Room 11 Seeks to Expand Outdoor Patio – Columbia Heights Listserv Chaos Ensues

What I thought was going to be some just straight up good news – is slowly devolving into listserv hilarity/insanity.

The super popular Room 11 is hoping to expand its outdoor patio at 11th and Lamont St, NW. I hear they’ll be adding 18 seats. To do so they’ll need to amend their voluntary agreement. Which leads us to the Columbia Heights Listserv which started with the following message at 8:25am this morning:

“Commissioner Boese,

You’re a lowlife! I was under no obligation to stay until the very end of the meeting. Other commissioners left before the meeting’s end; why couldn’t I?

–Lenwood Johnson, ANC 1A10”

An email from ANC rep 1A08, Kent Boese, sent to one of the owners of Room 11 (as well as all ANC reps) was included in the above message. Apparently the offending language was:

“1) While we were able to add the amendment of your VA to the agenda of the last ANC meeting, but the time we got to that item Commissioner Lenwood Johnson had left the meeting reducing the number of commissioners present to five. We need at least six for a quorum. Because of this, we were not able to take a vote.”

You can find the full emails and resident responses on the Columbia Heights Listserv here.

While ANCs can play a positive role in our neighborhoods, (and personally I think voluntary agreements can be very useful) this is a perfect example of why many people either actively dislike ANCs or completely tune them out.

At the end of the day – I hope this doesn’t negatively affect Room 11’s ability to expand their patio.

53 Comment

  • I’ve got no skin in this game, but perish the thought a rep should know a basic level of parliamentary procedure.

    • ANC rep Lenwood Johnson admitted in a City Paper article to owning and carrying an illegal gun on DC streets – ‘parliamentary procedure’ is probably a little bit of a stretch for him.

  • I hope they do expand. As for that email exchange, it illustrates perfectly why I am not on the Columbia Heights listserv. There is just way too much childish behavior there, which is why I come here for neighborhood news.

  • I welcome any expansion of Room 11, my favorite CH spot. It would be even more wonderful if they could expand the interior for those cold wintry months when it is impossible to sit outside.

  • reason number 1,323,984 why ANC’s should be abolished.

  • ANCs are a socialist ploy to ruin DC. A bunch of cat people and low level gov employees trying to create meaning in their lives.

    Public/private partnerships are the way to actually get things done, not little tribes spread throughout the city

    • Completely unnecessary and slightly dumb comment of the day! And its only 11am.

      • Actually, “A bunch of cat people and low level gov employees trying to create meaning in their lives,” and “childish” sounds like pretty accurate descriptions of the ANCs to me.

        As someone who lives around the corner, I hope they allow Room 11 to expand their patio. Most people who actually live in the neighborhood support bringing more people to the neighborhood and having more thriving businesses like Room 11.

        • The phrase “public-private partnership” generally makes my blood run cold, but that nails the ANCs for the most part. Mt. Pleasant’s ANC 1D is a perfect example of what government-by-cat-people looks like.

      • it was dumb, but it was funny as shit.

    • +1 to jackon14. cat people….lol but totally true.

    • Jackson14 ftw

      I find them more like institutional extortion than socialism.

      I really do find them unnecessary. They are holding up my Marijuana store!

    • Lol, “socialist.” I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    • ANCs would work slightly better if people actually went to the meetings. I have been to a few in my neighborhood, and while my neighborhood has a significant population of young people who would love to end the liquor license moratorium, the only people who actually show up to the votes are senior citizens and “think-of-the-children” crusaders.

      You don’t like that your ANC is nothing but NIMBY spoilsports? Go vote or run for election and do something about it.

      • It would be more efficient and less of a waste of everyone’s time if they were simply *abolished*. No matter what purpose the ANCs were intended to serve – or once served – the majority have devolved into an unnecessary, often illogical additional barrier between citizens and an already ossified, unresponsive, and corrupt District government.

        In many cases (e.g. ANC 1D) a few people with too much time on their hands and an inflated, baseless sense of self-importance rely on everyone else being too busy to resist to inflict their views on their neighbors, and to needlessly complicate their lives.

        The ANCs offer no value to me as a citizen, a home owner, a user of city services – nothing. No ANC has ever been anything other than an irritant or a logistical hassle to me. They need to go.

      • saf

        Sometimes I go. Sometimes I talk to the commissioners before the meeting.

        Inevitably, the great majority of the input they get means that mine is NOT the viewpoint that wins.

  • Room 11 is expanding their outdoor seating as we speak. It looks like it will be completed by the end of the week.

  • I can’t figure out which I like more… the color scheme of the CH Yahoo! Group, or the usage of “lowlife.” I might have used “scumbag,” but I feel like his choice really hit home.

  • That’s 1/4 of 72 seats! Behold the dawn of the New Adams Morgan!

    • I just laughed out loud at this comment. Thank you, The Heights 🙂

    • I don’t live nearby so they could add 100 seats and not affect my quality of life. But I wouldn’t minimize the concerns – if there are any – of neighborhood residents to an expansion of an outdoor seating area. In most cases, restaurants pitch the addition of outdoor seating by saying the number of seats will not materially affect the quality of life of the immediate neighbors. It’s a bit of a bait and switch to come back a couple of years later and double that number. Again, I have no dog in this fight. But I can undestand concerns of those who do.

    • won’t anyone think of the mystique!

  • POP,

    Thanks for posting, and holding our elected officals accountable for their words.

  • Do we have any idea if Room 11 is going to enclose their new patio, for colder months?

  • This is a little off-topic, but why do so many community groups insist on using that awful Yahoo Groups board for their listservs? It’s horribly user-unfriendly. Why can’t people move into the 21st-Century and start using modern discussion forum software?

  • so what space is room 11 expanding their patio into?

  • 1. If you want to be ANC commish, you should work the meetings into your schedule and be there for the meetings. If you don’t have the time or don’t want to take the time, then don’t run for ANC.

    2. Did he really take a private e-mail and toss it up on the CH listserv with a childish retort? And then when someone replied to his e-mail posted ANOTHER childish retort? I don’t see the original message on there so I guess that’s what happened. Unbelievable.

  • if they could expand it in a way that would get rid of the stinky “dog park”, i’d be all for it.

    otherwise it’s just another bar for yuppies taking over public space. annoying really.

    • troll alert!

      • I’m anon at 12:25, and not a troll. I hate that dog park, the people who use it ruined the grass and as would be expected it smells like dog poop when you walk by. It’s gross.

        As for Room 11, they seem to be a good neighbor, but expansion of the patio could change that with more people, more noise, more trash, and less sidewalk space. I don’t believe that just because the yuppies in the neighborhood want a shorter wait for overpriced wine that such concerns should be ignored.

        • yes u are a troll. dog parks have nothing to do with his thread. and yuppies taking over public space – yes are much better then unemployed whinos loitering on the street leaving their chicken bones everywhere.

        • Troll. Go look – expansion is into their own garden not the sidewalk.

  • Oh, you’re the guy that lives next door to it, right?

  • “Slimwood” was the single greatest impediment to getting the replacement for the Columbia Heights/Pleasant Plains/Park View sign on [email protected] approved, too. The project’s funding, planning, and preliminary approval by DDOT were all in place but he held it up almost single-handed.

    Word is that he doesn’t even live in his ANC district.

  • Slimwood Lenwood Johnson has always been the one person making ANC1A meetings a complete waist of time. If a meeting is going well and people are learning new things he is sure to find a way to fowel it up.

  • First, on Room 11, they are not “taking over” public space, the expansion seems to primarily be taking over their OWN space, which is currently a garden. And even if they add some sidewalk seating, that is no different than every other restaurant on 11th, including Wonderland, Meridian Pint, etc., which already have sidewalk seating. Room 11 should not be treated any differently than those establishment. The sidewalks on 11th are plenty wide enough to accomodate an expansion.

    Second, re: the ANC, this is an example of why I stopped going to ANC meetings. I mean, one of the last meetings I went to, they spent the first 45 minutes of the meeting arguing over their cell phone bills. We were all looking at each other in disbelief at how little respect they had for the audience time. It was the height of insanity. They should allow invited guests / speakers to go first, start with business that people actually want to discuss / topics which is it important to get community input on, then save all the parliamentary b.s. and internal squabbling and reading of old minutes into the record for the end of the meeting. Also, it is mind boggling that they seem unable to consistently post their meeting minutes online, just ridiculous.

    Third, 11th street is really going nuts with construction right now. I saw folks working on Jackie’s this morning (yahoo!), I recently saw folks working on the future restaurant (?) space next to CH Coffee, Bloombars (which has done a GREAT job beautifying its property) was doing more construction of some sort this morning, plus there is whatever infrastructure work is going on near the 11th and Monroe building, not to mention the 11th and Monroe park which is making slow-but-sure progress. Can’t wait to see what the street looks like six months from now!

  • Sounds good to me.

    Maybe they should build out a second floor as well?

  • lol, Lenwood just used the word “bitchassness” to someone else on the listserv

  • From the May 11, 2011 minutes posted on “Commissioner Boisvert introduced a Resolution in support of Sidewalk Cafe permit for 3234 11th Street NW. Commissioner Boisvert moved to approve the resolution.
    Motion was approved, unanimously.”
    3234 11th Street is Room 11. After the May 11 vote, Room 11 discovered that their Voluntary Agreement prohibited sidewalk seating. The VA was negotiated and signed under a previous Commission and the current Commissioners were obviously unaware of the clause. In regards to the September ANC meeting, Room 11 requested the vote during the Community Comment period, taking us by surprise and requiring a revision to the agenda. The topic was not previously discussed at the Committee of the Whole meeting and we did not have a copy of the VA. The Commission, however, agreed to add the vote to the agenda and the Chair of our ABRA Committee, Commissioner Scott reviewed and discussed the VA with the business owner while we continued to move through the agenda. As the Sept. 20 email from Commissioner Boese to Mr. Ruppert (Room 11 owner) states, the vote to revise the VA could not be taken because we had lost a quorum when Commissioner Lenwood Johnson left the meeting. I think the PoP’s original point was the content of the emails on the listserves. I just want to set the record straight on ANC 1A’s support of Room 11.

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