Riverfront at the Ball Park Denied a Liquor License by ABRA

Rendering via ANC Rep David Garber

In May a liquor license application was posted for “Riverfront at the Ball Park” located in the lot at 25 Potomac Ave, SE:

“New Tavern, Food will come from various local restaurants nearby traditional and American cuisine. There will be a stage for live entertainment.”


It was narrowly supported by the local ANC:

“Last night, at 12:30AM, a slim majority of ANC 6D finally supported the liquor license and concept for a new temporary outdoor venue just south of the ballpark. The venue will be a partnership of Taste of DC, United Social Sports (frisbee, kickball, bocce leagues), and others, and is planned to activate the vacant lot behind the stadium until it’s developed as soon as next year.”

ABRA has denied the liquor license:

“In this case, the Board determines that no adequate conditions exist that can fix Riverfront’s Application. First, the Board is not confident that MPD has sufficient resources to police the establishment and the surrounding streets during events at Riverfront; especially, when Riverfront is requiring some patrons to come to the establishment from off-site parking areas.

Second, as an undeveloped lot, Riverfront cannot prevent noise generated at the venue from bothering nearby residents. Supra, at 4, 13. Third, based on its proximity to South Capitol Street, S.E., the Board lacks confidence that Riverfront can ensure the safety of pedestrians. Supra, at 43-47. And fourth, the Board is unconvinced that approximately three foot bicycle racks and silt fences sufficiently block patrons from the river bordering the proposed location. Supra, at 4, IS, 21. Based on these issues, the Board lacks confidence that any conditions that the Board could impose would ensure the proposed establishment’s peaceful coexistence with surrounding residents and the safety of patrons and pedestrians.

You can read the full ruling below:

Riverfront at the Ballpark – Order on Denial of License (PDF)

19 Comment

  • “bothering nearby residents”? WTF?

  • Why allow the bullpen and not this place?? Seems fishy.

  • As a resident of Navy Yard, WHAT RESIDENTS? You know what empty lot residents CAN hear shenanigans from? The f**king Fairgrounds. This site is several blocks from the nearest residential buildings.

  • So, we shouldn’t have a bar next to the baseball stadium? Would they prefer it remain an undeveloped patch of sand?

    What did they expect would grow around Nationals Park? Single family homes?

  • Seems like a good use. Sitting right by the river, too. But I did not see any rest room facilities – for a bar and eating place? I guess it’s moot now…

  • As a Nats season ticket holder and regular tailgater, I would LOVE to see this piece of dirt put to some use before it’s developed. The amount of vacant or underutilized land around the ballpark is astounding. These developers are rather shortsighted for not putting theses plots of land to use with temporary functions before the buildings go up. This particular plot of land on Potomac Avenue sat completely unused all last season.

  • These are the same people that run Mason Inn, Capitale, and George…no thanks.

  • Yet ABRA is MORE than happy to let Flash Bar, which is located in a densely populated neighborhood, have a 24-hour operational license, while not holding them to any standards whatsoever regarding peacefully co-existing with the neighborhood. This whole system is completely corrupt.

  • What does it mean that MPD does not believe it has the resources to police this location? Is this not the most heavily fortified block in the city on game days? I suppose I should read the official document…

    …looks like MPD does not believe the owners could properly prevent underage drinking or disorderly conduct from of-age drinkers in such a large area. Fair enough–does anyone know if the owners were going to be stingy with staff levels?

    Funny: one of the reasons MPD cites for protesting the application is that South Capitol Street is hard to cross. So should that plot of land remain vacant until South Cap becomes a quiet country lane?

  • I call BS on the noise to nearby residents. The fish don’t care, baseball is TONS LOUDER, and what’s more -what neighbors? There are a few on South Cap – but that ain’t exactly that close and the traffic noise coming down South Cap (not to mention baseball) has to be louder.

    That NO is sorta lame.

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