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War, War, Rumors of a War…

This note was posted in the Columbia Heights Listserv regarding the new wine bar slated to go into the corner spot at 11th and Lamont:

“I have not posted on here in a while, so not sure if this subject has been raised of late, but I wanted to find out if there were any other residents in the neighborhood concerned about the proposed wine bar for the Southwest corner of 11th and Lamont Streets, NW. I am adamantly opposed to it, primarily because I live in close proximity and am certain this will lead to late-night crowding, noise, and other pollution. While that corridor of 11th Street is zoned commercial, I doubt most of us want to see it turn into a corridor of bars. As a resident in close proximity of the business, I suffered enough from the trash and nuisance (horrible, overflowing dumpsters and lots of rats at my doorstep) when the location was a deli — I can only imagine it will be worse as a bar.I plan to oppose the liquor license at the hearing in September and would appreciate hearing from other like-minded neighbors. I am also willing to organize a petition drive.”

Well, I am willing to organize a petition of support to counter the author’s petition drive. Fortunately I think he will find it very difficult to counter the prevailing sentiment of support.

Heather Goss wrote a thoughtful response to this post:

“I can understand your concerns, but respectfully disagree with you. It’s not quite right to call this another “bar,” a la Wonderland. Yes, it will be open late, but it will be a more classy, sit-down wine establishment, not a rowdy joint. And I don’t see it creating any more trash than the deli that preceded it. Furthermore, it’s owned and being run by a foursome of guys who’ve established a number of fantastic venues around the city, not the least of which is Warehouse (Paul Ruppert), an art gallery/cafe/bar/theater whose closing due to the massive tax hike down at the convention center is a huge loss to the D.C. community.

As someone who lives off of Georgia Avenue, I continue to look forward to venues moving into the neighborhood that aren’t more huge chain stores or dumpy liquor stores. And along the same note, I’d really love to see anyone opposing this venue step forward (perhaps with some cash) with some suggestions of what should be there, because right now it’s an empty storefront, just another blight like so many others in the neighborhood.”

I obviously agree with Heather on this matter. So what say you all: Is there actually some controversy to a fantastic wine bar going into a commercially zoned strip?

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