Neighbors Report: “proposed beer garden on 9th Street had withdrawn their request for a liquor license and were walking away from the project”

1322 9th Street, NW

In other beer garden news the spot that was planned from the owners of Garden District and Etto is no longer coming to 9th Street/Naylor Court. Thanks to a reader for passing on a note making rounds in the neighborhood:

We received a note this morning announcing that the applicants for the proposed beer garden on 9th Street had withdrawn their request for a liquor license and were walking away from the project. The protest hearing before ABRA scheduled for tomorrow has therefore been cancelled.

As I’ve noted in my prior emails, those of us who protested the application have been, and continue to be, supportive of the redevelopment of 9th Street as a commercial and restaurant destination for a diverse clientele. Throughout the conversation, and again after the notice, we made it clear to the applicants that our opposition was about this site and this use – not them – and that we’d welcome their opening the right operation in the right building in our part of Shaw. I personally will continue to support them at Etto and hope that we see them here in Shaw in the future.

Many people supported us in this effort, we can’t thank them enough!”

149 Comment

  • Thanks for destroying new outdoor spaces and new spots in South Shaw. Such a joke. I feel sorry for these developers who actually are trying to meet the demands of the growing population of Shaw.

    • NIMBY’ers to the rescue! Thanks for saving us from the grotesque sights and sounds of folks having fun on 9th street! 😐 I’m sure they just wanted it to be a dog park…

      • God forbid people have preferences different from your own.

        • Seriously. Clearly you don’t actually live in the area and intend to stay in the area affected or you’d be singing a different tune about a beer garden. The “sounds of fun” wouldn’t be so fun. Props to ABRA for being reasonable and protecting neighborhoods.

          • Exactly why nobody wants to live in Dupont anymore . . .

          • You’re a Dupont resident, how would you know what people having fun sounds like?

          • ^ lol good joke. seriously thou, lighten up francis. a balance between fun spaces for socializing/drinking and respect for neighbors (especially quiet at night) can be found. it’s because of poor assumptions and blanket generalizations that everyone’s “out to get each other” now.

  • beer garden fascists, the new Trump

  • I love a good beer garden as much as anyone, but is it possible we’re approaching market saturation?

    • This is a bunch of NIMBY neighbors trying to exclude beer gardens from their neighborhood not the business owners pulling out for lack of business.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Dacha and Garden District are about a ten minute walk from one another. Is there a serious need for yet a third beer garden roughly halfway in between the two?

        • Are you now picking businesses for open locations as opposed to letting the market decide?

          • HaileUnlikely

            The owner is a part of the market and did decide by backing out.

          • Your statement is only fair if they backed out for reasons other than community opposition. Given the wording of the post, it appears community opposition played a big part. The immediate neighborhood, especially only its most vocal components, is not the entire market.

          • The owner is backing out because the neighbors have created a hostile business environment.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Well, the owner could have fought it, and seeing as he runs a couple of other reputable businesses that have managed to steer clear of the Dacha sh!tstorm, I suspect he could have succeeded, but it appears that he elected not to bother, which is his prerogative.

          • “Oh, you weren’t comfortable powering through the acid being poured on your face by people who lived on that street? Guess you didn’t want to walk down the street badly enough. Too bad.”
            I wish I could reach out to these proprietors and offer up my neighborhood as an alternative, but my NIMBYs are probably even worse.

          • I’m pretty certain “the community” is also part of that “market” decision. Lots of actors in “the market.”

        • Dacha’s owners are trying to sell…so you’re only looking at two beer gardens.

        • Have you seen the lines or crowds at either of those locations? In a city with limited outdoor social space and a relatively short winter, we have a bit of a way to go before people tire of bars with outdoor space.

        • How about we let the customers decide this? If there aren’t enough red blooded beer drinkers between the 3 of them, I suspect the businesses will adjust operations accordingly.

        • Apparently there is a need (or rather, a demand) or this wouldn’t have been proposed. Dacha and Garden District are always packed, so clearly we’re not at a point of saturation yet. Plus, both (and especially Dacha) are generally full of the worst kind of bros, which has made them quite intolerable for a lot of people.

  • I like how these neighbors/protestors have appointed themselves arbiters of what is the “right operation in the right building” in Shaw. As a neighbor who supported the development, I think this would’ve been great. Perhaps the others like the rat infested lot as is?

    • Yes. This is how NIMBYs think. It’s an unfortunate state of affairs I wish it were easy to fight. But it takes so so so so much fight to oppose NIMBYs. The processes are all set up to make it easy to protest, but not to support the businesses being protested. And the vitriol and emotional appeals from neighbors are so grave, it’s basically impossible to try.
      So we’re sorta screwed.

    • Card carrying NIMBY here. One that don’t want city sidewalks to be littered with cans, cigarettes, trash; NIMBY who would like the neighborhood to be quiet and not approach 747-level noise. NIMBY that wants the Basics and the Bros to enjoy themselves at the shore and not WHOOP-WHOOP all night. Yup..NIMBY at heart.

      • Problem is, the streets are already littered with such things and the city is noisy, not just on busy 9th St. NW but also where I live backed up against Rock Creek Park 1/2 mile from the closest construction zone. To expect to live near a commercial district without the downsides of a crowded urban environment is delusional, and it destroys the attractiveness of areas in a city. Ask anyone paying attention about the NIMBY war in Mount Pleasant. So, carry your card but in the long run you will reap a sterile, uninviting urban environment that is the opposite of what drew you to the city.

        • xxx closest commercial zone xxx

        • Your logic doesn’t follow. It seems the poster above already has enough things that “drove him to the city”. The city isn’t about to shut its doors just because someone reneged on a business idea.

      • If you prefer sterility and are scared of a bit of noise and unfamiliar people, move to Northwest of Arlington. Stop trying to prevent things just because you made a poor housing decision.

        • That should be “Northwest OR Arlington.” Or the Palisades, that seems more your speed.

          The point is, don’t move to a place like 7th or 9th that’s suddenly in demand because of the bars/restaurants/retail that’s opened up over the past several years and then turn around and complain about bars/restaurants/retail opening up near you.

          • That’s exactly what people do because approximately half of humankind are fickle hypocrites with little to no self awareness.
            People move into a neighborhoods like this when they are younger and like the scene, then they get older and their wants/needs for a neighborhood change. Few people will acknowledge this, most will talk about how long they’ve been there and how they patronized this or that business for years but that this one business is a bridge too far (occasionally it probably is).
            Ironically these NIMBYs are probably the same people who loathe when people mention the downsides of gentrification even as they stand in the way of changes that are undesirable to them.

          • ^^^LOVE your screen name and your comment. Much love.

          • I can’t say for sure, but based on the buildings that surround this, it’s more than likely the older residents (both in age and duration of residence) who protested. This is located where it would abut older, not newer, buildings. So they may be NIMBYs but they’re unlikely new transplants.

        • Lol, they should definitely avoid most of Arlington too in this case.

  • I assume when the person says “this site and this use” they really mean to say “places where people drink and make noise outdoors”, right? Would they support a beer garden a few blocks in either direction?

  • Given how things went with Dacha, I’m not surprised that neighbors of this site weren’t exactly thrilled about the idea of another beer garden in Shaw.

    • +1, especially since the application called for occupancy of nearly 400 people in a fairly small space.

  • SusanRH

    Shaw the new Cleveland Park 🙂

  • I’m glad to hear this feel through. A beer garden seems like an under-utilization of this spot. I would like to see a new building with ground floor retail and 4 stories of housing above.

    • You are what’s wrong with DC.

      • I assume you are being sarcastic. How on earth is supporting replacing an empty lot on a commercial street with a low rise mixed use building with housing above retail destroying DC?

        • Have you seen the lot? It’s not anywhere near large enough to incorporate the type of footprint you’re looking for, not to mention the associated parking impact it’d have on the neighborhood of having additional residents living there without a garage.

          • LOL, this lots if bigger than the one upon which the infamous Monstrosity of V Street is built. This will be developed into housing. Only a matter of time.

      • ^+1 to you, tom’s a hater

    • You do know that Garden District makes upwards of 2 million a year, right? 2 million worth of taxable revenue.

    • If you think it’ll make money then try to build it and see how your neighbors feel about a 5th floor pop-up. If developers thought it would make money then it would have already happened.

      • Oof. That makes no sense. You just conceded the only reason it’s not profitable isn’t because there isn’t demand, but because existing residents nearby would oppose it, in effect driving up the cost and hassle to the point where it would no longer be worth the risk.

        • Did you read the same post as me?

          “If developers thought it would make money then it would have already happened.” The developers do not think it would make money so they haven’t built it.

          • Did you see the sentence before that one? You know, the other of the two sentences? “If you think it’ll make money then try to build it and see how your neighbors feel about a 5th floor pop-up.”
            Was that not an implication that neighbors would oppose the action and his “try” would fail? What is English, anyway? And how does language??

    • The land is only available for lease, not sale, so it’s hard to imagine anyone will build something substantial on it. Outside of a beer garden or a parking lot, I’m not sure what can go there.

  • If the problem was too many people wanted to go to the beer garden in Shaw (dacha), then perhaps a good solution would have been to open another beer garden in Shaw, to cater to some of the demand that couldn’t be met by the first beer garden… This is why we can’t have nice things.

  • Guess they figured it wasn’t worth the risk/fight. Ok?

    • These n’hood associations can keep being NIBYs as much as they want, but they run the risk of ostracizing business. DC still has plenty of development to go across all ANC’s/Wards; if Shaw want’s to be picky now that they are on everyone radar, where they were begging for development 3-4yrs ago, they will quickly see quality business owners move right on down Rhode Island Ave or somewhere else to set up shop where homeowners are more welcoming to development. That little plot of land is only but so desirable….you’re not trying to shut down something like McMillan where you actually have leverage over developers because the space is so coveted–not that I agree with those in the opposition up in LeDroit/Bloomingdale either.

      • Were they ever begging for development? My neighborhood is a dearth of activity and a sea of un- and underutilized buildings, and my neighbors are still HIGHLY MOTIVATED to oppose businesses that don’t meet their high standards.

  • If true, this is such a despicable display of ANC overreach and subterfuge that it makes me call into question the legitimacy of the organization. If a few people who purport to represent the needs of the many can singlehandedly derail a business seeking to develop a rat-infested vacant lot, whose needs are they actually representing? Stupid do-nothing asshats.

  • I was looking forward to having this close to my home. The added pedestrian traffic would be welcome on this and neighboring blocks at night, and the lot has sat empty for years – overgrown and full of rats. I didn’t know there was an active opposition against this effort, I would have spoken up sooner and asked that several of our neighbors who were also excited about this prospect join in. Sigh.

    • I know that it’s torture, but you need to go to the local ANC meetings. This is the only way to actively oppose the neighbors who want to shut down development.

      My ANC meetings are full of people opposing businesses by saying, “wait until a whole foods wants to move in here.”

      • It’s not just torture; it’s also likely to fail. You will sit in a cramped and hot room with a bunch of your most complainy neighbors, and even if you do muster the confidence to speak up the opposing viewpoint, you will be quickly struck down by vitriolic and/or grave emotional appeals. You’ll be told you haven’t lived there long enough for your opinion to matter. Or you don’t live close enough to the proposed business/development for your opinion to matter. And after all of that, the vote will still prob be highly against your viewpoint, and there’s no real mechanism by which you can then temper the resulting protest with your vote/voice.
        Seriously, we need some kind of organization force to deal with this. And I don’t think you can do it at the ANC/neighborhood association level. We need to reform the zoning and ABRA processes entirely to take away the powers these people are abusing.

        • Oh well, it will never go my way so I might as well stop trying with the tools currently available.

          • Yeah, basically? Sorry. I’ve tried. I really, really have. I’ve fought and fought and fought. They just have too much energy. The only consolation is that they do lose occasionally and their suppression of real estate stock is driving up my real estate value.
            Would you keep encouraging a kid to learn guitar when the only guitar they have available sounds awful and they’re thoroughly demoralized when they hear themselves?

          • Yes. I probably wouldn’t blame it on the guitar though, you know? 😉

          • Well, it’s tough to sound good on a crappy guitar. I think pretty much any music teacher will advise a beginner student spend a little extra on their instrument to avoid being demoralized.

        • ANCs are the only form of representative government we have beyond ward-level government. If you don’t like what your ANC rep is doing, run for ANC yourself.

          • This is more about how much point-by-point say the government should have in what the market does. I’m a Democrat, and I believe businesses should be regulated insofar as public safety and security are concerned. But we don’t need to protect any and all groups of miserly residents from being inconvenienced by the market.

          • People deserve a say in what happens in their neighborhood. The ANCs don’t control what ABRA or the BZA do; they merely provide recommendations.

          • This is a specific example where neighborhood opposition killed a project. It wouldn’t have happened if the ANC/neighborhood assocation/group of 5+ residents’ protests did not introduce risk.

          • “This is a specific example where neighborhood opposition killed a project.” I don’t think that is at all clear from the message above. It sounds to me like a group that opposed the project is celebrating the fact that the project won’t go forward, but don’t think there’s any evidence that the opposition alone was the thing that killed the project.

          • Conceded. While I do think the wording of the post implies the neighborhood opposition was a factor, it doesn’t not specifically confirm so.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Does anybody else find it bizarre that those whose voices “shouldn’t” count are so marvelously effective at mobilizing their friends and stating their case, and those whose voices “should” count, despite claiming to vastly outnumber the former, can’t even get two people to meetings, thus sort of giving the impression that there aren’t many of them or that they aren’t informed or aren’t engaged.

          • No, it’s not bizarre. There are many reasons that community organization favors protests rather than whatever the opposite of protests are. To name a few:
            -There is no formal way to advocate for a business/developer as a resident. I have discussed this with an ABRA rep before and was told I could reach out to the business itself and offer to testify on their behalf as a witness if they wanted.
            -Businesses are businesses and they are not especially sympathetic players. The expectation of most is that they’ll pay their way through and be fine. Frequently, this is true.
            -People whose desires are in line with the market are generally used to the market catering to them, and are not in the habit of ramming their desires down anyone’s throats.
            Those are just some ideas. I don’t have any verifiable numbers or anything to back that up; just a lot of personal experience.

          • Well, when the ANC acts like a total bully and effectively prevents the meeting from happening, it’s a little difficult to stand up on either side of the issue, no?

          • I’m with you on this, HaileUnlikely.

          • HaileUnlikely

            You can change that. Run for ANC, win (shouldn’t be hard; if this thread is any indication, it is self-evident that the incumbent is an asshat and that you represent the vast majority), survey all of your constituents, and present your data to ABRA.

          • See my post above about why community action favors anti-market behavior. Rallying a successful ANC challenge would be a form of community action.
            I don’t even fault the ANCs. They are doing exactly what the most vocal of their constituents want.

          • “There is no formal way to advocate for a business/developer as a resident. I have discussed this with an ABRA rep before and was told I could reach out to the business itself and offer to testify on their behalf as a witness if they wanted.”

            It can be done, though. When Indigo got into trouble for not properly permitting their sidewalk cafe improvements, 500+ neighbors signed a petition in their support, and several of the closest neighbors spoke in their defense at the ANC6 meeting. The ANC ultimately voted to support their (belated) permit application, citing community support as their reason.

        • I wanted to point out that I have been part of a group that successfully supported a new business at first an ANC and then an ABRA meeting. I sent a letter and followed up by appearing in person at both meetings, along with others, so it can be done. But it is in fact torturous.

  • If you have ever lived near a bar, I cannot understand enthusiasm for putting a bar near a residence. It’s hard to sleep when people go back to their cars at 2 AM, talking loudly, slamming doors. Rather than calling it NIMBYism, call it: “If you like it so much, put it in your yard.”

    • You beat me to it.

    • Good news! You can: insulate your home and/or replace your windows and/or wear earplugs and/or use a white noise machine. I know you can’t control being a light sleeper (I personally am not, but am married to someone who is) but your base reaction shouldn’t be to authoritatively dictate what happens off your property (and, for that matter, outside of the licensed venues! We are a free and open society where people don’t have a curfew and we allow for plentiful city-provided parking for some reason).

      • DC has laws against noise after a certain hour. The goal of life is not to give anyone a right to maximize profit through a business that purveys a substance that does a lot of harm to society. But anyway, sweep out your front yard and build a bar there, and when you are preparing for a test the next morning, well just too bad for you if you can’t sleep.

    • HaileUnlikely

      I agree with this. I like Denizen. I’ll concede that they are less easy to get to than Dacha, but I’m ok with that, because I realize that living next them would suck, and I appreciate that they selected their locations such that nobody lives next to them.

      • Come on – you’d rather go to a beer garden that needs driving to? I don’t think I buy that at all.

        • Haile can walk to Denizen.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Yes, I can walk to Denizen from my house. I can also walk to Dacha from my office. I’ve been to both similar number of times. I recognize that Dacha is more easily accessible by more potential customers, however, the reason for that is that it is smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood, and when I’m there enjoying my beer with my friends (believe it or not, Haile has friends who live in Shaw), I am cognizant that we are all collectively being bad neighbors to everybody who lives nearby, and it makes me feel a bit like an ass.

    • +1. This very block has struggled for years with an at-some-times illegal nightclub operating in willful disregard of ABRA, DC Police, you name it — it’s no wonder that the residents who live right there are super-sensitive to what goes in on the block. Where a historic district zoned residential butts up against a commercial district, it’s all about the balance.

    • Choices people. I cannot understand buying a residence near a commercial strip where a bar might be located if you don’t want to live near a bar. It is easy to avoid living near such places. Nearly 20 years ago I wanted to buy a house on Wallach Place, but I didn’t do it because it backed up against the U St. commercial strip. Noise, smells, garbage crime all came to mind. Instead I bought a cheaper house blocks from the nearest commercial strip off a busy street. Common sense, not opposition to legitimate businesses, will bring you peace.

      • Some people are bad at reading the market. They either don’t anticipate change, or think that their false prediction of change will come true instead of whatever does.

  • Honest question: are any of the people here who are calling out so-called NIMBYs neighbors of any of the places being discussed here? I’m curious if these people would have the same response to a 400ish person crowd literally in their own backyard every day and night.

  • Sad that some old fogeys could basically strong arm them out. Great business owners, and their food/beverage is always on point. They’re not Dacha.

    This neighborhood’s loss. Enjoy the eye sore of an empty lot for some time. Hopefully you get a nice, upscale chinese take-out spot instead!

    • I’m a young “fogey” who helped with derailing this. It’s a bad use from an urban planning perspective and it is incompatible with the residential use of this alley going back to the 1830s.

  • Was the opposition driven by the church on the corner? I only ask because if memory serves, there was strong opposition when the café on the corner wanted to get a liquor license. But that was several years ago.
    In any event, since the owners pulled the plug on this before a hearing was even held, maybe there is something else going on besides neighborhood opposition.

    • No, the church opposed BeBar, which was on this block. They said alcohol would corrupt their parishioners. Oddly, they have never opposed a single liquor license at all that didn’t involve a gay bar, including this one.

      • “corrupt their parishioners”. What?? That’s insulting to be so dismissive and belittling of their concerns, whether you agree with them or not. BTW the church is now vacant.

        • It is absolutely not dismissive or belittling of their concerns (though I disagree with you – that is exactly what they deserved, as their entire thing against BeBar, and their subsequent attempt to interfere in DC’s marriage equality legislation, was 1,000% pure anti-gay bigotry and hatred) – those were the EXACT WORDS that they used in their protest hearing! They were the ones saying a bar so nearby would “entice parishioners to sin after services” and “corrupt the children of the congregation” and “corrupt their parishioners”. Read the news articles and the transcripts – the bigotry is transparent, and the hyperbolic language they used is laughable.

  • It looks like a vocal minority of Shaw residents (who are you btw?) have successfully destroyed any chance of 9th Street NW turning into a fun and vibrant corridor. I chose to move to this area of Shaw anticipating this new beer garden and other developments. Instead my “neighbors” have demanded the lot stay empty for the foreseeable future. As I have little hope for this neighborhood to significantly improve in the near future, I will be moving out. Best of luck NIMBY neighbors and enjoy the continued crime spike.

    • My thoughts exactly – I love Shaw, but can’t stand to live in a neighborhood where shit doesn’t change. What a joke.

      • Did you really move to the area to be near a project that had only been proposed but hadn’t even broken ground? Seems a bit hard to believe (or a bit ill advised).
        “It looks like a vocal minority of Shaw residents (who are you btw?) have successfully destroyed any chance of 9th Street NW turning into a fun and vibrant corridor.” 1) I think you’re reading the OP a bit liberally here. It’s someone who didn’t want the project to move forward, saying “hooray, the project isn’t moving forward!” Not someone claiming responsibility for taking down the project with the support of the neighborhood. 2) There are a bunch of other projects coming to 9th street, just blocks from here — all of the new businesses at the Colonel, the places at the convention center and the 9th St. side of City Market at O. It’s not as if this single business decision signals the death of vibrancy on 9th St in Shaw.

        • Sing it fka Shawess!

        • I’m sorry, but you are completely off-the-mark. A lot of people look to see what is moving in and what is coming to determine when and where they would like to move. Of course, many residents, including myself, did not move just because there was a ‘prospect’ of a beer garden coming up. However, many of us did move to hear that there was something more than mid-level to high-end casual dining areas. Most of these people against a beer garden (the same idiots against Dacha) only want places like Thally (an amazing resto, mind you), Corduroy, Convivial, etc. I am sure you understand as well that the projects you are speaking of in the Convention Center will be coming in about 1.5-2 years from now. The lot is abandoned. It is a rat haven. It is a complete eyesore, but instead of encouraging new business, the select vocal minority decides to squash any progress. Shameful and embarrassing, but that is nothing new for a City that continues to hinder and hurt progress in the name of preserving the ‘D.C. Culture’ – whatever the hell that is!

          • We may disagree, but I still think it’s hyperbole to say that “a select vocal minority decides to squash any progress” in Shaw. The fact that I could name about 10 other announced business for a strip that is about five blocks long, leaving out the dozen-ish recently opened businesses and announcements/openings for 1-2 blocks east or west of that, and all of the businesses in the Shay/Atlantic Plumbing/U Street area is pretty telling.
            It sounds like you and others are specifically frustrated at the how tough it is for *beer gardens* to open in Shaw and with people who don’t want giant beer gardens in their neighborhood. I guess that’s a fair frustration to have, but to conflate that with a neighborhood discouraging new business seems either disingenuous or misguided. I agree with others here who say that if you want a beer garden in Shaw that badly, go to ANC and ABRA meetings and make your case.

  • NIMBYism is in the eye of the beholder. I doubt there would be much outrage registered here if the NIMBYism were directed at plans to build a homeless shelter or social services center on this lot.

    • Doubtful, but even if that were true it would be an indictment of this site’s commenter base, not a defense for these NIMBYs.

  • (Fiction): Someone gathered fifteen of their freinds, walked outside the proponent’s house at one in the morning singing Christmas carols, and then got in their different cars, slamming the doors, revving the engines, and heading out going the wrong way! Then they did this again for weeks and weeks!

  • The owners of Garden District and Etto are nothing like the guys behind Dacha who have repeatedly lied to and disrespected the neighbors whose support allowed them to set up shop in the first place. The GD guys would have done a great job with that empty lot…such a shame that the greediness of Dacha’s owners has ruined it for everyone else

    • HaileUnlikely

      I agree with this. I’m not completely sold on the idea of beer gardens near houses, but Garden District and Etto are both legit businesses that don’t run roughshod over their respective neighborhoods. If Dacha is still trying to sell, it would be a big win if these guys would buy Dacha and clean it up and try to demonstrate to the neighborhood what a beer garden being a good respectful neighbor looks like. Until then, it shouldn’t be a great shock that people who live near Dacha aren’t yet ready to embrace another larger beer garden a couple blocks away.

    • I don’t disagree with you at all about Dacha’s owners and the mistrust that they’ve helped sow, but I think it’s a stretch to pretend that that’s what’s driving the opposition to this particular project. DC has a long history of NIMBYism (see, e.g. Cleveland Park) and DC gentrifiers (and Shaw gentrifiers particularly) have been very active in carrying that on. This trend actually seems to be getting worse somehow as it’s spread east from Dupont through 17th, 14th/Logan Circle, Shaw, and now even into Ledroit Park, Bloomingdale, and Eckington. Even had Dacha never existed, these people would have found some reason to complain.

      I’d wager that very few of the complaints are coming from genuine long-term residents. The bars, restaurants, and retail that have moved into Shaw have changed the character in a way that’s made these new residents feel comfortable throwing down $700,000+ on a house or condo. Now that they’ve got the neighborhood, they’re perfectly happy to pull up the ladder behind them and oppose anything new and interesting that might attract people.

  • I heard the guys from Döner Bistro are also working on a bigger beer garden project.

  • Nowhere is the withdrawal note quoted, and nowhere is it even implied that they pulled out because of community opposition. The owner of the property is notoriously difficult to work with and as I have noted elsewhere has dragged on potential lessees for sometimes years, though usually months. My guess it was withdrawn because they couldn’t reach an agreement with the owner. The ABRA placards have been gone for months, almost as quickly as they were put up and revised.

  • Killing of the beer garden is absolutely an 100% NIMBY activity by surrounding neighbors who were well aware of the zoning on 9th Street, a beer garden is a permitted use but it is such a large lot, you can put 4 dacha’s on this lot, just a little to much for the neighborhood to absorb. That said the business owners, who have a nearby neighborhood track record, made little effort to engage the community to see if a compromise could be reached. The owner of the property is extremely difficult to work with and does not want to sell, so looking for ways to suck in cash from the properties use. Consider also that one of the top 100 designers in the US is immediately adjacent to the property (Darryl Carter) and he deserves better. The land will develop at some point, as C2A it will likely be some sort of mixed use so there will be a bar or restaurant on the street level, perhaps some outside dining facing the adjacent commercial zoned alley/court. Not so bad an outcome.

    • I don’t understand how any business owner, much less an experienced one, can pull out of a potential operation because of community protest. That is a given in the process DC-wide. It is almost across the board that an ANC will protest to ensure getting a (voluntary) agreement that rightly protects neighbors. What happened at the ANC and BANCA meetings regarding this project? True it’s not for the feint of heart but if they pulled out because of this, even before presenting to ABRA, then good riddance. Look at All Souls and Dacha and Vita Lounge who profit and grow despite extreme and vehement opposition.

      An interesting fact about this lot- every year an architecture class at Catholic U uses this lot for a student group assignment to design a structure here. (I cannot word this right…)

      • HaileUnlikely

        I don’t think there is any special reason to believe that because a bunch of people were going to protest at the ANC meeting, AND the owner pulled out, that the owner pulled out *because of* said protests. A bunch of people above who wanted to vilify “NIMBY’s” fabricated that fact because they wanted their precious beer garden vilifying NIMBY’s is fun.

        • I agree. But anonimously spoke as though with inside knowledge. If somebody says 100% they’re not just throwing out an uninformed option, right?

          • HaileUnlikely

            anonimousy appears to have, and from the content of the post, likely does have inside knowledge about the area and about the businesses that are there. However, I don’t think there is any special reason to believe that he or she is privy to the inner workings of the mind of the proprietors of the beer garden that is no more. Regardless of that, I interpreted (whether correctly or incorrectly) the phrasing of the first sentence to be a statement that neighbors who kill beer gardens are 100% NIMBY’s, premised on the unverified assumption that neighbors did in fact kill it.

  • Come to Petworth!!!

  • There are many ways to make a neighborhood vibrant and fun without including a loud beer garden with a large number of people. Parking in this neighborhood is hard enough.

  • Am I wrong in saying that this is commercially zoned along a stretch of similarly zoned properties and anyone who owns a home near that had this information PRIOR to moving/buying?

  • All of the bros posting comments here who can’t live without having a beer garden every three blocks need to move back to Munich.

    • because there are so many in D.C.? Grow up.

      • HaileUnlikely

        It’s not as if this would significantly expand the proportion of DC residents who have convenient access to beer gardens. There are presently two very close to here. With this one, there would be virtually one every three blocks in this one specific area. If you feel that DC residents have insufficient access to beer gardens, wouldn’t it make more sense to decry the lack of beer gardens elsewhere than to get all upset about not getting a third one within a half-mile radius here?

  • To all those saying “damned NIMBYs ruined my beer garden!”, please take a moment and read through these comments, and then imagine that these comments were happening live, out loud, in person, a hundred feet or less from your home. A home, by the way, that has been in a residential alley for well over 150 years. Now imagine triple this number of people (the proposed occupancy limit), having this debate (which I’m sure would be just as calm and soft spoken as it is in writing…), all afternoon and all evening and into the night, every day of the week, for the rest of foreseeable time. Do you get it now?
    And to those who say “you shouldn’t live in a business district if you don’t like beer gardens and loud people!!” or something of that ilk, please take a moment and realize that right on the mid-point of the alley this backs up to, the zoning changes to R4 residential. And that even this stretch of 9th Street was originally (and up until the relatively recent past) zoned residential. The grand four floor homes on either side of this site were (and most still are) residences. That is, in fact, one of the primary reasons 9th Street has had trouble finding it’s footing as a commercial street – these buildings were designed to be residential, and as such, have entrances raised about 6-8 feet above street level, accessed often by beautiful wrought iron stairs, that make it hard to have the pedestrian oriented windows and entry doors that shops and restaurants like. It’s like that all the way from O down to Mass Ave.

    Lastly, I’ll add this – the community has put years – literally years – into dealing with this site, and the recalcitrant owner. The illegal auto repair shop that popped up fixing taxis in the 80s, followed by the illegal auto body and painting shop in the 90s, the attempt by a nightclub on that block to rent it and pave it for parking, the removal of the hookers who took up residence there – the list goes on and on. Perhaps if you had ever invested that kind of time and energy and resources into something, you too would want to see it go to the highest and best possible use, like a larger apartment or condo building with retail bays on the first floor for a restaurant, a store, or a bar, versus just being a giant outdoor drinking pit.

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