New Bar, Fainting Goat, Seeks Your Support to Open on U Street

fainting_goat_u_street
1330 U Street, NW

Back in late Jan. we learned that a new bar called the Fainting Goat would be coming to the former Urban Essentials space at 1330 U St, NW. Fainting Goat’s owner tells me that there are two groups opposing their liquor license application:

“The Shaw Dupont Citizen Association (SDCA, the people behind the U Street Liquor License Moratorium) and also a protest from some people on Wallach Place (directly behind the site).”

The folks from Fainting Goat have set up a petition saying:

“The proposed site is currently vacant and the establishment will have no outdoor seating, nor will it have a roof deck. As local business owners who have operated successful establishments in DC for over 15 years, we promise to be good stewards of the neighborhood.”

So if you live in the neighborhood and would like to support Fainting Goat you can sign the petition in their support here.

fainting_goat_u_street_petition

75 Comment

  • Happily signed. That small contingent on Wallach needs to stop standing in the way of small business and neighborhood development at the expense of others like me who live and work in this neighborhood. They’ve killed a boutique hotel development, countless other businesses and claim to have single handedly brought back the post office. As if. SDCA is a complete sham. Even attempting to impose its moratorium over my block when its boundaries a far more limited. A bunch of NIMBYs if ever there were any.

    • +1

    • another 13th St homeowner (one block from U) that signed.

    • +1

      Also interested to know why everyone seems to think the moratorium is going to lead to new and interesting forms of retail. I’ve lived in Adams Morgan and the moratorium in that neighborhood has just calcified the bars that are already there. It protects the Shenanigans of the world that exist only because it’s basically impossible for a competing establishment to open up near them.

  • Just because there will be no outdoor seating or roof deck does not mean everyone shouyld support this. What is the plan of the bar to control loud patrons as they leave the bar after a night of drinking? What will they do about the lines that form outside to get in that will be loud? Will they have live entertainment and djs? Will they install soundproof windows throughout the building? These are the questions concerned citizens would like to know the answer to.

    • Sadly most people won’t care about this unless they have been directly affected by such issues.

    • I agree with “Anonymous.” As a residential property owner in the U Street Neighborhood I can say the bar scene has gotten out of control. I’m all for a multi-faceted economy but can we please have more retail and less alcohol! Even the folks who own bars in AdMo refer to our neighborhood as “The Wild West.”

      • U street always had bars. I swear only in DC do people complain about “night life” yet wonder why it’s sucked so long as a city. You go to NYC and every block is filled with bars, restaurants where housing costs 5x more than it does in DC and everyone there seems to be OK with it.

        About retail- How many retail stores have opened up on Ust that have closed it’s doors. I am sure you will find something to complain about them not being your style of clothing etc………

        UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

        • “…….everyone there seems to be OK with it.” Who are you defining as “everyone?” I know plenty of people in NYC that hate bars and clubs on every block. SO to say that “everyone” there seems to be OK with it is not true.

          • When hasn’t NY been like that? They don’t like it but yet they moved there. Same thing about H st, all the newbies complain about all new bars etc hoping for retail, when plenty of retail exists there but it just doesn’t cater to there likings….

        • Not “everyone” in NYC is okay with it. You are WRONG!!!!!!!!!

          • Look I know you people would take “everyone” and make a deal out of it. DC people are just way to hard to please….We see it everytime- a new restaurant is mentioned here- they dog the place before it’s even opened. Do you think every restaurant in NYC is 5stars? NO sometimes people just want somewhere to go sit down, grab a bite and go on with their day or evening. But in DC it has to wine and dine, and if they don’t like it they do there best to shut it down.

        • +1

          It’s U street. One new bar will not affect the noise levels or, to use a PoP commentator standby, “quality of life”. Too many people want every square inch of DC to be some idealized quiet neighborhood. We have a dense population cluster with a diversity of lifestyles. Some of us like lively nightlife on the weekend. This is a city. Get over it.

        • If you need to have nothing but bars on every block, maybe it’s an indication of other problems that you might want to examine. There is more to life than getting loaded every night.

      • The problem is not bars it is high rent. Alcohol sales are very profitable and with the constantly increasing commercial rental rates – DC is going to have more businesses that sell alcohol than less.

        I don’t know what the best solution is – but I don’t think just limiting licenses will do it.

    • Seems Anonymous is one person responding to his/herself. Echo chambers are pathetic behavior, both in trolling blog comment sections and in dealings with ANC’s.

  • “…we promise to be good stewards of the neighborhood.”

    Reminds me of the guys on craigslist who promise they are clean roommates but have never washed a dish in their entire lives.

  • I am all about progress and I enjoy going out for a few beers. However, U Street is losing its uniqueness of having a good mix of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and bars. It seems everytime I turn around a shop is closing to make way for a new bar and/or nightclub. At some point the line has to be drawn in the sand and someone has to stand up and make their voice heard. At the current pace, U Street will be a mini Burbon Street in years to come and I can not think of anyone that would want to live on Burbon Street.

    • Well, people who think that families should move to the suburbs wouldn’t mind living like that. Many feel that cities only exist as places to work and party.

    • Do you think the botigues are shutting down just for the hell of it? People in DC have NO style so when these boutiques open, majority of the inventory doen’t cater most, because everyone here is so freaking conservative(which most boutiques aren’t.) Besides I think FL ave should be lined with such shopping etc, but then everyone will complain its to far of a walk. I go to NYC, CHI, MIA and I walk all around there so does most people. Only in DC do I hear people complain about something being 5 blocks away.

      • Dude… just move to New York.

      • I agree that Fainting Goat should be allowed to open, but do you think your whiny and pretentious argument is going to win anyone over? These battles are fought at least as frequently in NY.

        • Not sure how you mistook a feeling of “disgust” as whiny and pretentious, but I guess it sounds cool to you. You might as well threw in Hipster while you were at it.

          • Wouldn’t use hipster to convey whiny and pretentious as I have no problem with hipsters and think the word is sort of meaningless at this point anyway. I do roll my eyes when someone casts an entire city as lacking style and refers to other cities as shining examples of places that always accept nightlife in their backyard when in fact that’s not the case.

      • Why do you chose to live in a city surrounded by people with “NO style?” Maybe you should put on your Prada, set your Rolex, and drive away in your Lexus to another city that has style to meet your glamourous standards!!

        • I am not the one complaining about NOT having any/enough retail. I was stating as to why they don’t last. I have access to what I need, wheter it be Prada, Rolex etc…No allow the damn bars so I can go and show it off. Thank you much!!!

          • Yet…..you choose to live in a city that has no style. My bet is you are a tenant and not even a home owner. Therefore you don’t even have a dog in this fight. Now, get off this website and get to your retail job!

          • Nope, only own 2 homes valued over a $1mil, plus providing postive cash flow. You sound bitter, is it because you don’t own? Again please explain why Retail does not survive in these areas? Style is not a reason why I chose to live here, but lack of style is a reason why Retail does not survive here.

      • No one in miami walks anywhere.

    • Your argument has many flaws, not least of all which is you can’t even spell Bourbon.

    • Rather than turning into Bourbon Street, the nabe is looking like the worst combination of Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights (Ballston North). It’s time to have more balance in the area; there are plenty of places to drink as it is.

  • It would be nice if they said who they were and what successful establishments they’ve operated for “more than 15 years,” and more about what they actually intend to build. I live a half block away, and support all indie businesses and am fine with another bar, but not if it sucks. They’re extremely vague description also fits a TGIF or Ruby Tuesday.

    • Looks like from something on http://ustreet-dc.org that Bruce Henry and Greg Algie are the guys doing this. Algie’s Linkedn page has him as a partner at Culibar Creative Concepts and Fado Irish Pub. I have seen something that indicates Henry is involved with another LLC but that is about all.

  • If this location doesn’t work out for you, my community would happily help you to find a location in Ledroit Park/Bloomingdale.

  • We a better balance of retail and nightlife. Too many bars can lead to increased noise, fights and other violence.

  • I was walking by the other day and started thinking that another Ann Taylor Loft would be perfect there. I’m betting a Payless would work great there too.
    Come on people! This IS a neighborhood establishment.

  • All of you complaining about not having retail–when did you shop in the retail stores that used to exist on U St?

    They closed because their profit margins weren’t high enough to pay their rent. Put your money where your mouths are…

    • When was the last time you saw DC police close a retail establishment because of a shhting/stabbing at 2:00AM…NONE! However, police are forced to close U Street bars at least once every month because of shootings. We need less bars.

      • Or maybe we need more with a greater dispersal of the bar scene.

      • I personally don’t even agree with shutting down a bar/club because there was a shooting or stabbing etc. I don’t see how the actions of “A” single person, should affect an establishment. Out of hundreds of bar partrons, one person decided to act a fool and the rest must suffer? I can understand if the club/bar was found in violation for not having proper security, over crowding, serving alchohol after hours etc…but not simply because some decideds to go outside and start a fight and use a weapon.

        • “Suffer”??? When was the last time you saw someone SUFFER because a bar was closed?

          • Everyone who was gainfully employed by the establishment. And it really bothers me that this does not occur to you. Do you work for a living?

          • The owners, the workers anyone who depends on the establishment for a source of income….

        • Listen, U street bars/clubs/restaurants are out-of-hand. I want more retail. Retail can’t exist because the rent is too high (only able to accomodate bars/restaurants). I think a great solution to the quality of life issues on U Street and surrounding areas is to force the U Street Business Association to hire off-duty cops to patrol. I believe they do this in AdMo. I have heard the U Street Business Association DOES NOT want to do this. This could probably solve some of the quality of life issues brought up by these neighborhood groups.
          I moved to the neighborhood to have access to great mix of stuff. That mix is truly changing to bars and clubs and restaurants. Would I complain if there were less restaurants? YES. Would I complain if there were less bars/clubs? NO. Example: Policy is not a restaurant! It is a full-on club upstairs.
          I think ABRA is a joke. It needs to reexamine their processes and become WAY more engaged.

          • I agree 100%. A good example of something good gone bad is Alero. It was opened as a restaurant and now it is nothing more than a club. I long for the day that their lease is up and I hope they will be priced out the neighborhood.

          • I was at Policy for a Breast Cancer fundraiser. The food was fabulous!

  • Look at the bright side, if the bullies win, U Street will get its first Comfort One Shoes!

  • Curious what realistically people won’t on U Street? If too many retail stores open, people will start complaining there is not enough parking for the area to be become a retail destination. There is no DC-USA-style underground parking lot, and still doubt there is enough residents nearby to sustain major shopping without help from suburbanites. Plus, with City Center opening, think the retail growth will focus there for next several years. So what do people envision on U Street if not a lively corridor for eating, nightlife mixed with some unique stores that can live off what is not particualry robust area during the workday?

  • Opening a restaurant on U Street is controversial? I’m having a hard time processing this. I’m sure that I’ll enjoy eating there as much as enjoyed being allowed to buy liquor yesterday: wholeheartedly, and with a smug sense of someone out there sucking on it.

  • I think the density coming to our area could improve the retail situation, there will be more people to support shops whatever they may be. I suspect more chains, since rents are so high. Here is to hoping we have a good mix of options. I don’t think we need another bar but I guess we will let the people decide that, the negative being if it fails then we will probably get another bar in its place. Seems like once something becomes a bar or restaurant, then that is what will continue to be there.

  • Just for the sake of presenting the possibility of discourse, wouldn’t it be a good idea for PoP to also offer a link to sign something siding with SDCA or the Wallach Place residents, if that is what a reader wished to do, rather than to only present an option to sign against them?

    Just kinda feels like PoP is really biased only towards opening new places lately. While I generally agree with that perspective on this particular issue, I do like to hear the other side(s) of the argument before I make up my mind. Saying “that sounds like a good (or bad) idea, so I will now agree with it and act on that opinion” without even listening to the opposite viewpoint gets us in trouble as a society, IMO.

    • Good point. +1

      • ShawGuy-

        If you think this blog is baised in a direction that you don’t like, move on to another blog. Don’t tell the guy how to run his business. The SDCA’s website and contact information is very easy to find if you’re interested.

  • Hopefully the addition of Trader Joes will encourage other retailers to locate (relocate) to U Street. In the meantime, I hope that there is somewhere in the middle that people on both sides of the bar issue can meet and come up with a decision that will benefit everyone.

  • I don’t particularly understand the complaint that there isn’t enough retail in a certain area. If there aren’t people who want to take the huge risk of opening a shop that sells widgets, there isn’t going to be retail. This isn’t something that local government — and especially an ANC — has any control over. Often it’s a bar or it’s nothing. This type of negative city planning is what really hurts neighborhood development. Instead of precluding things from opening, we ought to be encouraging things to open.

    And if residents want to encourage a certain sort of retail shop to open, they ought to come up with a public policy that would get us there. That’s an exceedingly difficult thing to do in a city that notoriously lacks density. My other suggestion would be to put your money where your mouth is, and open a retail shop. That’s even harder.

    I’m not one of these people who dismisses the concerns of U Street homeowners but, after many years of reading PoP and commenting on here, there’s a level of naivete expressed by the “what we need is more retail” crowd that I’m not so sure exists in other, more successful cities. Though many might not like the realities of a market-based economy, the truth is that businesses that open and stay open are the ones that can succeed. If you want to prove them wrong, work at it, or come up with a nuanced plan that will make our neighborhood capable of supporting antique shops and whatnot.

    • I would love to see more retail. However, I do not have the financial means to open a store—just like I don’t have the means to open a bar. However, just because I don’t have money to do these things does not dismiss my right to voice my opinion one way or the other.

      • Your opinion has been voiced. Repeatedly. Disproportionately. Tantamount to a filibuster.

      • Sorry you thought that I was trying to suppress your voice. I don’t know where you got that from in my comment.

        My point is that instead of complaining that you want more retail, do something about it instead of precluding other business owners from attempting to do commerce in our neighborhood.

  • So I think that I’m okay with more bars if my alternative is boutique stores. There are tons of clothing and vintage stores on U between 15th and 16th. None that I can afford. I would love a hardware store, or a Kinko’s or something that I could use, but that’s not what goes in.

    So not sure what the answer is.

  • U Street is a historic entertainment district and this is right near a Metro station. Unless you bought your house on Wallach in 1930, not sure you have a right to complain about nightlife.

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