Dear PoPville – Rosa Mexicano Stealing Parking?


“Dear PoPville,

This was on a Sunday afternoon where parking is free. They block off spots then charge for them. There’s a small signed section which is for valet but even that’s only after 5pm.”

Hmm, I thought restaurants were allowed to apply for and pay for permits to do this? Anyone know if this is legit?

17 Comment

  • I believe you are allowed to do this. On 8th NW between I & H Eastern Travel paid something like 21K a year for sole use of several metered parking spaces for loading/unloading buses. I’d check to make sure the restaurant actually has the permits to do so, however.

  • You can always ask for a permit to ensure they are a valid valet or call the police and ask they check for the permit.

  • In the section marked as a valet zone, during the hours posted, yes, they can charge you for those spots, because their permit is for those spots. In ANY OTHER SPACE that is metered and NOT marked for the valet zone, you may use that space however it is marked (free on Sunday = free on Sunday, 2 hour limit = 2 hour limit, etc) and the valet guys CANNOT tow or ticket your car. Also, if you have a dispute with the valet guys, GO INSIDE and tell the manager – the valet guys are almost always contractors. Complain. Tell them the valet team is harassing you. If they try and tell you the space belongs to them, ask to see the permit. It has a diagram on it. If your space is in the diagram, then it ought to have a valet zone sign. It is NOT LEGAL for valet parking crews to park any valet vehicle in any residential or metered space in the District, ever, for even a minute.

    • I sent the original email to PoP & have other photos further down the block where they’ll cone off a large section of public parking. There is about two car lengths which have proper valet “no parking” signs but they only take affect after 5.

      It’s frustrating to see a company just cone off a section of the street to save for their customers. What actually got me steamed enough to send this was when I saw an elderly woman try to park and was shooed off by the valet.

    • I had this same problem with the valets at Open City in Woodley Park trying to block off extra valet spaces. He tried to wave me off when I parked there and then threatened to call the cops when I wouldn’t move. When I called his bluff, he went running to the manager, who came out and backed me up.

      If you know you are right, go ahead and challenge them.

      • This has actually happened to me twice at different locations, always on a Sunday and I always call their bluff. Valets don’t get to make and enforce their own rules, they have to follow the same laws and city signs we do. I think most people don’t fight them though b/c they don’t know that they can.

        • I agree with you in principle, but I’d be scared to find my car keyed and no way to prove who did it. That shit is so annoying.

          • Yes, but if the restaurant has valet, they probably also have security cameras. Note where they are, just in case that happens. And ALWAYS go inside, complain to the manager, and have the manager come outside and tell the valet team to stop harassing you. There is a virtual certainty that the team is a contractor. Ask the restaurant manager, in front of the valet guys, for the name of the manager in charge of the team with the valet company. That will probably scare them far more about possibly being fired for costing the company the contract over complaints. They will leave the car alone.
            On another note, @PoP – there’s been a bunch of articles over the years about problems with valet services. How about a valet version of the Horse’s Ass award? Something like “Valet parking con job of the week”? This problem is going on at enough places city wide to have a weekly winner for years, and perhaps your platform could direct DDOT to problem offenders and get some of them fixed the same way the horse’s ass awards tends to get DCRA moving on a problem property.

      • It’s actually for New Heights, the hoity-toity place upstairs from Open City.

  • justinbc

    This isn’t nearly as troublesome as them charging you $14 for guacamole.

  • i see this happen all the time where the valet guys would put a cone or a folding sign within a non valet spot. not coning off the entire spot but just enough within the spot to make it non-parkable.

  • Same thing happened at Kapnos… I called the cops, they ticketed the valet company (outside vendor) and I haven’t seen a cone in front of their place since…

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