Dear PoPville – Small minority opposed to Margot’s Chair schedules meeting w/ Mayor’s Outreach Office

“Dear PoPville,

I wanted to let you and your readers know about a “walk-through” of 11th Street taking place tomorrow which is being hosted by the mayor’s office and a group opposed to Constantine Stavropoulos’s effort to bring a Tryst/Diner/Open City type establishment to 11th Street.

The following message was posted at the 11th Street dog park over the weekend:

“Residents have requested a site walk thru of the 11th street corridor to encourage dialogue and responsible planning of this low-density commercial zone in light of the proposed project, Margot’s Chair coming to their community. Petitions that have circulated through the community have gathered over 200 signatures of residents that are opposed to a business coming to their community of this scale and operating on a 24 hour clock, 7 days a week… Please join us Wednesday 29th at 2:00 pm at 3415 11th street NW. – Francisco Fibres – Office of the Mayor”

It would have been helpful if the mayor’s folks had done a better job getting the word out (I’ve only seen this one sign), and that a time was chosen when most working residents could partake, but as I imagine that is exactly what the opposition group wants. I am confident that the vast majority of neighbors and nearby residents could not be more excited about Margot’s Chair coming to Columbia Heights, the redevelopment of a long vacant eyesore, the much needed jobs the eatery will bring to the area, and the additional security that more eyes on the street will provide. I encourage everyone to contact the Mayor’s office and notify them that a better time needs to selected so that as many people, not just those with an anti-revitalization agenda, can attend. Francisco Fimbres can be contacted at [email protected], (202) 442-8119 or (202) 664-6119″

UPDATE From Francisco Fimbres [confirmed via seperate email from Mr. Fimbres]:

Dear Mr. Krieger:

I am concerned about your messaging to the community. This is not a joint walk-thru or initiative. We are not hosting this meeting. You requested a meeting on site and we agreed to participate. The purpose of our site visit was to listen and observe. Our office is not taking any position on this matter. Your invitation to community stakeholders comes across as, if we are endorsing your position or rallying behind your cause. We are not.

At this time, our office is cancelling our site visit pending further review of your petition.

Francisco Fimbres

154 Comment

  • there was already community outreach, meetings and a voluntary agreement reached with the ANC. Why are there still concessions being made for a handful of vocal cowards who won’t even attach their name to their cause?

  • The flyer creates the impression that the Mayor’s Office was instrumental in planning this walk through and furthermore supportive of the efforts of this group.

    This is not true. While it is my understanding that a representative from the Mayor’s Office may be present for the walk through, it is important to note that that does not indicate that the Mayor’s Office has endorsed any other proposals made by this group.

    The Margot’s Chair project will quickly become a significant asset for our community and we should all be supportive of this project. Responsible development for our neighborhood is a good thing. It creates jobs, economic growth, and improves the overall vibrancy of our community.

    Thank you,
    Commissioner Thomas Boisvert
    ANC 1A07

    • As someone who lives two blocks away, I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for your support!

    • Commissioner Boisvert,

      Thanks for your response. I agree that this would be a good thing for the community. I realize you may not be the right person to ask this as it may not fall in your district, but any comment on Sunday’s Caribbean parade? Any comment on all of the recent violence in the neighborhood?

      Thanks for your help,

      CH Resident

    • I also live in the neighborhood and welcome the development that is taking shape on 11th Street. Thank you commissioner Boisvert for expressing your support.

    • What a great addition it will be! A real boost for the economy of our neighborhood!

    • Dear Friends and Neighbors,

      Please see Mr. Fimbres e-mail to Andrew about the site visit below. The Mayor’s office was in fact instrumental in organizing the event:

      Dear Andrew,

      Thank you for your message. Great feedback. Let’s conduct a site visit with all of the folks included on this email next week. What is a good date and time? What is the exact address?

      For the agencies: If you are not able to attend on the date proposed, please send a representative or your surrogate. Once, I get date and time from Andrew; I will send out a calendar invite to all.

      Thanks in advance,

      Francisco Fimbres

      • Am I correct in reading this as you calling Mr. Fimbres dishonest?

      • All this proves is that he agreed to a site visit. Exactly what the message that PoP posted. And even if the mayor’s office was “instrumental” in setting up a walk-through, the message posted at the 11th Street dog park incorrectly implied the mayor’s office opposed this business. The opponents to this restaurant come off as super shady and manipulative.

        • Which sadly is of a piece with the earlier fliers, the false claims of the nature of the business, et cetera.

  • Signatures on anti-diner petition:
    William Jordan
    Will Jordan
    Bill Jordan
    Willy Jordan
    Billy Jordan
    W. Jordan
    B. Jordan

  • The walk thru needs to be rescheduled for sometime after 6 pm so other members of the community can attend.

  • Does anyone know what the current status is? Last I could find online, there weren’t enough protestors who showed up at the liquor license meeting, and their petition was therefore dismissed. Is there another petition pending? IS there a date scheduled for final determination of the liquor license request? Basically, what is the status …. and do the protestors have a right to re-new the challenge after the initial petition has been dismissed? The whole process is really confusion, I’d love to hear an explanation.

    Speaking of the 11th Street commercial zone, I am assuming at this point that the restaurant project next to CH Coffee is dead? No movement for at least a year there … any update on Jackie Greenbaum’s place? My understanding was construction was going to begin in June, but it also looks a bit quiet over there — that is the one place I’m most excited for, to be honest.

    Whatever happens with Margot’s Chair, I just really hope that space is rehabilitated into a viable commercial enterprise (and a more attractive street frontage). Personally, I’d say my first choice would be a non-24-hour Tryst/Diner model, but I’d prefer a 24-hour Tryst/Diner over nothign at all …

    Finally, any updates / rumorson the vacant space above Meridian Pint? Must be asking exhorbitant rest because that is some prime space with no movement. Maybe that long rumored bakery would be interested :)?

  • Actually, I think it’s fair to ask if the Mayor’s representative wrote the notice pictured above. If so, he should be very cautious in future announcements, as the text does beg questions as to the sentiments of the Mayor’s office on this project. For example, why these below phrases?

    1. “responsible planning of this low-density commercial zone” – The project isn’t adding floors to the building, are they? They aren’t increasing capacity for the building over what’s permissible, are they? Then, why the emphasis on “low-density”? Also, the phrase “responsible planning” is arguably quite loaded.

    2. “a process all are entitled to participate in” – Was any viewpoint excluded from the rounds of process that have already taken place?

    3. Mentions of antis’ petition. Why not balance this with something that mentions that others in the neighborhood see benefit from the project?

    Again, Mr. Fimbres may not have written the upper text. But if he did, or even if he circulated that text, by antis, with his signature affixed, it begs questions as to how the context is being set, under the signature of the EOM. If the EOM is just facilitating a meeting, that’s one thing. This flyer says more.

    • Looks to me like the protesters wrote the upper text and then appended the invitation from the Mayor’s Office on the bottom.

      Probably with the intent of making it look like the two go hand in hand.

    • @ J – The flyer was not written nor posted by my office.

      The only message that came from our office is that we would participate in a site visit to listen and observe based on Mr. Krieger’s original request and petition documents.

      The site visit has been cancelled.

  • These people are haters. If you don’t like improvements to your community, move!!! I can get 1,000 signatures tonight that say you are dumb.

    • They’re haters because they object to a change in their community that they feel is detrimental, and you’re a genius because you can type on a blog and call strangers dumb?

      • Yes, because haters gonna hate. Or something.

      • Yes, I am a genius. Tied both of my shoes this morning all by myself, in fact. Clearly you win in the wit department, though – the way you built on to my name to make it your own is just fantastic.

  • Who is Margot and what do they have against her chair?

  • I leave a block south of the place and I cannot see a down side to Margot’s chair opening. I certainly hope a few unhappy residents will not compromize a project which has not only been approved but is cleary endorsed by many. Or will the silent majority have to become a loud and clear one?

  • WTF? How can anyone be upset about this development? If it had a large outdoor element that was 24 hours I could understand noise issues, but that’s not the case. This is going to be a terrific edition to the neighborhood. Its going to bring 50-75 jobs to the neighborhood, increase much needed tax revenue for the city, and provide good grub to many a hungry mouth any time of day (an option that’s totally absent from Columbia Heights right now.)

    These people need to take the sticks out their butts and invest that energy in combating real threats to our city.

  • Why is Gary Coleman opposed to Margot’s Chair?

  • andy

    Calling all retired/unconventionally employed/unemployed/poorly supervised gentrifiers:

    If you want this you should go.

    Those of us with typical 9 to 5s cannot.


    Dear Mr. Krieger:

    I am concerned about your messaging to the community. This is not a joint walk-thru or initiative. We are not hosting this meeting. You requested a meeting on site and we agreed to participate. The purpose of our site visit was to listen and observe. Our office is not taking any position on this matter. Your invitation to community stakeholders comes across as, if we are endorsing your position or rallying behind your cause. We are not.

    At this time, our office is cancelling our site visit pending further review of your petition.


    Francisco Fimbres

    • Mr. Fimbres,

      Thanks for fielding my call and responding to the issue.

    • Is this response for real? From the real Francisco Fimbres? I was about to launch a stink pile of emails (in support of Margot’s chair) but this sounds like we won’t need to.

      Can anyone verify?

      • Prince Of Petworth

        Yes it’s legit. The site visit has been canceled. I’ll update the post right now.

      • I sent the email to Fimbres before seeing the above message. Oh well, hope it’s true. But just in case…SHOW UP.

      • I still plan on swinging by. I’m sure those who oppose Margot’s Chair will still be there at 2pm today. It would be interesting to see how many people we are talking about here.

  • A couple months back, I ran into the gentleman primarily responsible for the petition and listened to him pitch people on signing it. He gave a really distorted and inaccurate picture of what Martha’s Chair intended to be – basically, he was suggesting that it was going to be a rowdy Adam’s Morgan type of establishment, which I don’t believe to be the case at all. Martha’s Table might as well have been a 24 hour, open air rave party destination the way described to those people unfamiliar with the plans. I listened to his spiel before telling him that I was familiar with the plans and that I totally support the new establishment… But I think that’s how he got 200 signatures.

    • I think I can understand that fear–especially given the change to the area that came with DC USA.

      Someone should take time out from ridiculing him to explain that it doesn’t have to be that way.

  • 1/4 of 1000 people will be there, hahahaha

  • I live in the neighborhood and I’m totally against the 24 hours part of this establishment. I’m happy for the prospect of having a new restaurant with affordable, decent food, but there is absolutely no need for 24 hours in a quiet, residential area.

    • Since you live in the area you should know it’s not residential its mixed use….

      • Yes, 11th Street is mixed use. And one of the predominant uses is residential. Restaurant? Fine. 24-hours, not needed and detrimental to the area.

        • According to the DC Zoning Map, 11th Street is C-2-A from Lamont to Monroe on both sides. This street was commercial historically and as a low density commercial district would simply be returning to something similar to its original composition.

          • you say that like it’s a persuasive argument. but it isn’t.

          • As opposed to your incredibly moving retort.

          • js,
            is this just a shoving match?
            i was pointing out that stating what somethings history was, isn’t enough to make it its present. or even justify it. it is the wrong path in this argument.

            what’s your opinion?

          • And I could easily say that just because something is does not mean that things it should stay as it is.

            11th Street is home to a coffee shop, many restaurants, a commercial bakery, a laundromat, salons, a wine bar, Jeans N Things (if it’s still open), a pet supply store, a corner market, and more. It also has many vacant storefronts awaiting tenants. It’s hardly a sleepy residential street. The mixed use zoning reflects that. I supposed my argument would be that adding one more commercial use to a strip replete with various commercial uses is not going to change the character of the strip very much.

          • Anonymous, my point is that the entire street is zoned commercial…i.e. to call it’s ‘usage’ predominantly residential is simply factually wrong.

    • Not all of us are in need of food at your schedule. 24 hour food options are needed in our city.

      • i suppose you are opposed to the Ihop then too, right?

        • I was. But that ship sailed. However, I would say that 14th and Irving’s situation and character are very different than 11th and Monroe. Night and day really.

    • Absolutely. Why the need for 24 hrs? This is clearly the sticking point for the anti-Chair alarmists. Change that and the whole thing goes away.

      A little compromise goes a long way.

  • I heard the pitch also and it was totally misleading. I was told it would be crazy drinkers all night and that he ws holding out for a much greater opportunity that would better serve CH. He said the neighborhood was against it -but I said I went to the ANC and most everyone supported it with a standing ovation. He said they needed special variances and I asked if he would support without any variances and he said “no”. He said the food offered nothing of value and that the place fooled people into thinking it was good. I asked if he had asked to meet with the owner and he said “no”. Sounds like someone who has their own agenda and is trying to make it sound like the “neighborhood” and “the mayor’s office” is behind his cause.

    To me it sounds like much of the neighborhood supports this new place. I know I do.

  • The bottom line is that the protestants case is so bad that they couldn’t get a measely 5 people to the ABRA protest meeting and thus their protest was dismissed. It is further tainted by the obvious falsehoods that were told to folks they got to sign onto their petition. How many of that 200 think they are protesting a night club?

  • It’s also my understanding that the gentleman who started this petition/opposition lives on Irving between 13th and 14th. The impact this establishment would directly have on him is minimal if at all.

    Also, as someone who lives in the Devil’s Playground (Adams Morgan) I can tell you that the problems of Friday and Saturday night don’t come from The Diner…it’s the big slice places (not to mention the multitude of crap bars). Seriously though, more fights and more issues stem from the big slice places than I have ever once seen/heard at The Diner.

    I’m no fan of Constantine for other reasons, but one thing I would never do is call him a bad business man or someone who runs an irresponsible business (service might be slow, but they aren’t irresponsible businesses).

  • Full disclosure – I live in Park View and my daily quality of life will not be affected in any way, shape or form by the operation of a 24-hour business in this location.
    Bu having said that, I’m curious as to why the title of this post refers to a “small minority” being opposed to this establishment. Apparently this group has at least 200 signatures. How many signatures has the “pro” side obtained? Significantly more than 200 I assume? And where are those signatures?
    Is the characterization of the “anti” side as a “small minority” based upon some empirical measure of public opinion, or based upon anecdotal evidence and the anonymous raves and rants on sites like this?

    • Good point, Marcus. Given that PoP failed to qualify why they were a small minority, my guess is the latter.

      Most people support revitalizing communities, but opinions often differ on exactly what constitutes revitalization. This flyer is wholly disingenuous, but lacking any support of the “small minority” claim, so is this segment title.

      • Prince Of Petworth

        It was the title of the email sent to me.

        • I realized that halfway through typing out that message, and forgot to remove the “Given that PoP” line. I’m sorry for making it seem like it was your assertion.

          Nevertheless, there is still no evidence offered up by the letterwriter, or anyone else, that the dissenters are a small minority.

    • You can define your “small minority” any way you like. 200 people out of 300 households in a one block radius? 200 people out of 10,000 households in a one mile radius? That’s why it is meaningless.

      I attended 2 ANC meetings where this was discussed very thoroughly. An overwhelming number/percentage of those at the meetings were in support.

      I don’t think there are any “pro” signatures because the “pro” people simply allowed the established system, whereby a business goes through the extensive and prolonged process of obtaining permits etc., to work as it should. Which it did.

      Anyone can go out and get 200 signatures to object to anything in about a day.

  • The pro side hasn’t bothered to get signatures because they have nothing to protest.In my personal canvass of the neighborhood (shown amply in Prince of Petworth) there is a very large majority in favor of the diner and only a small minority against it.

    This is reflected in the fact that that there was a favorable ABC decision, an uncontroversial voluntary agreement with the ANC and that the protestants were unable to garner even 5 people for an ABRA protest. Note that last item….not…even….5.

    The bottom line is that these folks are hoping to simply outlast the potential owners of Margot’s Chair by any means necessary. It’s an abuse of the process.

    • Readers of this blog by no means fully represent the opinions of a diverse population of community residents. Your “personal canvas of the neighborhood” is too anecdotal to offer as evidence.

      I happen to agree with the people who think this would be a benefit to the community. I would LOVE to have a similar joint near me on GA Avenue. That being said, there is something offputting and smugly entitled to some of the outraged responses here; it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

      • I think that’s a byproduct of the sleazish way in which some of the anti-crowd are disporting themselves. I started out agnostic on the issue but began to change my view when I began to see the lengths to which some will go in order to assert a minor tyranny over everyone else. Bald faced assertions that it’s a ‘club’ in order to get signatures, fliers designed to assert the interest of the mayor’s office when there is none, et cetera.

        The outrage isn’t that some object….it’s the way that some of them do it.

      • You said it: entitled.
        “I want my 4am cheeseburgers after I get my drunk on, yo! And I don’t care WHO has to listen to me caterwauling in their alley while I stumble from wherever I tied up my bike!”

      • There is something offputting and smugly entitled to 49% (a small minority?) of every blog post, handbill, pamphlet and petition since Gutenberg. Heck – probably cave paintings too come to think of it!

  • I live in Petworth and support the project with enthusiasm.

    But I don’t think it’s right to dismiss objections so summarily. It’s probably the Caribbean Festival brouhaha that’s making me feel that way.

    Even if you feel you’re in the majority, it’s worth it to hear out dissenters and consider if there’s any validity to their fear. Then forward action can work towards making sure the fear doesn’t come to fruition.

    There are so few 24 hour establishments in the city that high traffic at 3 am is certainly plausible. But I want so badly for this place to happen that I’d be pleased even if it closed at 2 am or midnight.

  • This all reminds me of the loony guy who protested the opening of the Kalorama Harris Teeter, and kept picketing there after it had opened.

  • I like the 24h idea, because if my daughter keeps waking up at 5am, we might be able to go grab some waffles at 6am on weekdays before daycare/work. Actually, that sounds fantastic.

  • This sounds like the wild stories of beer bottles being thrown at your windows and other hilarious versions regarding the Post Office Bistro opening on T and 14th Streets. I don’t quite understand why anybody would be against some good, solid businesses coming into these vacant, blighted buildings. I’d understand a strip bar or nightclub but food and beverages are a part of life. I think I heard somewhere that the few against this establishment are also several blocks away. Unreal!!

  • I live two blocks away, and am absolutely convinced that this would be a monumentally good thing for the neighborhood.

    How can I best show my support for this endeavor, and help ensure it gets done/approved?

  • I can almost guarantee that Andrew Krieger is again behind this. This letter looks just like one he (illegally) stuffed in all the neighborhood mailboxes a few weeks ago. What I find most perplexing is that he lives at 1309 Irving (he put his address on the last letter). How exactly is he going to be impacted by this all the way over there? People walking back to the Metro? Sorry, but you knew the Metro was there when you moved in.

  • the work order on the building is going to hold all this up anyhow… and the sink hole on monroe might engulf the building before its gets done anyhow…

    and for real, this place will probably be a great asset to the neighborhoof but i can see how some people might not be down with the 24 hours thing. but like someone said, in AM the problems don’t happen at the Diner.

  • What work order is that? And what sink hole?

    • the stop work order is posted on the monroe st entrance to the building (or was over the weekend) but may just be for the condo side of things…. the sink hole is the horrible job washington gas or dc water or pepco or whomever did filling in the mess they’ve made at the intersection of monroe and 11th. i swear that thing is going to eat a bus.

  • OP here. I believe, “Small minority” in the title of my email to PoP is a pretty fair characterization of the facts here. Constantine presented to a packed ANC in March and the ANC spent more than an hour hearing from the community in their packed April meeting – the record will show that more than 95% were in favor. I learned this afternoon that Constantine was in a dialog with these guys (who are really only 3 very active residents), and they went the route of protesting the ABC license. The ANC, the Councilman and the vast majority of the neighborhood were behind Martha’s Chair but still, these guys protested and lost 5-0 on June 8th. They had 10 days to appeal the unanimous decision against them and they did appeal. The appeal results are announced tomorrow.

    Incidentally, with respect to the “200 signatures collected”, I was a witness to tactics that at least one of these gentlemen took. Several months ago I saw and overheard an individual hounding people at the dog park with a petition to oppose a “24 hour nightclub attempting to come to the neighborhood”. A number of people signed without having a clue what he was talking about and without an understanding that Martha’s table will not be a “nightclub”. In fact, if I remember correctly, the gentleman said he lived on Irving close to Wonderland and that it would be like Wonderland but open at all hours. I really do not believe that is a fair or accurate portrayal of any of Constantine’s concepts. It is pretty clear that some people will stop at nothing.

    • Just fyi – I’ts Margot’s Table – not Martha’s Table – which is a really great neighborhood support organization – mental health – food pantry – etc! That said, I support this new venture enthusiastically, but would love a different name. It does sound dowdy and dull and Salvation Armyish.

      • Oops – meant it’s Margot’s Chair – not Martha’s chair – or table or – hell I give up. Still a great idea that needs a better name.

  • Regardless of where you stand on any of a number of issues, placing your full name, address and phone number on PoP issue discussions gives you weight and credibility. I’ve talked to my neighbor, Dan Silverman/PoP, about this.

    When any of us takes a lead on neighborhood issues, especially heated ones, it is vital to have people put their names (etc) on the line behind the effort. Is it asking too much for transparency on the internet? I don’t think so.

    Joe Martin
    4230 4th St NW

  • In another note, I didn’t realize that William Jordan and Andrew Krieger are both on the Board of Directors for the Columbia Heights Marketplace (farmer’s market). They seem to generally oppose everything I like. Strange.

  • Dear friends and neighbors,

    I don’t usually get involved in online information exchange, but in this instance I feel compelled. I am one of the protestants to Margot’s Table. I attended the ANC meeting and expressed neither support nor favor for the restaurant, but asked our commissioners to be thoughtful about what they asked of the establishment in their Voluntary Agreement. People will be sleeping in close proximity, so it’s important to consider the affected minority, no matter the potential benefits to the supposed majority.

    We protested the restaurant, because our efforts to communicate with the ANC prior to and during the process were not taken seriously. In fact, in an email between one of the ANC commissioners and Constantine said,
    “Obviously, it would be irresponsible of us to accept terms and conditions from the group of 5, that we deemed superfluous and if we don’t agree, then at least the effort has been made on both the part of the business and the ANC, leaving the group to fend for itself with ABRA.”

    The fact that we had to protest was due to neglect of legitimate concerns by the restaurant owner and our ANC.

    I wrote to Jim Graham to express my concerns, and recieved no response, though he e-mailed several protestants to ask them to drop out of the protest. I forwarded my email to the coucilman to PoP, but received no answer.

    We had over thirty people sign the original petition in protest. Hearing Notice letters designated an incorrect address for the hearing. The law puts the burden on the government to give proper notice. They did not.

    The fact that we have carried out our protest to this stage is due to neglectful governance. We were never trying to run the diner out of town, but simply to have him respect the immediate neighbors who would be affected by the scale and hours of operation. The fact that we have gotten to this point is because people who are paid to protect everyone’s interests have found it inconvenient to address legitimate concerns.

    Andrew Krieger has lived in Columbia Heights for 22 years, long before it was cool to blog about it. He is a good man who has done many good things for our community. He understands that our communities require business and residents to work together for the benefit of both. He always begins by telling people, “No matter how you feel about this, your input is important.” He should be respected for his efforts, not assailed.

    The mayor’s office a la Mr. Fimbres understood that there were many opinions about the proposed restaurant, which was why we asked for them to do a site visit.

    The issue at hand is how the diner fits in to the city plan which states:

    Policy MC-2.2.5: 11th Street Commercial District
    Retain the 11th Street corridor between Kenyon and Monroe Streets as a neighborhood shopping district. Preserve the mixed use character of the corridor and encourage new local-serving retail businesses and housing. 2012.11

    The key to this city plan which tax payers have paid milliions of dollars for is “local serving.” And establishment at that scale would not survive long if only locals were patronizing it.

    The police department weighed in as well, stating: “Currently there have been 668 calls for service within about a block of 11th & Monroe going back one year. The majority are traffic stops/accidents, damage to property, and disorderly. It would be safe to assume that these calls would nearly triple.”

    We have pointed out these inconvenient issues to our representatives, but have had to deal with backtracking (like Mr. Fimbres response) from all of the people who should be taking these things into account long before local residents have to take a stand and ask their government to do the jobs our tax dollars support.

    Despite all of the opinions on this issue, protestants did not seek to stop the restaurant from opening, but to address legitimate concerns. All protestants are in favor of well-planned development. There are many opinions, but few informed opinions.

    We have made an effort as citizens to be reasonable and forthright, but have not been afforded the same courtesy.

    I will make the time to speak to anyone truly interested and devoted to these issues personally. I am always open to thoughtful discussion, and I am always willing to consider the perspectives of those who would respect mine.

    • ok but why was the walk through scheduled for 2:00 pm?

    • “It would be safe to assume that these [police] calls would nearly triple.”

      That can’t be true. Whichever police source told you that is misinformed (or doesn’t actually exist, perhaps).

      How would a diner that doesn’t serve alcohol increase the call rate threefold? Looking at a similar establishment, do you think IHOP has caused the number of calls to rise by at least 1336 calls since opening (2 x 668 — your projected increase on 11th)? That’d be an additional 3.6 calls per day, as a result of IHOP opening. That doesn’t seem plausible at all. I don’t think we could even attribute an additional 3.6 calls/day to Adams Morgan’s “Diner”. Are cop cars really showing up at either The Diner or IHOP over three times/day?

      You’re projecting a 200% increase, based on adding a single restaurant, where if anything people become more sober than before. If it were a bar, I can see an argument for increased levels of incidents — but even then, you’d likely have to triple the number of bars to get triple the number of incidents.

      All I’m saying, is if you want to be treated as reasonable, your stance also has to be supported by reasonable assertions. When you make exaggerated claims, you lose your audience.

      • “The police department weighed in as well, stating: “Currently there have been 668 calls for service within about a block of 11th & Monroe going back one year. The majority are traffic stops/accidents, damage to property, and disorderly. It would be safe to assume that these calls would nearly triple.””

        By this we should assume that Meridian Pint increased police calls by what….198%? And Room 11 by say, 171%? Frankly, I doubt the metric and I’d be curious how whoever gave it can back it up.

      • This diner is planning on serving alcohol. It’s a bar/restaurant.

    • Mr. Randall, your points would be taken much more seriously if several of the protestants hadn’t claimed that a ‘club’ was coming into the neighborhood.

  • I’m angry and discouraged by the acerbic comments and personal attacks on those opposed to the Margot’s Chair development as it stands now.

    Most of the people who are unhappy with the plan are not against the development, but are simply not in favor of a 24-hour establishment. Many commenters are suggesting that residents are opposed to all change. That is not the case. There have been a lot of great additions to 11th street over the last few years (all of which close by 2 or 3am), but the majority of 11th street and all of the neighboring cross streets are residential.

    My family lives 2 blocks south of the proposed Margot’s Chair, and we love the neighborhood, and we frequent all of the local businesses. We support the corner of 11th street and Monroe getting developed, however we oppose the 24-hour operation. The impact of a 24-hour establishment on all-night noise, trash, and parking is what shifts our opinion of support of much needed development for the neighborhood to opposition to a plan that is out of step with the residential character of the neighborhood.

    • +1
      A 24-hour restaurant — and its noise and disruption — is a major change for our neighborhood still in the early stages of this kind of development. What’s the rush?

    • Sorry, what you’re saying about parking is just not true.

      As a resident, you get home and park between 5 – 7pm most days, right? You might take a trip to the grocery store after that, maybe once a week. In other words, 85% of the time, you’ve parked by 7pm, and 15% of the time, you’ve parked by 10pm at latest — by whatever time your grocery store closes.

      So actually, you’re completely unaffected by any parking that occurs from 2am until 7am. The objection to a 24 hour vs 2am-closing venue on the basis of parking is unsupported by the facts. Ah, facts — sometimes it’s good to refer to them. (Not too often!)

      That leaves you with noise and litter as issues. I recommend you hang out outside IHOP at 3am — see if there is actually a noise problem from the outside. IHOP is the only place in DC in a somewhat comparable situation, i.e., a 24 hour venue surrounded by only a handful of bars.

      The litter issue is a red herring. People don’t litter after having gone to a restaurant. Look at Adam’s Morgan. Lots of pizza boxes on the ground; however, I’ve never in many years seen a single piece of trash from the Diner on the ground. What is someone going to do — take a piece of china, some forks, and drop them on the ground? If anything, you should be campaigning against existing late night take out joints. They *actually* generate litter.

  • I live right next to the Columbia Heights Villages apts. assisted housing (Section 8 etc.) complex between Harvard & Columbia Rd. between 13th – 14th. People who live here play LOUD music all the time – 3 a.m. on weekends is nothing. I’m happy for stabbings instead of shootings because they don’t wake me up. This block generates a high rate of general mayhem. Why the hell are people fussing about a 24 hour restaurant when there are already plenty of 24 hour crazy zones in this neighborhood?

    • +1000
      NIMBYs get so worked up over wine bars (remember that big scare about Room 11?) and now a 24-hour diner (which other great world capitals have), throwing up every roadblock imaginable to redevelopment and making a vibrant city, while turning a blind eye to crime, mayhem, juvenile crews running around, graffiti, drunks loitering and urinating everywhere, etc. Get some perspective people. they’re not talking about putting in a hog-rendering plant or a NASCAR racetrack here, just a 24-hour diner of which NYC has a zillion without any mayhem breaking out.

  • Hello All,
    The not so unbias approach of POP is appauling. I being one of the protretants can clearly state that our intent was to reach an agreement prior to a protest. Our ANC (by sutting us out)failed us, our elected and appoimted officials have misguided us in a complex process. There will be noise if not as a result of this size of an establishment 7000 sq ft, there will be parking issues as there is NO PARKING ( the solution of the ANC to park at the Giant or DCUSA which will not work as neither is open 24/7), . This process only gives us 1 1/2 hours to present our case before the ABC board. Constantine will also present his case. Issues to be addressed can only deal wit property values, noise and parking. This is the largest and only 24/7 establishment on 11th St. It is not much to ask. This is Citys legslated protest process not one we would have chosen.

    • OK – can we please not devolve into pranksters posting something so ridiculously ignorant as this – “The not so unbias approach of POP is appualing” – “(by sutting us out)failed us, our elected and appoimted officials have misguided us in a complex process. – Issues to be addressed can only deal wit property values, noise and parking. This is the largest and only 24/7 establishment on 11th St. It is not much to ask. This is Citys legslated protest process not one we would have chosen.”

      It is really insulting to parody people like this.

    • Is it fair to note (in terms of the parking issue) that this place is designed to be a community gathering spot? I would imagine then that most people who would be frequenting this place are local. I, for one, live just two blocks away and would LOVE to have a place like this to walk to with my 2-year old daughter. Plus, with the city being ever more bike-friendly, I don’t think parking is a fair argument to use to protest this new build.

      • The parking issue doesn’t hold up to the slightest scrutiny. The parking nearby is already full up most of the time which means that even should the diner draw from outside the neighborhood it won’t be drawing drivers after their first fruitless attempt to park nearby.

    • me

      Richard, since “NO PARKING” is your biggest concern, might I ask- are you planning on parking your car sometime after 3am? If not….. then how would closing at 3am help you?

    • Ahem: the Giant *is* open 24 hours.

  • I will be there! With my daughter, June. I absolutely support Margot’s Chair (or whatever this new place will be called). It will be great for the community and the neighborhood. It’s a shame, though, that so many others will be at work during the walk-through tomorrow.

  • Ashkon failed to mention he owns a 12 unit building next door and is worried that this will raise his property taxes. That is his one and only concern and he is being duplicitous about it.

    • Actually, the tax burden will be put on condo owners as tax assessments go up on like properties. It is being sold as a condo. He’s paying nearly 2 million, and with improvements that number should nearly double. Condo taxes will certainly go up.

      If it were my main concern, I would have honestly and openly addressed it. That’s how I do business.

      • BTW, I do not own the building next door, but I am the registered agent. It is my responsibility to protect the interests of the building and those who live there.

    • Is this true? If so, shouldn’t this have been disclosed in the post above?

  • Unfortunately the ANC did not adequately address concerns about integrating an establishment of this size and nature onto 11th St., hours, safety, parking, noise and so on. Nor the city in planning for the growth that 11th St is experiencing. The city agrees to take a look and gather facts, but gets bullied into backing out of fact gathering by a Commissioner who failed to notify his constituents about the project until pressured into doing so.

    The invite in no way should have triggered a cancellation. Posting the notice actually gave transparency and opportunity for folks of many views to hear concerns and get feedback from agencies. It’s kind of interesting that there was a campaign by an ANC Commissioner and some on PoP to ask the city not to do it’s job.

    Columbia Heights is hardly so desperate that we should have anything goes development on 11th St.. For a business owner to say let me operate 24/7 or I will walk is not a good sign.

  • Has Constantine in fact said he will walk if he doesn’t get the 24 hour license? I hadn’t heard that, so I am curious. I am guessing (but don’t know) that the purchase of this space is contingent on getting a liquor license (I can’t imagine he’d pay 2 million otherwise …), but is the purchase contingent on getting a 24 hour operation license? If it’s not, there may be serious penalties for backing out of deal (again, this is all guesswork here).

    I haven’t really heard if the only options are, a 24 hour establishment, or nothing at all, and I am curious as to whether there is a middle ground possibility. Honestly, I can’t imagine this place will be all that profitable / have all that many customers between 2 and 7 in all events, so I very much hope that Constantine doesn’t abandon the project if 24 hours doesn’t become a reality.

    Another possibility: 24 hours on weekends only (Fri / Sat nights). I DEF. don’t see the 24 hours doing well during the week, and that might be a way to at least keep things quieter late at night during the weekdays, has anyone put that option out there? I haven’t seen the full V.A., but at the very least (and I don’t get the sense that this happened), there should be promises about noise, security, and trash generation during the late night hours so that if they are not kept, it will be easy to rescind them. Yet another possible compromise: somewhat shorter liquor-license hours if they want to be a 24 hour place, so it doesn’t become a lets-drink-till-closing then keep going strong kind of environment.

    I don’t think the city was “bullied” at all. Yes, the city should look at facts and take a measured look at this. Unfortunately, the letter that was posted was, as noted by others above, extremely deceptive.

    A lot of people (including myself) have concerns about the 24 hour nature of the operation that we would love to have addressed. But I also have strong concerns about people deceiving residents about (a) the nature of the business and (b) the nature of the city’s involvement (which unambiguously happened here), and I also simply don’t trust many of the opponents of development on 11th Street because of their reflexive, over-the-top, and frankly often dishonest opposition to other developments, such as the wine bar (which, of course, has turned out to be a wonderful addition to 11th Street despite the naysayers doomsday predictions).

    If ya’ll just stopped being so inflammatory, so fundamentally sky-is-falling in your approach, and so reflexively opposed to any kind of change, and just put forward reasoned arguments without all manner of crazy fliers and puffed-up predictions of doom and gloom and Adams Morgan-ification and allegations of conspiracies and so on, then I (and others, I imagine) would be far more interested in hearing what you have to say with totally open mind. Because it is totally fair to have concerns about how a 24 hour commercial presence will change the area.

    • Thank you for a measured, reasonable response. It’s not hard to understand the concern about a 24-hour establishment. The more that concern is ignored, the greater the chance it will become a major problem.

      And no one wants to see this fail. Come on, people. A no-compromise stance makes us all losers.

  • If William Jordan is against it, I’m for it. He has been against almost every part of development in CH and has professed reasons that often were innacurate.

    As for the other protestors -you lost my vote of confidence when I read so many misleading facts. Facts don’t support that a 3am-7am opening will interfere much with parking (see above threads). Need for police is likely minimal and offset by increased safety by having a coffee shop/diner open in that section. Yes it is large space- but it is legally zoned commercial space. And although you are saying you are really against the 24hr part of the business I’ve spoken with two of you and you clearly were against the idea of a diner there. Andrew clearly felt CH would be better suited for another type of business.

    At the ANC meeting Constantine provided plenty of evidence that most of his staff and many patrons were local folks who walked or took metro. And he offered to help with trash and safety issues and mentioned that his other 2 locations had worked out these details with the community. Several locals from those spots spoke highly of his willingness to work with the community. So is the issue parking (don’t think so), 3am-7am Diner noise (doubt it), trash (doubt it)? From talking to Andrew the issue CLEARLY was he didn’t like the Diner concept. So be honest with folks. This isn’t about being like Adams Morgan or being a bar. Or about 24 hours. It is someone feeling the community should be more involved in selecting the type of business that occupies that space and the Diner is not something they like. To his credit, Andrew does say the community should state their mind. I’m doing so. I called my ANC rep and he said the ANC supports the business. So did Jim Graham. So have most of the neighbors I’ve spoken with as long as Constantine worked to minimize problems.

  • I have only heard from a few who oppose Margot’s Table outright. The primary issue has been hours of operation primarily between about 2am and 6am. The issues of noise, parking and etc., the goal was primary some type solid commitment to a plan. Based on the conversations I’ve had which included Constantine, protestants we have been presented with a 24/7 or nothing approach. Yes, compromises on hours have been presented and rejected.

    It’s silly to put forth a scenario that parking, noise and etc. are not potential problems which need to be addressed. A purpose of the walk-thru was to get city agencies including OP to do a fact based look at these issues, bring some data to the table as well some remediation tools. This effort has basically been shouted down by some in the PoP community and elsewhere.

    The ANC did no real concrete work on the various issues, it boiled down to a popularity contest. In communicating with OP 11th St already as ABC license concentrations on par with more established corridors which are beyond local serving. The concentration levels are between 30% (retail frontage if the dog park and residences included) and 50% (looking solely retail frontage) depending how its measured with 2 additional ABC establishments on the way outside Margot’s.

    I don’t see Constantine as a bad guy, his interests are his businesses. My interest is to see balance that respects that 11th St is really in a residential area and is planned as neighborhood serving retail. As well there is no doubt that 11th St is already beyond local serving and is a minor destination becoming more and more popular. And the neighborhood, the city, the ANC has not put in place any tools to manage this growth for balance.

    Many of the same people who are now on the ANC and PoP opposing Smart Growth for 11th St by holding Margot’s Table to some community standards will be the ones screaming loudest as things move beyond the corridor’s ability to handle them. It’s unfortunate that the ANC and the local neighbor association has copped out on ensuring Smart Growth on 11th St.. BTW, Jim Graham’s credibility, LOL.


    • The parking issue has been pretty well debunked above. Simply go to Open City and/or the Diner and try to identify street trash related to their operation….I did and found none. As to noise, am I wrong in assuming that noise mitigation is part of the basic makeup of the voluntary agreement? I’d be curious to know how that is addressed.

      William, I agree with you that Constantine’s interests are bound up with his business. But having spoken with him and with those who have dealt with him in the dreaded Adams Morgan, the evidence is that he doesn’t define his interests narrowly. From him to prosper here, especially 24 hours a day, he simply must have the goodwill of the great majority of the neighborhood. To have that, he must be a good neighbor. He says he will be and those who deal with him in Adams Morgan speak very highly of his willingness to be one. Given the venom associated with Adams Morgan’s crowd/noise issues, that’s good enough for me.

      • If you are suggesting that there are not parking issues in Adams Morgan, you have not done much research. Debunking requires some facts and data, none have been presented, they are needed. The absents of facts does not debunk.

        Anyone who has been around awhile knows that Adams Morgan evolved over the years some positive some negative. Ownership changes, crowds evolve and so on. Counting Constantine we have at least 2 owners from Adams Morgan now on 11th St. Wonderland is already AM-ish. I think when you start to have clusters of establishments with bouncers its a signal of a need to get ahead of things.

        24 hours on 11th ST should be a nonstarter. Or at least the owner should be required to prove himself on 11th first. There was no compromise on hours because he knew he could rally enough support from those like this PoP community who would not care about doing the homework if a cool new thing comes along.

        • I am not (and did not) say Adams Morgan doesn’t have a parking problem. It does. Adams Morgan also has a far greater draw (in # of bars, bars that aim at 21-25 year olds, clubs and restaurants), a much greater density, and a much more central location. It also lacks a large and under-utilized garage nearby and two Metro stations as conveniently located.

          Despite your inflammatory comment that we have “2 owners from Adams Morgan” and maligning Wonderland, the comparison simply doesn’t fly.

  • the funny part is that there actually is a 24 hour “open air club” on the other corner of 11th and monroe filled with vagrants drinking at all hours. I am guessing this doesn’t bother the “group of 5” nearly as much as yuppies eating late night pancakes.

  • Seriously, what’s wrong with starting out with the same hours Open City has–to see how it impacts the neighborhood? I want this project to go forward, not get hung up on this 24 hour issue.

    It’s not like there’s a 24 hour spot in every neighborhood to ease the flow. The pent-up demand exhibited here validates concerns that protesting residents have.

    I don’t hang out in the wee A.M. anymore but I’m not too old to remember what people are like at that hour. For criminy sakes, just give the limited hours a shot.

    • +1

      I otherwise support this business, but I’m very skeptical of the 24hr aspect. Maybe it will be fine, but as someone who lives 1 block away I am concerned that it will turn an otherwise pretty sedate mixed commercial/residential corner into party central at 3am when Wonderland and Meridian Pint empty out.

  • The debate about daytime parking is a legitimate concern. As might be density of such a large business opening. But it is legal for any business to open here even without parking.

    What I think Mr Jordan and others are hiding behind is they realize parking issues between 2am-6am are not an issue for residents who are already asleep. Nor has been noise or trash at Contantine’s Diner in Adams Morgan nor at Open City.

    So as many posters are suggesting, be specific with the issues. Are you in support of the operation during the day and if not, specifically why? And what are the concerns from 2am -6am when no alchohol is being served? I see it as a haven for those coming out of closing bars to detox while eating breakfast. Not to mention the CH community who has a cheap place to relax, meet, have some coffee, etc.

    But concerns are welcome. I simply find lumping concerns together such as “parking” or “trash” or “not another Adams Morgan” unfounded. So please help the community by being specific.

    • Open City closes at midnight Sun-Thur and 1 am Friday and Saturday. If you think parking is not a concern, you haven’t driven there on a weekend. I did recently at 8 am on a Sunday and spent 30 minutes looking for a spot. I really feel for people who live in that neighborhood, but given that commerce has been strong in Woodly Park for decades, people who live there more likely adjusted their expectations going in.

      It’s certainly not the same on 11th Street. Parking there now isn’t terrible, but it can be difficult on weekends. Any GDON post on this blog will show parking is a huge property value and quality of life issue in this city. And even if patrons in the 2am-6am time slot aren’t being served alcohol, they’re more likely to be drunk–as you suggest. People who don’t want to pay more taxes should consider that this town closes down at a certain hour for a reason.

      I dont see this as a slippery slope to Adam’s Morgan but I can’t help but get concerned about the crowd swell shouting down legitimate concerns.

      • To be fair, parking around Open City has been impossible for many years. Open City didn’t adversely affect it because it was already at capacity (due to the hotels and large residential buildings nearby). Because of this, the great majority of Open City customers are not driving to get there.

        For the times that Margot’s Chair will draw the most, a similar situation applies. Parking is already pretty full from late afternoon through the night. The difference between here and Calvert Street is that the Giant Parking exists to take up the slack of those that insist on driving. In addition, RPP can be instituted in the neighborhood in order to save parking for residents. That would actually be an improvement on the current situation without entangling the issue with Margot’s Chair.

        • Okay, so we’ve at least moved forward to a point where we can agree that parking is a legitimate concern.

          Metro is not open 24 hours, so we can also agree that middle of the night patrons will likely be those “who insist on driving”, unless they live in walking/biking distance. But that gets back to the issue of whether or not this is going to be an establishment primarily for locals or draw patrons from all over the city. The proposed size of the place and your suggestion that the Giant parking garage would be needed gives a hint at the potential volume. Residential parking permits don’t really do much for you if there’s a constant flow.

          You want specific complaints but the list is as non-specific as enumerated benefits. What’s been discussed so far is enough to show that negative impact on the neighborhood has just as much potential as the positive and should, at the very least, be addressed–not shouted down with insults.

          And again–what’s wrong with starting out at limited hours?

          • Parking is a legitimate concern but it already is and Margots Chair isn’t going to affect the situation very much. RPP is the solution. It saves parking directly for local resident parking. Surely that is the salient parking issue? And that the Giant parking exists merely shows that overflow capacityexists but it isn’t an indicator of demand.

            From what I can find, Constantine says that the 24 hour model is crucial to his business plan. Not having read it, I cannot say one way or the other. I would suggest asking him directly.

    • First William Jordan is not one to hide behind anything.

      The reason for a lack of clarity on issues is that there has been now really open dialogue on this project specifically and the development of 11th St in general. So we get sound bites.

      Neighborhood parking is at a premium 5PM – 9AM not so much during the day. That’s the difference in putting this in a normal commercial district and a neighborhood serving one. Noise is of the greatest concern during sleeping ours. Meridian Pint which many of use support kept their trash out front against what was promised, its an issue. Especially food which impacts rats.

      The dynamic is the Margot’s Table, has done a good job in gathering support so that neighbors are actually working against their own interests. You almost have things 180 degrees out of sync.

      • With all the best will in the world, I think you are confusing what you believe to be the neighborhood’s interests with some supposedly empirical idea of the neighborhood’s interests. Reasonable people may differ and we should be able to do so without the inflammatory rhetoric, the deceptive fliers and the magisterial pronouncements on the opinions of others.

        • Just because reseasonable people can disagree, does not mean there is non definable good, better, best. The fliers were hardly inflammatory. That charge along with others and with the “reasonable people may differ “are a tactic to avoid the hard work it takes to build a strong community and to have healthy development.

          • Ok, I get….if I disagree with you I’m lazy and don’t understand the Adamsmonstrification looming over our fair community.

            (And you guys wonder why you don’t get a sympathetic hearing…..)

  • No, disagreeing is only a first step. Just because we disagree does not mean there is no good compromise or that facts can’t help. Just because we don’t agree does not mean that Margot’s Table should get a free pass on the issues.

    • Why should compromise be made after the issue was resolved with near unanimous support for the project as is? just because you can huff and puff loudly?

      • Unfortunately that’s not the case. Even if it were that’s not quite how living in a community works.

        • A living community works by sticking to the process designed to produce consensus. The ANC approved it, the public meetings demonstrated general community support and the protestants couldn’t get together enough folks for a decent game of poker, much less the groundswell they attempted to conjure into existence.

          I thank you and some of the other protestants who posted here for doing so as candidly as you did. You certainly removed any last doubts I may have had about the project.

  • Seems to me if the diner gives up on 24 hours, all of the arguing, or at least most of the arguing, goes away.

    Instead we’ve got a take it or leave it attitude from the owner of the diner.

    How is take it or leave it being a good neighbor?

    Drop the 24 hour thing, open your diner, profit. Geez. People get in their own way sometimes.

    • Not much of a experienced entrepreneur I take it, Anon? I believe Constantine had a concept of a place people could come any time of day to relax, eat, chat w/ friends, do work, etc. In selecting a location, one must take into consideration such things as whether there will be a flow of people at all times (a commercial property in close proximity to residential fits the bill), and whether the revenue stream will be more than enough to pay for the construction costs and monthly rents. Asking Constantine to significantly change the business model, decrease revenues and potentially increase costs, all due to the objections of a few people is naive and simply does not make sense.

      If after the eatery launches and a consensus develops that there are issues must be addressed, I believe this would be the right time to make adjustments. At this point we are talking about a few people with ever-changing hypothetical concerns and that just has not cut it. Additionally, the tactics this group took,including the use of blatant lies and manipulation, seems to ensure the failure of Andrew Kreiger and the like.

      • I could give a rat’s ass about Constantine. As a member of the community, a resident of the neighborhood, and a property owner in the neighborhood, my concern is the impact of the place on the community within which I live. Whether Constantine can make more or less $ isn’t relevant. If you want to come into an area and profit from being there, you should at a minimum be receptive to the concerns of the people you will be profiting from and impacting with your business. I read your comment and my first reaction is “F*ck Constantine.”

  • Michelle. Margot’s Chair project is not likely to get hung up or held up on this issue anymore than it already has.

    Despite the efforts of a few local curmudgeons, and to the enjoyment of many, the proposed 24 hour businesses model is going to be a reality. I believe these folks’ effort to delay or disrupt a solid businesses from adding a great deal of value (financial and otherwise) to the neighborhood has run its course. In an city that needs the additional jobs and tax revenue in order to focus on the serious problems facing the District, I’m not sure any more time needs to be taken to appease the William Jordan’s of the world.

    • Because we ALL live here. The WJ’s, the supporters, the opponents, all of us. Your notion of how things should be is not the only view. Compromise is not a dirty word.

      • Can you imagine a large organization where everyone needed to agree in order for change to be implemented (or avoided)? That’s not the way things work in this country, or this city, or anywhere else that I am aware. Mine my not be the “only view” but at least mine is one based on reality, not some imaginary utopia.

        • Yes, I can. It’s called reality. Unilateral action is one way to go. It’s one choice. And it breeds resentment and the problems that come from it. Another choice is to listen to those with opposing viewpoints and doing your best to compromise in a way that of course won’t make everyone happy, but addresses the most pressing concerns and avoids resentment and fosters good will.

  • That’s great, Nate. I sure hope it’s everything you expect and nothing that this onerous minority of people fears. I’ll certainly be there often–on foot and on wheels–with my family and friends. As much as I’ve stood around waiting for a table at Diner and Open City, I have a hard time believing Margot’s Table is only viable on a 24-hour schedule; I’m sure it will enjoy the same level of business as the others.

    But I have to say, as much as I keep hoping and wishing for similar economic development to move up to Petworth, I would join the hellraisers if it were a 24 hour place on a quiet side street close to my house. And I’m a huge long time fan and regular of Open City–I think it’s nothing but good.

    I keep thinking about this in the context of the Caribbean Day Festival, about which I am a “local curmudgeon.” It’s also something that “brings good” to the neighborhood and is supported by a majority, including the mayor and 4th District city leadership. It’s also protested by an ignored minority with legitimate grievance. I could live with it if some issues were addressed. Why is middle ground so hard to find in this town?

  • W Jordan (aka Anon) = fringe activist who long ago lost any trace of credibility on matters pertaining to development and safety in the community…

  • What William Jordan fails to admit is that the neighborhood has largely spoken, where just not all in agreement (and rarely will a community be). First, the ANC (where he was a memeber)found a compromise with Constantine and gave approval. Neighborhood support at the ANC meetings overwhelmingly supported Constantine. Neighbors of Contantine’s existing businesses spoke highly of him working with communities and hiring locals. Many like myself, who live closer than Mr Jordan to the proposed site, support it. Jim Graham supports it.
    The Mayor’s office seems to feel his group deceived the public and backed out of their commitment to come to their neighborhood march.

    So is this about his voice needing to be heard OR the fact that he and a few others don’t agree with the majority? If you want open dialogue when is it time to agree that you are simply in the minority and your compromises are not something the rest of the community deems necessary?

    As a sidenote, Mr Jordan heavily opposed Room 11 (and assured everyone it would fail). Opposed selling of vacant DC properties in CH. Felt a solo shelter should exist at 14th and Irving. Didn’t want a grocery store in DCUSA because Giant offered everything the neighborhood wanted and felt supporting unions critical. He is absolutely against any form of gentrification in general.

  • Anonymous, no reason to make-up sh$t about my positions. Which is probably why you chose to post anonymously.

    My position on Room 11, Margot’s, Meridian Pint and so on are the same. Planning for 11th ST would be open and inclusive and proactive. In fact my warnings years ago about getting ahead on 11th to avoid protests and etc. have proved correct.

    I opposed “tax abatements” for an upscale organic grocery in DCUSA. They should make it without a subsidy from the city. Abatements and subsidies should be prioritized for local businesses especially non-restaurant retail.

    Vacant property should be focused on the development of workforce housing or small businesses not quick flip real estate speculators.

    Margot’s would be a great addition, but not at 24hours on 11th St. If the owner can’t live with reasonable hours he should move on, neighborhood not that desperate.

    Jim Graham has credibility to a point that it should not be challenged?

    This is the downside of basically being on point, you get more haters. I would suggest rather than hate, just ask me and I’ll help you to understand.

    • “This is the downside of basically being on point, you get more haters.”

      That’s quite little self-fulfilling prophecy you’ve got there – the more people who disagree with you, the more you’re convinced you’re correct. The mental gymnastics required to reach that conclusion are indeed impressive.

      After several (uniformly unpleasant) interactions with Andrew Kreiger, as a general rule of thumb my starting position is to support anything he opposes (although I can be swayed by the merits – the farmer’s market is really excellent). Based on your posts here, Mr. Jordan, it appears you should fall into the same category.

      It occurs to me that perhaps the opponents to Margot’s Chair would have been better served with others leading the charge. You and Mr. Kreiger are your own worst enemies.

      • It’s odd. There is no way to address the complexity of these issues via blog posts. Especially, when we have few facts or data on the specifics in front of us. You want me to support 24hrs because Constantine’s establishments are cool. I say no, Constantine needs proposal within the rules of the game needs to be really vetted in particular as it impacts 11th St and residential areas as a whole. As well, I say we should really allow residents time to really evaluate how 11th St develops. This is my general approach to most community matters. Experience has shown this produces the best result.

        I find it almost humorous that folk enjoy fruits of work that I helped (although in small ways) to ensure occurred then tell me that I opposed the very work I played a small part in making happen.

        When folk oppose my positions that have not done their homework, why would I change my position so that they would support me. I’m not that type of political animal, you have Graham why would you want me to be that way?

  • C’est finis.

  • if you stand against everything, you stand for nothing.

  • So, where can we write if we are in favor of Margot’s Chair? Sounds like that may be a positive step to take.

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