Historic Diner at Bladensburg Road Given a $5600 bill from Washington Gas

SUC50014, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Remember the historic diner that was relocated to 1050 Bladensburg Rd, NE? Well, sadly they’re having lots of headaches. The owner writes an update:

“Right now, we’re going through the DCRA plan review process and hope to get comments back from the structural and health dept folks, the final two (out of plumbing, fire, electrical, zoning, health, and structural). Once we receive the comments, we’ll modify our plans accordingly, resubmit, and hopefully get building permit approval in a week or so after that.

Once permits are approved, we’ll build out as soon as possible, and hope to be open by September (if all goes well, but that’s a big if).

We heard from Washington Gas today (we submitted an initial inquiry into getting gas service back in April!). Basically, they say that there’s no gas pipe at our location (even though it’s visible and capped off) and want to dig up the street to install a new line from the main.

Here’s the problem: they insist we pay them $5600 to do this, as they claim their projected revenue over the next 2 years from the diner’s operation will not justify them paying for the cost of installation. I’m not sure what calculation was used, but they stated they would send it via e-mail. I would think operating over 100 hours/week (eventually 24/7, if we get open)– more than a lot of other places– and using gas the entire timewould generate enough revenue for them.

This is really shocking and disappointing. If we don’t reach a resolution with them soon, it may come down to us converting to all-electric or not opening at all (we can’t afford to pay rent on the land without being open). Pepco, by the way, has been awesome so far and very responsive, but it would cost us a lot to convert to all electric appliances. Currently, we need gas for: oven, range, warming table, furnace, water heater, and griddle.

We’re just two neighborhood residents trying to do something good. We never imagined it would be so difficult for the little guys.”

Can we do anything to tell Washington Gas they are being unfair? Is Washington Gas being unfair? Should the local Council Member get involved?  How can we help resolve this situation?

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