Dear PoPville – Local 14 Coming to 14th St, NW?

Dear PoPville,

Hey there – just heard from a friend walking to work that they saw a liquour license application for that vacant building between the new art gallery and Room and Board at Swann and 14th for “Local 14” a spin – off of Local 16. May be worth investigating – I know lots of people have been wondering what would happen to that seemingly forgotten space!

Unfortunately, Local 14 applied for a liquor license back in June 2009 and there has been zero visible progress on the space since. So I’m gonna take this opportunity to nominate 1832 14th Street, NW for a retail space horse’s ass award.

Of course if a new restaurant, Local 14 or someone else, does come to the space I think that would be great. It’s a super prime location.

21 Comment

  • Not surprised that no one wants to go in to this space. I work for one of the restaurant groups in the city and this area comes up a lot during our discussions. The problem is that the ANC rep for this area lives right around the corner and fights every business coming to 14th Street. Saint Ex had tons of issues with him, recently the Old Post Office project got canceled after he went after the New York investors and no need to mention the Policy. There are tons of great retail spaces around this area but no one will go and invest money there and take the risk that they will be blocked in negotiations with someone as business unfriendly as this person. Every business person with a half brain in their head dealing with restaurants and bars knows to avoid this block or any part of this ANC. So, maybe the building is a good nominee for the POP award but I would not expect much to change until the neighborhood gets a new ANC person in place as in these times, business owners will not risk loosing all this money in getting a place up and running without having ANC that supports them. Until than, more vacant business retail space to remain around 14th St…

    • The issue here is that the SW corner of 14th Street down to S Street is part of Ward 2, and in the Dupont Circle ANC, while the rest of the intersection is Ward 1, and in the U Street ANC. An attempt was made to change this at the last redistricting, but alas.
      As long as the people SW of 14th and U think they are part of Dupont Circle and not U Street, there will be an issue with retail opening up at that corner. I say we move the McDonalds and the check cashing place in there as spite.

    • Agree in part, but he *was* challenged an re-elected. Also, when Local 14 applied for it’s license a group of residents on Swann and T decided to go around him and worked directly with the owmers to negotiate a VA. He sat in the corner of the meeting like a crybabyu and threw a tantrum that no one cared what he thought. In the end the VA was negotiated and I think the economy tanking put the project on hold. Someone, presumably the owner of the building, has installed a new fancy gate on the back in the last month and there is a LOT of activity in the back, including a mysterious black 7-seried BMW thatfrequently pulls up, unlocks the gate, goes in, comes out, and zips away. Probably way more info than anyone cares for.

  • Sad but truth.

  • Perhaps, said ANC rep is nostalgic and wants to retain some of 14th St’s looks of yore 🙁

    • No, he just doesn’t want to turn the neighborhood into Adams Morgan, which it is rapidly becoming courtesy of Eric Hilton.

      • Hi Ramon!

      • realitycheck, do you live on 14th Street? If so, you should walk over to 18th Street sometime and check out this fabled Adams Morgan. You will see that the U Street/Logan Circle areas, despite having a vibrant nightlife, are a far cry from the vomit stained, fake id laden streets of AdMo (on a Saturday night at least). Most of the new businesses on 14th and U St (ESPECIALLY those run by the Hiltons) are catering to hipsters and yupsters, which is not the clientele regularly seen on DC’s version of Bourbon Street.

      • I think its worth noting that Eric Hilton does not own a single bar in Adams Morgan. And as another commenter noted, none of the businesses he is involved in go after that market of frat dudes, gangsters, “adventurous” Georgetowners, and middle eastern suburban kids who love shiny stuff. I don’t know the guy from Adam but its clear you don’t go out much and are not in touch with nightlife.

      • Although U Street on a Friday or Saturday night does feel disturbingly more like Adams Morgan than it used to, 1) it’s still nowhere near the craziness level of Adams Morgan on a Friday or Saturday night, and 2) I don’t think that Eric Hilton’s various establishments are contributing to whatever Adams Morgan-ness there is. Well, maybe Local 16 is — its clientele seems to have become more fratboyish and less sophisticated over the years — but not the Gibson, Marvin, etc.

  • Just what the world needs — another Local 16. What a waste

  • i actually live behind this building. They have been doing a lot of work recently. I ran into Aman ( owner of this and local 16). he told me the carpet store from across the street is taking the first floor and a pizza concept restaurant will be on the top floors. this was about three weeks ago.

  • While I won’t disagree that the ANC “representative” for this neighborhood is a gigantic NIMBY d-bag, a liquor license was issued for the space in 2009. The owner(s) have just been sitting on the building for the past few years.

    Thus, this seems like a great candidate for a Horse’s Ass award.

  • For what its worth I’m pretty sure Eric Hilton is no longer part of Local 16’s management/ownership.

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