Dear PoPville – Can 9:30 Club Restrict Passage to an Alley?

Dear PoPville,

I was walking from Bannecker park area through the twin dorm buildings at 9th and Barry (?) and made a turn into the nearly hidden alley that starts at the traffic circle behind the dorms and ends on V, right behind 930 Club. I was nearly at V street when a large woman and a guy came up to me saying they were 930 club staff and that no one is allowed to walk through there when they have a show playing. WTF! I didn’t have the energy to waste making a big deal at the time. But besides having to go back around the block, which is not a short walk, what really galled me is this: how the hell does 930 club have the right to block a public alley? And if they do, why wasn’t there anything blocking it at the ends, or at least a sign?

Would love to see what PoPville has to say about this, and if it has happened to anyone else.

44 Comment

  • I knew this kind of rhetoric would occur with more residents moving closer to the 9:30 Club. Next people are going to complain about lines around the block prior to shows and then noise. Chill, dude.

    • By the way, 930 club is a fairly new resident to this area as well for those of us that remember when it was on F street. I believe 930 F. Anyways, 930 was one of the first gentrifiers of this area and took advantage of the cheap space when it was still relatively cheap. It is not like they have been there for 30 years is all I am saying. They were just a little bit ahead of the wave.

      • 9:30 Club has been at it’s current location for over 16 years. It’s now been at 815 V for longer than it was at 815F.

        I think that hardly makes it “a fairly new resident.”

        • @ebgb

          if you’re going to be a douche at least get your facts straight.

          the former address of the 930 club was 930 F St.

          Not 815 F St or whatever you claim here.

          Doesn’t anyone ever wonder where the name of the club came from?

          Now THAT was a real shit hole…three for thursdays…fugazi…henry rollins…man those were the days. rats and piss everywhere!

      • No shit Sherlock, I was born in DC and started going to the old 9:30 club when I was 12.

        • Served! I haven’t heard ‘No shit Sherlock’ since the 80’s!

        • OMG! Wow! Can I touch you?

        • Keep digging, Watson.

        • I suppose it all depends on your perspective. I do think that is a fairly recent period of time. My pont is that this is not like an example you have in Foggy Bottom or G’town where people move next to a college that has been there for 150 years and then complain that there are too many students around. These are all realtively new entrants to the neighborhood.

        • Right. I know when GW was founded. I am from DC and I went there when I was 12 years old. I am pretty much awesome like that.

  • Welcome to DC. They’ve always done that because everyone wants to rush artists after a show for autographs. It won’t change because they pay a lot of property taxes.

  • There private alleys, and there are ways to close an alley legally. Does the 930 club own the space you tried to walk through or get the right permits to temporarily close the alley? Who knows. If you’re really curious, join your local MPD listserv and email them–you will likely get a response from an officer.

    And to dcspace, I think it’s completely legit to want to walk through public space (if indeed this is). I don’t think it’s the OP who should chill, dude.

    • No kidding… dcspace reacted like a 12 year old girl who just heard someone insult One Direction.

  • thebear

    If it’s a public alley, then they cannot restrict access unless they obtain a closure permit from DDOT and/or MPD and have the official notice posted. (Or on-duty police diverting people.) If it’s a private space, they may restrict access as they please.

    • The White House is public space, paid for by your tax dollars, doesn’t mean you can walk through it any time you feel like it…

      I have no affiliation to the club, but this just seems like giving people a hard time… It’s not difficult to walk to either corner around the building. And they usually only close the alley for shows so that the ban can use their tour buses as a place to “wind down” safely (and without causing lots of people to crowd into the street) after a show.

      • Um, the White House is restricted because the government owns it and the law allows them to that. I think the point is that the 9:30 club doesn’t own the alley; it can only deny access to public space if it has permission from the government.

      • Comparing the 9:30Club to the White House, really?

        If the alley is in fact public domain than people should be able to walk through it whether the 9:30 club is having a show or not. If the 9:30 club has a major issue with this or this hurts their business I’m sure they have the money and resources to get the proper permitting.

      • Paid for by public =/= public property.

        • Okay, sorry, did not know this was a thread for people seeking a meaningless argument. Clearly latched onto the wrong part of that analogy but by all means, proceed…

          • 1- You made an argument saying that public space isn’t always public access, and used the White House as your example.

            2- Apples correctly pointed out that the White House is not public space even though it is owned by the government (as opposed to a private entity).

            3 – This whole discussion centers on whether a piece of government owned property is or isn’t public space. So why dismiss Apples relevant point as a meaningless argument?

    • Right. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of alley’s in the CIty were “closed” at one point in time making them private, not public space. I think you would need to look at the plat to know for sure. Agree that if it is still a public alley they would need a permit to restrict access.

  • You shouldn’t be taking short cuts through alleys in that neighborhood, especially the “nearly hidden” ones. The 9:30 club has been there for over 15 years and for that time it’s only neighbor was the plumbing supply store that closed at 4pm.

  • a) the alley that you’re referring to is actually 9th St.
    b) I’ve walk that way to U st almost daily, and have never had an issue. . . Given that there are entrances to residential garages on that street, I can’t imagine that the 9:30 club could get away with something like that as often as they have shows.

    Which leads me to the question: How do you know they were actually 9:30 club employees and not just some jack asses screwing with you?

    • I believe what Tyguy31820 is saying is correct.

      I think I’ve driven down that street thinking erroneously that I could drive out the other end… only to find myself in that traffic circle by the dorms, and have to turn around and go back the same way I came in.

      • No, the alley starts from 9th right before you hit the circle and angles down to V St. It’s hard to see cuz it’s between chain link fences.

  • I’m the OP. A few replies to your comments: Not new to DC; been paying property taxes that help “pay” for public streets and alleys for about 18 years; know when not to pick a fight with large people in dark alleys who are blocking your way and carrying flashlights and whoknowswhatelse; and know that even if you do have a permit to block off an alley, you must post a notice or something at both ends of it!
    And if anyone from 930 is reading this: next time, i will go straight to a cop and let them deal with your alley thugs.

    • thebear

      Do not wait until “next time.” Reach out to DDOT, your local PSA Command and your ANC. If 9:30 is doing something improper, it needs to be brought to light. We’ve had plenty of issues with “we’re special” restaurants and clubs, like valets bullying residents out of parking in street spaces, even though it is absolutely illegal for a valet to park customer cars anywhere but in a private, off-street facility. We had a restaurant in our neighborhood who went so far as to try convincing a cop that he had an exclusive right to park in the marked no-parking area in front of my building because his restaurant was across the street…and that the signs only applied to other people.

    • Dude, just suck it up and walk around instead of pissing and moaning on an on-line forum. The authorities have bigger fish to fry than your mild inconvenience of taking a one block detour, your sense of entitlement, and your righteous indignation. What’s next complaining again about not being able to play backgammon at the Raven?

      • Here you are reading and commenting that same ‘on-line forum’. Sorry dude that’s what these things are for. OP’s post was a legit question, get off your high horse and let people give their opinion.

        No, I don’t believe they should have the right to block access. Good day.

  • You can you walk down the alley just you like you can pour esspresso over a cup of ice.

  • You should just call 911 and say some crazy bastard at the 9:30 club has taken over the alley and is threatening you.

  • 9:30 club runs shit–they’re allowed to do whatever the hell they want.

  • It’s the same distance if you’d have walked down 9th street and made a left on V, so although the alley is a little quieter/less people(but more weedier), it is not a short-cut. Maybe the staff could’ve handled it that better, tell you the protocol during shows, and let you pass. Now that you know, respect it, and don’t make a big deal dwelling on it(it’s not worth it and not a short-cut).

  • They are probably worried about people stealing the bands’ equipment, an altogether too common occurrance. Regardless, I’d think twice before taking a shortcut through a dark alley in that neighborhood at night, you may run into some actual thugs.

  • I work at the club and I can do whatever I want to people who are walking in the alleys. When I say no I mean it!!!

  • if the anon poster really does work at 9:30 club – that was a douchy response.

  • Just like the other poster said, it’s not a shortcut. If you go down 8th or 9th, it’s the same distance. This is why the world is so messed up. All the problems in the world and you focus your energy into this??? And BTW 100% chance “Anonymous” doesn’t work for the club.

Comments are closed.