Adams Morgan: “new liquor licenses for restaurants in the area for the first time in approximately five years”


From a press release:

“The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (Board) renewed the Adams Morgan Moratorium Zone this morning with two modifications, which includes allowing the issuance of new liquor licenses for restaurants in the area for the first time in approximately five years. The change is consistent with a provision of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C’s (ANC 1C) proposal on the moratorium.

The Board also reduced the term of the moratorium to three years from five years as a means to monitor the effect of new restaurant licenses in the area. As a result, the moratorium will be reviewed again for renewal in 2017. Complete details of the Board’s decision are available in the Notice of Emergency and Proposed Rulemaking issued this morning.

Other provisions of the moratorium will remain in place. The zone will continue to be the second largest neighborhood moratorium in the District, extending 1,400 feet in all directions from the intersection of Belmont Road and 18th St., NW. In addition to restaurants, hotels and off-premise retailers such as liquor stores will be exempt from the moratorium. Restrictions of the moratorium include:

  • No new licenses for taverns and multipurpose facilities.
  • No nightclub licenses are permitted in the zone.
  • No more than 10 licenses issued for taverns and multipurpose facilities.
  • A restaurant holding a license within the zone is prohibited from changing its license class unless there are fewer than 10 taverns and multipurpose facilities within the zone.
  • A license holder outside of the zone is not permitted to transfer its license to a location within the zone unless it is a restaurant, hotel or off-premise retailer.

The continued restrictions are also consistent with provisions of ANC 1C’s proposal on the moratorium as well as a proposal from the Kalorama Citizens Association. The Board also considered all of the testimony and written comment it received on the issue through Friday, May 9 in making its decision.

The decision is effective immediately on an emergency basis and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final approval from the District of Columbia Council. Members of the public can submit public comment on the decision for a 30-day period.”

16 Comment

  • It seriously boggles my mind that DC refuses to implement hours of operation on outside beer gardens at venues that are located near residential areas. By adding more licenses to densely populated areas, the District is continuing to stir up contention between residents and bar owners.

  • Hurray stupid rent-seeking regulations!

  • I’m generally anti moratorium since I think it only serves to protect the incumbents, but this new agreement strikes a very reasonable balance. Most of the new businesses on that strip are restaurants anyway and a lot of the weekend shit show seems to have moved to U Street.

  • I’m not very familiar on the existing moratorium, so I ask: Could this be beneficial for the (fairly large) stretch of Columbia Road from 17th to 18th, which has serval unoccupied storefronts?

    • Not really – the moratorium is really for 18th Street only – 1500 yards from Belmont & 18th, which 17th & Columbia far exceeds.

  • ADMO may be finally growing up. Lots of young families are moving into the area and it may be time for the 18th street stretch to start reflecting the emerging neighborhood of yuppie families

    • justinbc

      Most of the bars / restaurants that I’ve seen open there in the past 3-4 years have catered (or at least intended to) to a decidedly more mature (using that loosely) crowd than what it was known for previously.

    • Agreed. I’m surprised given the high cost of housing in this area how some of these businesses survive. Although it’s been very promising in the past few years to see great places open for food: Donburi, Sakuramen, Mintwood, Libertine, Pho 14…just to name of few. My hope is as the business leases on some of the crappier places (eg Spaghetti Garden, Town Tavern, Heaven&Hell) run out they will be replaced with interesting/better options. Besides, who goes out to “party” in Adams Morgan anymore? Aren’t H street, 14/U street, and Petworth a lot more interesting for doing that?

      • justinbc

        “Who goes out to party…”
        The cheap places in Adams Morgan are still cheaper than those other neighborhoods, thus it’s still appealing to college aged (or freshly out of) kids. Not to mention it’s geographically closer to the universities in NW.

      • Years ago a coworker told me that Spaghetti Garden was far better than Pasta Mia, but I’ve never actually been able to force myself to try it. It’s always completely empty during dinner time and looks very sketch. Has anyone ever actually eaten there?

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