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Bloomingdale’s Big Bear Cafe Faces ANC Opposition for a Liquor License

Ah so maybe this is why Bloomingdale has been waiting so long to get a neighborhood bar. Though in fairness Big Bear is seeking a restaurant’s license. Big Bear Cafe (1st and R Streets, NW) is already a hugely successful (in certain circles apparently) and crowded coffee shop. The Housing Complex has a great write up of last night’s ANC meeting in which Big Bear’s liquor license application was discussed:

Big Bear asked that commissioners vote to support a stipulated license that would turn into a regular restaurant license in 45 days unless someone lodged a protest. The café’s representative, Lenora Yerkes, presented a petition with 600 signatures, endorsements from immediate neighbors, and many promises to keep noise and disruption down.

But a few audience members rose in opposition. Wanting to hear more, the commission ultimately voted almost unanimously—with John Salatti strongly objecting and Stuart Davenport, the Café’s owner, recusing himself—to table a vote until their next meeting.

In the two hours of debate that intervened, the fundamental dynamics at play in Bloomingdale were plainly evident. Big Bear is asking for the first restaurant license in an area that’s had only liquor stores, and longstanding residents fear the café could just be the first droplet in a wave of similar establishments.

Somewhere ‘dcdirewolf’ is dancing in the streets…

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