bar is a good idea. We need more of those. Hell a place to have a drink is a great idea. It isn’t as if folks are running over to the Courtyard Marriott every night for a glass of wine. Hell! I barely noticed Mirrors when they were open.

    Glad for them!

  • Mirrors was awesome.

    I hope this place is just as awesome.

    People go on what the heard/hear but really don’t have a clue.

  • people whining about how this place should be overly scrutinized just because theres was a bit of opposition to big bear sound like fools.

    the notion that there are any similarities is false. the notion that its just “black people protesting the license is false. the thought that the anc is applying double standards is false. your ideology that tells you that all black people are out to get you is false. your flippant accusations of racial undertones is fear mongering.

    it is embarrassing how juvenile the arguments are. the first comment sums up the childishness. us vs them. if you think its really us vs them, you don’t know enough of your neighbors.

  • I’ve been studying bellydance in DC for about six years – there is a large bellydance community and a number of studios that teach different styles of bellydance.

    Trust me, you won’t find a well trained bellydancer who would put electric tape over her nipples and shake her thang in a bar.

    • you’ve missed the point.

      the haters on this board are making assumptions that the owners are low lifes trying to skirt the law and tun this place into something closer to a strip club, thereby playing on peoples fears.

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