Indefinite Suspension of Alcohol License for The Club House after patron struck in the face with a bottle and huge fight spills on to Georgia Ave

Ed. Note: On Saturday night “Over 200 patrons from the establishment exited the location, and a large fight then started on the sidewalk and quickly spread out onto Georgia Avenue, NW”.

From MPD:

“Just wanted to let everyone know that today the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board ruled to indefinitely suspend the alcoholic beverage license for the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Washington also known as The Club House located at 5123 Georgia Avenue, NW. The license holder can opt to have a hearing with the ABC Board regarding restoration of the license. New yellow placards have been posted at the doorway of the Club House notifying the public of the indefinite suspension effective today.”

37 Comment

  • andy

    I am always fascinated to see things like this happening near me in places I’ve never heard of. I thought I knew my neighborhood. And if there were obscure establishments on Georgia Avenue I knew nothing about, they’d have practically no business, right?

    Wrong – this place I know nothing about had hundreds of people in it, a big bottle-smashing bar fight, and crowds roiling out into the street. And I can’t tell you where this place is without looking it up on Google Maps and double-checking the address.

    It just tells you how many, many layers there are to DC. Terrible event, but I love this City.

    • This place has been there for a very, very long time. About 15 years ago (gosh I’m old), I used to go here frequently for huge parties and I believe those parties have continued over that 15 year stretch. I’m also fairly sure the club house was around and hosting big parties long, long before I started going. The space used to be pretty awful ( hot, cramped and not pretty) but the crowd was always above board. I don’t recall ever hearing of major incidents happening there and although the place was a sweatbox, I don’t remember ever feeling particularly unsafe. So yes, terrible, terrible incident, but maybe it’s a positive thing that they’ve been hosting huge parties for decades and you didn’t know they existed.

      • I am a resident that lives on Hamilton and GA Ave. I can tell you that a good majority of the residents on this street are elated that this club’s alcohol license is being suspended. We have to deal with drunk patrons who spill out of this club at 4:00 AM blaring loud music in their cars as they try and sober up enough to drive home. We deal with littered bottles and trash left by the patrons of this place and most recently have had knife fights, gun fire and general disorder.

        If the owner tries to protest, a bunch of us are going to ABRA and ABC to protest right back.

        • We live on Gallatin and have emailed Joe Maloney. He responded saying he will be in touch about the next steps. The patrons are 100% out of control and we are so sick of it.

    • That’s one of my favorite things about DC as well, I find it fascinating how many different societies are basically layered one on top of another with only a few visible to the casual observer.

      A few of my close friends are immigrants and I’ve been to some interesting places in their company including a Cameroonian restaurant that operates late-night out of a random house.

  • Pablo Raw

    Overthinker here: Why is it the fault of the bar when the patrons behave inappropriately? Shouldn’t the beer company (in case it was beer they were drinking) be also at fault? Or just the patrons? Discuss.

    • I’m not sure if there are requirements for security in such a huge venue, but the establishment is ultimately going to be at fault. When a brawl of this size happens, the inclination is that the establishment is lacking somewhere whether that be overserving (happens all the time at clubs), securiyy, etc. The beer company cannot control how the company handles the booze once they sell it.

      • Also, the beer company sells to a distributor, who then provides the club with what they order. I understand the thinking that it can be the people and not always the bar which may seem unfair, but the bottle company has nothing to do with it. I do wonder how many factors go into their decision. I could just casually walk into a bar I didn’t like, stab someone to start a brawl and get it shut down (and go to jail of course)

    • Not too much to over-think: I’m guessing the patrons were over-served and the bar consequently failed to control their actions. Massive brawls such as the one described here don’t metastasize out of nowhere.

    • One of the duties such an establishment has, in accordance with a liquor license, is to maintain a safe and trouble-free atmosphere, which typically means not overserving patrons and having adequate security in place.

    • Also, the initial reports indicate that there were allegations of serving alcohol to minors.

    • Have you been to bars in populated residential areas where there are signs as you leave that say, “please be courteous to our neighbors and leave quietly”? Those are bars and clubs that want to be community members. And while not everybody in their state of inebriation obeys such signs, it shows that the bar or club wants to respect the neighborhood where they reside. As a resident of Hamilton Street and GA, I have never seen anything but utter disregard from this venue and its patrons.

      I am very happy to see this place close. And wouldn’t care if a check cashing place came up in its place. At least it would have business hours that do not draw rude obnoxious patrons who are disrespectful of my neighborhood at ungodly hours of the morning. We have retired grandmothers on this street and even less than one year old infants who don’t enjoy being woken up on a Saturday morning at 4:00 AM to drunk patrons playing loud music in their cars as they attempt to sober up enough to drive back home.

    • Two words ‘underage drinking’ . This place is notoriously terrible for that. Owners are entirely at fault for not enforcing the law and as someone that lives in Hamilton street, I say good freaking riddance!! We have had to clean everything from broken beer bottles shoved in my hedges to used conforms and needles that their drunk patrons discard at 4 am, which by the way is not one of the hours under which they are supposed to operate. . This is not some cool hipster joint, it’s a crowded over capacity venue rental that irritating people rent out to host large parties. This club has not responded to multiple requests made over the years from residents to engage with us. And we will show up at the ABRA hearing to protest their liscence!

  • This place is on such a great stretch of Georgia Ave. I often enjoy a leisurely stroll from Emerson to Kennedy shopping for used cars, tires, liqour, wigs and quality take-a-way. Sometimes I’ll stop for an aperitif at one of the fine watering holes. Drivers on this busy street always obey the speed limit and allow pedestrians to safely use crosswalks.

    • +1 comment of the day right here.

    • Don’t fret, in 10 years Georgia Avenue will be awash with big box retailers, overpriced bistros and quaint coffee shops with socially anemic patrons.

      • You think so? Could happen, but I don’t really see much movement in the area taking off in the next few years…

        • Wal-Mart is already just up the road a bit.

        • Just look at 14th street (between Thomas Circle and U). 15 years ago when I first came to DC, no-one went there. The Logan Circle started bringing in high rise condos and now look at 14th street. All the way from Thomas Circle to Columbia Heights. It totally has changed. Change can happen.

    • LOL, Fritz!

    • Change is coming, we had a florist for a little while on Hamilton and GA. And don’t forget Three Little Pigs Charcuterie. They are awesome and a much welcomed addition to the neighborhood.

      • Blithe

        Mary Woods is an excellent florist. Her shop has been on Kennedy St, near Georgia Ave. for decades.

      • justinbc

        How could anyone forget Three Little Pigs? They’ve got a new kickstarter campaign every few months.

        • Well, we CAN forget Three Little Pigs, they are changing their name effective Jan 31st to Straw Stick & Brick Delicatessen. I believe this was due to a trademark dispute with a charcuterie in New York City.

          I have been in for their classes (bacon making), and Jason and Carolina are wonderful people, very passionate about their work, and I am always thrilled with their products and services. I have order their charcuterie plates many times for parties and love pointing out that the entire thing came from an establishment you can see from my back yard.

  • So what about Macombo Lounge where someone got stabbed? I know DC wants to turn Georgia Ave into a “technology cooridor”, but…

  • FINALLY. I live on Gallatin, right off of Georgia Ave. — so a block from this place — and those of us in the neighborhood who have to deal with DC Club House patrons every weekend have been pretty desperate for help. I’ve called 911 five times in the past three months because of fights or gunshots in the street outside of my house after the club lets out at 3am. They all park on Gallatin or Hamilton and keep the party going in and around their cars after hours. It’s so frustrating to KNOW that this is going to happen every Friday or Saturday night and be powerless to stop it, especially with a baby sleeping upstairs. Also, this is not the first time the club turned into a street riot on Georgia Avenue; happened in August too. Does anyone know if the public can attend/comment at ABC board hearings? i would like to make sure this place never gets its license back.

  • wondering what the CHOSEN ONE (brandon todd) will do for the sorry state of georgia avenue.

    all we have are cars, tires, liqour, wigs and take away.

    • I have lived on Hamilton Street for almost 8 years and I’ve seen a lot of change. When I moved in, there were bars on every first floor window, now only one house on this block still has bars on their windows. The neighborhood used to be primarily retired African-American couples, now there are a lot more young couples. I’ve watched ABRA shutdown Metropolitan Imports for doing “alleyway mechanics”. I watched Healthy Bites come in. I’ve watched Upsher St and 11th Street change with a little bit of jealousy, but change like this takes time. And it take a community to want it and support it as well. I don’t believe a single councilperson can make such dramatic changes. GA Ave does need improvements and I would love to be able to walk to a nicer restaurant, a coffee shop or a neighborhood pub in this stretch. I vote with my dollar as well, and try and patronize the places that I believe serve my community.

  • Well, I think it’s high time residents unite and demand a clean up and revitalization of georgia Ave dialogue with our new council person. Anyone interested in being part of this change, reach out to Joe Maloney to add your selves to a list

    • Those on the west side of Georgia, reach out to Joe Maloney. Those on the east side, please be in touch with me. As the recently elected ANC commissioner for this area, you have my word that license renewals will be closely examined and business owners will be held to high standards. Joe and I are eager to collaborate and have been working on the problems at Club House, among others.

      David Sheon
      Commissioner, ANC SMD 4D-04
      Like me on Facebook: “ANC SMD 4D-04”
      Follow me on Twitter: @ANC_4D04

      • Accountering

        Great to hear from you David. I was very excited to vote for you, and even more excited to see that you won (even if by a very small margin!)
        Thanks for your hard work here! Please DO stay in touch regarding the ABRA and licensing renewals. I would happily come to speak against their license at any sort of hearing. If you get in touch with Dan the owner of POPVille, he will certainly post something as a reminder to commentors here who are also interested in protesting this place.

  • McFaddens now this place where will I go.

    • The Heritage India/Zanzibar, no wait.

      How about Panas Gourmet Empanadas?

      • Seriously though if you’ve ever been in this place, it is a literal shithole. Tried to do a panoramic of the place with my phone. When I reviewed the image it looked like my dad’s colonoscopy.

  • jim_ed

    Bummer. Now who will supply drunk drivers tearing down Illinois Ave at 70 mph at 4 am on Saturdays?

Comments are closed.