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Another Protest Group Emerges Against A New Restaurant – Tortilla Coast at 15th and P St, NW

by Prince Of Petworth June 28, 2011 at 10:22 pm 150 Comments

“Dear PoP,

They’re [proposed Tortilla Coast at 15th and P St, NW] surrounded by 270 degrees of residential space. I guess everyone else in commercial areas on P St stops serving outside after dinner hours, at 9:45. This information is coming from a letter distributed by residents on 15th St, right across from the space.

So, Tortilla Coast = cool. Turning that block into Adams Morgan = not cool. One of the letter-writers said they spoke to Jim Sullivan and were basically blown off. I’m guessing they’re going to have a huge license fight on their hands.

ABRA notice says Capacity Load is 200, with 48 Exterior/Patio Seats. Sun-Th until 2am, Fri-Sat until 3am. So definitely a big change for that corner, especially given that it’s surrounded by residential.”

Do you guys think the addition of a Tortilla Coast at the corner of 15th and P St, NW will turn P Street into a new “Adams Morgan”? What do you think is a reasonable number of outdoor seats? How late at night do you think people should be allowed to sit on the outdoor patio? The OP noted that the outdoor space is actually for 48 seats (not 200 as mentioned in the letter below.)

Ed. Note: Personally, I think it’s time for people to come up with a new scare tactic. Claiming an area is going to become a new Adams Morgan has become so predictable and boring. Saying 1/4 of a thousand people may show up is much more inventive.

Maybe we should take this opportunity to brainstorm some new scare tactics for opposing new bars and/or restaurants?

Full letter referenced above available after the jump.

  • Ace in DC

    New scare tactic: P St is about to become the new 11th St!

    • Denizen of Tenallytown

      I dunno, that doesn’t quite do it as well as “Adams Morgan”. In two words, the protestor can bring up all sorts of negative extremes – throngs of shouting drunks spilling into residential streets at 3am, zero street parking, widespread littering and voiding of personal liquids, brawls and stabbings, traffic jams, blinding lights, dogs and cats living together, etc.

      I’m not sure anywhere else in DC can generate such a violent reaction.

    • rooty tooty

      P Street Party Precinct!

  • anonymous

    This concerns me. I live in the building that is ATTACHED to the space and if they put in a rooftop deck it will mean the end of any privacy for me out my bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen windows. I also think the noise might get out of hand if they stay open that late, considering our buildings are connected by a wall.

    I am not knee-jerk opposed to this restaurant, and pretty much am already resigned to it coming in. However, staying open until 3am and having an outdoor patio open past 9 would severely hurt the quality of life of the residents in the building next door. I plan on going to the meeting to get the facts and to voice concerns.

    • Anonymous

      Standard (ie easy ask) patio hours will always be 11 pm on weeknights and midnight on weekend. It would take a commercial corridor like 14th or U Sts or Adams Morgan or H St to get much later. BUT 9 pm is a ludicrous ask and not enforced anywhere in the city, not even Gtown. I know it’s played out, but that’s a very suburban demand. Actually, even Bethesda has later outdoor hours!

      Also, the outdoor serving hours along this strip is wayyyy later than 9:45. There are also multiple bars with full hours that have been open for years. The funniest thing on this strip is when the condo owners try to put Vegas Lounge out of business for being loud when VEGAS LOUNGE HAS BEEN AROUND WAY LONGER! The folks in Dupont West tried to do the same to Apex.

      Earth to city dwellers who oppose things only when it affects them: You’re not special or entitled!

      (Note to Anon above: this isn’t necessarily directed at you, but more of a general rant)

      • anonymous

        Um, not wanting rooftop seating directly (read: 5 feet outside of) your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen is not a result of my sense of entitlement. Maybe I’ll just take to staring at diners.

        I wasn’t making the (nice judgmental bent, btw) “suburban demand” for 9pm patio hours, I was noting that having it open past that time will be bad for neighbors in the adjoining building. You can’t deny that.

        I’ve been here 5 years which makes this a much different scenario than me going into a developing neighborhood and trying to shut down an institution.

        • Results

          It’s absolutely NOT rooftop seating. Read the liquor license! It’s seating between the wall of the restaurant and the sidewalk on 15th Street. Geez. These people can’t even get their “facts” straight. Please read the liquor license app again and let me know if there’s rooftop seating involved. I’ll bet you $100 there isn’t. And what’s more, it says 48 people, not 200.

    • morefoodindc

      do you own or rent? if you rent, then just move out at the end of your lease, although it’s a hassle. if you own, then it’s a different story.

      • Andy(2)

        Renters are not always transient hobos and deserve an equal right to voice their opinion on development in their neighborhood.
        With rent control – it maybe cost prohibitive to move.

        • Anonymous

          Renters’ opinions when it comes to licensing/zoning/etc for something like this should mean somewhere between zero and dick.

          • anonymous

            Nice. I hope a night club with a real coke culture moves next to you and everyone you know and love who rent.

          • Anonymous

            we should have a poll tax too, huh

          • Renters actually live there, and their input should be somewhere higher than owners, who can modify their properties, and owners who are absent.

            Your opinion, as someone who isn’t involved, should be pretty much nada.

            Anyhow, the idea that their windows won’t be private because there’s a building there? Dumb. With a capital D. What if someone had an apartment there? Would that make it more private? What is that idiot thinking, they own someone else’s rooftop?

        • Tres

          The truth is renters don’t have as much of a say and never will because they don’t show up for ANC and civic association meetings in the numbers owners do. As a group, they tend not to give a shit, relatively speaking.

  • Kev29

    I wouldn’t oppose Tortilla Coast for the outdoor patio – I’d be in opposition to the bad food.

    • Rukasu


    • ET


      Seriously, this is at best, a mediocre restaurant.

      • Anonymous

        i’m an average guy. i’m all in favor of mediocre.

        • Rukasu1

          Let me introduce you to Lauriol Plaza…

          • Anonymous

            they don’t let average people in there. you must be fabulous.
            but seriously, lauriol plaza has a nice deck, and the best veggie fajitas in town.
            every place need not be fantastic.

    • The Heights

      It’s not great, but about as good as the rest of the Mexican restaurants in DC, most of which feature a Salvadoran flag somewhere.

      • Kev29

        It’s not as good as most Mexican restaurants in DC. And if you see a Salvadoran flag, just order the pupusas.

        • The Heights

          That’s a pretty low bar. And papusas are great. But if a restaurant advertises itself as being Mexican, then Mexican food, not Salvadoran, should be the specialty. They’re not “all the same.”

    • Native American JD


      Just what this town needs, more shitty “Mexican”.

    • Anonymous

      =1 My sentiments exactly.

  • tubbs

    oh noes!!! my properties valuez r suxxored!!!!!!!

  • Anon

    Wait — isn’t 14th Street around Centro/Masa 14 the “new Adams Moron”??? There cannot be TWO!

    • rooty tooty

      You are correct, there cannot be TWO. 11th St Party Zone is the new Adams Morgan.

  • Mony

    The letter writer asks about 17th St. The ANC over here recently created sidewalk guidelines http://odd.greatergreaterwashington.org/files/2011/anc2bpsguidelines.pdf which don’t apply to 15th and P. Anonymous at 10:34PM is right, standard outside closing is 11PM on weekdays and Midnight on weekends. 9PM or even 9:45 is a pipedream

  • mike

    I can understand the lighting concerns but I don’t think tortilla coast is quite the same as an adams-morgan gin mill. As a homeowner nearby I am fine w/ the planned usage, I do think 11 on weeknights 12 to 12:30 on weekends is late enough for outdoor drinking, later indoors. I’m sure there is some common ground we can find to make this a successful venture for the neighbors and businessowner.

    • anonymous

      ugh, jesus. I go to bed way earlier than midnight most weekends. this f’ing sucks.

    • Anonymous

      Also in the neighborhood. This is total crap – outdoor hours are too late, another BS Mexican restaurant, less parking, noisy, and takes away from the charm of the neighborhood rather than adding to it. Would rather still just have a paint shop.

      • J

        “Would rather still just have a paint shop.”

        I don’t think Logan Hardware sells required parts for a time machine.

      • Alex

        Then maybe put up your own capital to open something that adds to the “charm” of the neighborhood?

  • Anon

    Yeah. Living in Adams Morgan is sooo cheap! Must be because of all the nearby nightlife and lack of day hires loitering around.

  • Anon

    You live in THE CITY! Get over it.

    • My2Cents


      • +10,000
        Not only that, we live in the capital city of the United States. Last time I checked, Madrid, Paris, London, Rome and the other great world capitals support a large number of late-night dining and drinking options.

        • LisaT

          We’re only interested in maintaining our “second tier” status.

        • SF

          Exactly. It is so embarrassing to try and get a decent bite to eat in flipping WASHINGTON, DC after 10 pm and failing miserably, especially Sunday-Thursday.

          I mean, my SO and I often don’t get home until 9 pm. I’m tired of rushing out to get something to eat before 10. Are we a world class city or not?

          • JustMe

            Are we a world class city or not?

            I’m placing my chips on “not.”

            We are a small southern town. We believe that business is like going to the bathroom– ultimately necessary but something that should be kept private and isolated from the rest of polite society.

            You’re supposed to go to your nice little government job, come home early in the evening, have dinner with your family, and then go to sleep. You may be allowed to briefly attend a “happy hour” between 5pm and 7pm before dinner, but only ones that are right next to your workplace, after which you are to go straight home.

            If you MUST go out to eat or go shopping, then there are many places in the Maryland suburbs and in Northern Virginia where this will be possible on the weekends. But please do not flaunt this sort of thing in everyone else’s face.

          • LisaT

            I don’t think we’re a Southern town, but I agree we’re small and not a “world class city.” Some world class elements? Certainly. World class city? Not by a longshot.

          • mbm

            RE: JUSTME
            Your entire argument (Southern town with nothing to do) was true 25 years ago.

          • J

            World Class City?

            Vince is, um, still working on that.

        • Anonymous

          Fine with a late night dining option (like Kramers), but not another Tortilla Coast; prefer something much more original for a prime piece of real estate.

          • Alex

            Where’s your idea and capital to open this supposed “much more original” option? Oh, I guess it’s easier to abuse the democratic process to get what you want, rather than have your own ideas and put them into action.

        • anonymous

          gotta love when people compare a city with 600,000 residents to cities with 3.4, 2.2, 7.5, and 2.8 million respectively. there are a lot better arguments for late night eating — especially if you consider the culture in spain, italy, and france is extremely different from ours in terms of dining times.

          • jp

            Thanks for using the immediate DC-proper area statistics. But let’s be realistic. According to the US 2010 Census report, the DC metropolitan area (including all surrounding localities) is the 7th largest metropolitan area in the US and holds 5.6 million residents. So you are welcome to use your 600,000 number that extends to the actual city limits, but as for me I realize that this city encompasses much more than that.

          • Anonymous

            but when 80% of those people in the metro area live in far reaching low density suburbs, how does that add to your point?
            even our metro systems extends much further out than most cities.

    • steve

      I love how these comments always come from somebody who hasn’t had to deal with something like this. yet.

      • Alex

        I love how you can tell that just by reading an anonymous blog comment.

  • Paula

    Wait? There’s something wrong with a bunch of Irish guys opening a Mexican restaurant?

  • So because there is ONE other Tortilla Coast (bit of a Hill institution for the last 23 years), and they are opening a SECOND restaurant they feel compelled to say “chain mexican restaurant”?

    • Jmauro

      They also own 3 other resturuants called “Cafe Deluxe”. So with this one the would meet the city’s technical definition of a chain (5 stores) Though in all honesty they aren’t what people think of a chain and I really don’t get the complaints. I live near the one on Capitol Hill and hardly notice it’s there.

      • Alex

        Seriously, it’s not that great. But even those hawking mediocre tex-mex don’t deserve to be shat upon by those who love to abuse the democratic process.

  • maxdc

    The most compelling part of this argument is the longing for loitering illegal immigrants over a legitimate business. The letter wrtier should run for DC Coucil, probably the only governmental body in the US where that position would garner votes.

  • Anon

    What fool wrote this? It’s so stupid it’s funny.

    “chain Mexican restaurant” run by Irish people? Those micks should just stick to the beer and potatoes. maybe instead of tortilla coast they should change it to St. Patrick’s battalion. They displaced all of the day laborers outside the paint store? Those irish mexicans came in with the speed and force of Santa Anna and forced that paint store to close.

    Oppose this evil mexi-Irish anti-paint rooftop garden with LIGHTS. We have to find out about the lights. Remember the Alamo.

    • anonymous



    • petvet

      haha +1

  • Grammar Nazi

    PoP – …A New Restaurants,” huh? There are already enough people “contributing” comments to PoP who write at a 6th grade level (and that’s probably being generous). You, on the other hand, should have higher standards. Edit, man, edit!

    • Anonymous

      lay off the hate. it’s ugly.

  • Bob

    We had the same “next Adams Morgan” comment made in opposition to an ABRA Licence for the Rail Station Lounge at 20th and Benning NE. The Rail Station Lounge will be the 2nd tavern license on Benning between 15th and Oklahoma — an 11 block stretch.


  • In Arlington, the scare tactic of choice is “a new Clarendon.” Which doesn’t even make sense. Because obviously Clarendon is the worst part of Arlington … ?

    • Denizen of Tenallytown

      Actually, scary thoughts of Clarendon and Ballston are evoked when talking about any sort of development in Tenleytown along the Wisconsin Ave corridor. Any proposal that may have any impact on parking or trafffic volume in the surrounding area is met with strict opposition from NIMBYs that live five or six blocks away towards AU. Apparently, they are petrified that they may have to wait at a traffic light an extra 30 seconds.

  • Native American JD

    At least P street isn’t the new H Street.

    What a bunch of whiners….move to the suburbs jerks.

    • SF

      What’s wrong with H Street? I’ll take H over 18th any day, and twice on Friday/Saturday.

      • rooty tooty

        You, sir, clearly prefer being stabbed to being shot.

    • Anonymous

      why should they move when they have a legal right to portest?

      • Anonymous

        also, protest, even.

  • My2Cents

    I can’t believe no one is talking about what this business will do to parking in that area!

    Seriously, does anyone remember what that block of P St between 14th and 15th was like before Whole Foods and all the new construction? I’ll take a little loud patio drinking over crack dealers any day!

    I can’t imagine that anyone living in that area enjoys peace and quiet. If that is really what you are after, there’s a cul-de-sac in Ashburn named after wildlife with your name on it.

    • Old School

      Yes I remember that old garage that Whole Foods replaced. I doubt few people remember the sex parties that used to be held there. Think of that next time you are buying your organic produce!

      • Me

        it was a parking lot
        dont lie

    • nettie


    • steve

      “I’ll take a little loud patio drinking over crack dealers any day!”

      Intelligent argument. Because CLEARLY that’s the choice here.

      • Anonymous

        seriously. all of this is FAR better than the damned pterodactyls that use to party here

        • rooty tooty

          +1. Those *Maryland* pterodactyls who just came in to party on the weekends and didn’t pay any property taxes.

    • WDC
  • Tommy

    I think another restaurant is great for the neighborhood. The last thing we need there is another stupid bank. All they need to do is cut back the hours of the patio like the other restaurants have in the hood.
    Yes, if you don’t like it, move to the burbs!

  • JS

    I was under the impression it’s pretty standard to ask for the moon in these ABRA license applications and then negotiate downward from there, i.e., the owner asks for a 2AM closing time so he/she can get the 11PM outdoor seating that’s he/she is angling for.

    • Andy(2)

      If true – it makes sense. But wastes countless time by everyone going crazy and taking the debate to the extreme.
      My proposed solution:
      Sun-Thur: Last seeting outside (patio/roof) 10pm, closes at 11pm.
      Fri & Sat: Last seeting outside (patio/roof) 11pm, closes at 12am.

      St. Patrick’s Day celebration will be as big (or bigger) as Cinco de Mayo.

      Everyone happy?

      • anonymous

        excellent solution. and to try it out, I’ll come sit outside your window, drunk and having a loud conversation until 11pm sunday – thurs. that work for you?

        • Andy(2)

          Sure I go to bed at 1130 and deal with lots of street/neighborhood noise as it is.
          What is your drink of choice – I’ll have a batch ready and pass through the window.

  • The Heights

    This protest is silly. My favorite part is the thought bubble “Let’s find out the closing laws on 17th St.” Instead, a person writing a protest petition could find out said laws and use them to strengthen his position. The “new Adams Morgan” meme is tired. Save it for when a neighborhood really is at the tipping point instead of adding a restaurant to supplant an empty building. The restaurant’s plans don’t seem excessive and the wailing by the neighbors is ridiculous. If you want total quiet, move out of the core of the city.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like part of the group’s concern is that there will be a high-occupancy rooftop bar, open until 2/3am, in addition to the “exterior/patio seats.” That may be normal in the mixed use zones along 14th, but it’s not for that intersection (15/P).

    What makes anyone think that without some opposition, the owners wouldn’t be happy to have bar hours until 2 or 3am every night?

  • MtPer

    Chris Collins is a dumbass who makes Gregg Edwards look relatively sane. Isn’t this the same guy who protested the bistro at 14th and T because he was afraid of the next Adams Morgan? It’s not like there are a bunch of bars and nightclubs moving in – it seems like these ANC’ers are totally out of touch.

  • cottontails

    Yeah….um whoever wrote this letter was horribly misinformed and I feel like their Fox News-style stretching of the truth will probably do more harm than good. I agree it would be unreasonable to put in a rooftop garden, because you can plainly see there are a good number of windows there. I wouldn’t want to watch someone dancing around their living room in their undies while I’m eating any more than I’d like to have them stare at me the entire time. It might not be against any codes, but its a crappy thing to do. The rest of this is just sensationalism (and not reading the permit properly)

  • Mike

    Any letter that uses the word “vociferously” deserves to be laughed at. Grow up, you live in the city.

    And really, Irish guys opening a mexican restaurant bothers you? I’m just glad you are getting called out on that.

  • Alex

    The most laughable part about this protest is that they’re trying to paint 15th and P as this super quiet residential neighborhood, as if it’s all a bunch of quaint little row houses in far east capitol hill. Sorry, you have mid and high rise condos and apartments mixed with non-profits, business offices, embassies, hotels, churches, banks, a sweet green, a gelato shop, a lulumon, the commissary, a CVS and an insanely busy mother effing whole foods…all within your little “270 degrees.” Move your ungreatful complaining ass back to Iowa if you want quiet after 9pm.

    • Methinks that outside of the attached building, there are maybe 5-6 row-homes on 15th st just south of this intersection that COULD be affected by this drug-den brothel, ahem casual eatery. Most of the residences there are new condos that are desirable because of the retail on the P st portion of the block.

    • steve

      you sound like a real gem.

      • steve

        and it’s grateful, nice guy.

  • Anon

    what’s a rood garden?

    • Devoe

      This is Dutch for “red garden” – clearly these people want to bring black-sock Calvinism to the heart of Logan Circle, either that or drugs and prostitution, either way I am for it, or against it.

      • The Heights

        Would retsaurant-goers have to be part of the “Elect” to eat there? That’ll be some velvet rope.

  • J

    Yet again, protestants labeling an area “residential” when it is, in fact, “mixed use” i.e. commercial and residential.

    • que

      There are probaly some Catholics on this site.

      • mv

        hahahaha oh man that was awesome…

        • Anonymous

          typical calvinist.

  • Jon

    You wanna know what this corner needs instead of another crap Mexican joint? A paint store!

  • middle

    i wish there was at least once side in these kind of arguments that could debate the issue without hurling insults.

  • Trixie


  • mmm

    The protest doesn’t have much credibility to begin with, but in the last paragraph, it loses it completely.

  • Scott

    I for one hope that they are successful in putting in a rooftop terrace for evening dining. There’s absolutely no reason they can’t do so. If there are concerns about privacy in any windows nearby, they can install a screen wall along that stretch of the rooftop. It’s been done before and solves the problem. And if you don’t like looking out your window to a rooftop that has people enjoying life, CLOSE YOUR SHADES! We live in a friggin international city that happens to be the capital of the U.S. I’ve heard all the NIMBY complaints over and over. They all want a “nice independent bookstore or a flower shop”…ooooh, how nice….well, guess what…these places can’t exist in our economy. AND the only way we can even possibly get some retail is to get foot traffic into our streets. And that comes from restaurants. Please, please, please NIMBYs…do us all a favor…sell your condo. You’ll make a nice bundle and you can get your little detached white picket fenced home in the nice and quiet burbs. We won’t come visit and take up a parking spot either….

    • Anon

      Wow. So when they once had a view, you want them to put a screen up to look at instead? Genius. Have you thought for once second what it would be like for the people in those windows on the side there that you can clearly see? It’d be a disaster.

      You honestly think that because those people don’t want to be kept up until 11 during the week and 3 on the weekends that they need to live in the burbs? What kind of whackjob are you??

      Seriously, without fail, all of you bigots saying “go back to iowa” or “move to the burbs” need to think for one second what it might be like for the residents in the attached building. Then bring the hate.

      I have a feeling this post is going to be the straw that broke the camel’s back and that I won’t be back to pop anymore. The community here is hysterical and idiotic.

      • Anonymous

        some of us agree with you. but it’s no use arguing with the “move to the suburbs” crowd.

      • Denizen of Tenallytown

        “So when they once had a view, you want them to put a screen up to look at instead?”

        Yes, this is what happens to residents who have apartments in an urban environment that is subject to change. If the sole argument for not moving forward on a project was that somebody’s view would be obstructed, we would have one building per city block.

        Captcha: 2DUE

        • Anonymous

          you are correct, but those people still have a legal right to protest. and they should have that right.

          • J

            And the point is? Is someone taking the right to protest away, someone’s down at the Wilson Building scratching the entire resident protest process out of the DCMR?

            Or are other residents, some in the same neighborhood, expressing a difference of opinion? “They should have that right,” right?

          • Anonymous

            calm down j.

      • J

        “hysterical and idiotic” applies to some of the rhetoric in the protest letter, so right back at ya.

        When, oh when, are people going to–when considering signing a mortgage or a lease–look around the place, perhaps right out their window, and understand that if there is a commercial property IMMEDIATELY NEXT DOOR, that property just might not remain sealed in amber in its current state? It could become any number of commercial operations.

        Is this really beyond most people’s abilities when considering one of the biggest financial outlays, the thing you’re going to LIVE IN, day and night? Do most people just say “Oh but it’s so cute, and LOVE the flooring!” and not look out the window, or right next door?

      • Scott

        It happens all the time…in DC and cities all over the world. A building goes up and all of a sudden a new building goes up next to it..blocking views or causing shade, etc. There is no guarantee that a person’s “nice view and quiet evenings” are never going to change when you live in a densifying city and especially when you live in, on, or next to a commercially zoned area. The best thing any concerned person can do is ask that the restaurant have reasonable service hours for the rooftop. No restaurant or bar is going to invest money into a building and then completely disregard the neighbors and if they do, we have our city agencies to deal with that. So, sorry to say this again but perhaps I’ll say it differently. If you expect for a commercial building in a commerical zone to remain vacant or as is, accept the fact that it will more than likely change and result in people (oooh, scary!) actually being closer to your quiet little condo with the perfect view. And if you can’t accept that, then perhaps it’s time to consider relocating.

      • Anon

        I totally agree with you. I think of these comments here are people in their twenties who will move out of the city ion a few years. The ones concerned with noise and such are the longer term residents here for the long haul.

      • anon

        Look at the zoning before you move in. Can’t move next to a commercial building and complain about it later.

  • I could be wrong (or horribly naive), but when I read seasonal rooftop garden, I think of a space–like what Poste has, or Miriam’s Kitchen–that allows the restaurant to grow produce and herbs to go into their food.

    I’m not saying that’s what the Tortilla Coast folks are going for, but as it doesn’t call for a “rooftop patio,” “rooftop bar” or “beer garden,” maybe it would make sense to clarify what the plans are, before assuming the worst.

    On the other hand, I guess “assume the worst” is SOP for opposition (and I can see the rationale, even if I find it personally annoying).

    • Results

      Again, no rooftop patio is even suggested. A summer garden, in ABRA parlance, is not sidewalk (ie public) space but any area that is owned/leased by the business that is for eating and drinking. This is not the synonymous with a rooftop.

  • KenyonDweller

    Adams Morgan is scary. Twenty years ago it was ethnically diverse because it was cheap and affordable for immigrants. Ten years ago it was hip because it was ethnically diverse. Now it’s a drunken, violent cesspool. Some slopes are slippery. I am all for the 11th Street restaurant (don’t live close enough to 15th & P to care), but I think any neighborhood should be very concerned about creating the dynamics that led to Asshole Morgan.

    • Denizen of Tenallytown

      Review the crime statistics for the PSA and see if they’ve been going steadily up or down. (Hint: it’s been an overall downward trend).

      As a fresh faced transplant 8 years ago, one of the first places I went to was Adams Morgan. I still go there from time to time on the weekends, and it hasn’t gotten any crazier than it was back then. Excluding the prime nightlife period of Thursday night through early Sunday morning, it’s still a diverse, walkable, and convenient neighborhood – much more so than 11th Street.

      All cities have entertainment districts, and DC is no exception. The dynamics that lead to Adams Morgan don’t necessarily exist in every other part of town. Permitting restaurants to remain open after 11pm doesn’t open the floodgates.

  • Anonymous

    I thought this land parcel was going to be developed as a multi-story condo building similar to the other buildings on the 1400 block of P St? Leaving a single -level building in that location makes no sense….

    • Scott

      I agree with you. It should be a taller building with residential up top and retail below but I’m happy that it’s at least turning into a restaurant and being converted quickly at that. Guaranteed that even if it were going to become a taller condo building, the same people would be starting up a protest because you know….there would be people living in a building right next to theirs and what if they can see from their windows into my windows….OH MY!!

      • anonymous

        I’d rather have that. no problems there.

  • Former Resident

    I lived directly across from that Wholefoods until last fall. I really miss the vibrancey of that neighborhood. As far as noise issues, it can be a rather loud area (constant honking from cars trying to turn into wholefoods garage, drunks leaving Stoney’s & District 9, the homeless guy who tries to play the saxophone all damn day long, trash collection in the middle of the night, etc) Anyone claiming that its a residential neighborhood is fooling themselves. Its a bustling neighborhood, city noises come with the terroritory. If you can’t get used to it, do what many city dwellers have done and invest in a white noise machine for your bedroom.

  • Anonymous

    there really needs to be a cross walk in the middle of this block.

  • The Gup

    Come to 11th Street! It doesn’t sound like the other mexican place that was supposed open is going forward!

  • Marcus Aurelius

    I caught this thread late but as far as I can tell the two options are:

    1) Not in My Back Yard; or
    2) If you don’t like it, move to the suburbs.

    That about cover it?

    • EB

      Can’t we argue about cyclists and cars too? And please don’t forget to yell about dog owners and dog parks versus non-dog-owners and public space.

      That should suffice for your weekly PoP commenter digest.

      • Anonymous

        p street could use a bike lane.
        and speed bumps.

  • grumpy

    I sympathize with the neighbors on this one – if Tortilla Coast wants to operate until late night hours, they should choose a location on Connecticut Ave, 14th St, or K St.

  • greent

    Well, if it turns out anything like Lauriol Plaza, I could understand why the nieghbors would be upset. That one restaurant is louder than most of the bars up the strip. It is amazing how loud that place is.

    And how dare irsh people make mexican food! The nerve!

    • Dude. Irish nachos are awesome! Why do you hate the Irish?

      • greent

        Didn’t you read the post article – eating potatoes is BAD for you. This is the first planck of the Irish Plot™ to bring about a Gaelicification of 15th St. This cannot happen, good sir. If 15th Street goes… goodness we’d be forced to abandon kickball and bocce for the shudder sport of Hurling.

        I could nto bare such an insult sir. Good day.

  • anonymous

    1. You can’t expect areas on or extemely close to commercial districts in a city to be quiet in the evenings or at night.

    2. You should know that when you buy or lease on or near a commercial area, the situation as you know it could change, particularly in a rapidly gentrifying city.

    3. You do not have to choose between being in the city or in Iowa. There are neighborhoods in DC that are nearly “downtown” (think LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale, for example) and close to the action without being in it.

    4. Decide whether you want to have a 1 minute walk to your favorite restaurants and bars (and partying outside your window at night) or a 10-20 minute walk (and quiet.)

  • Anonymous

    Tortilla Coast used to run a legendary Tuesday happy hour on the Hill. Like their drinks, it’s now mostly watered down…

    • que

      Mexican high five!

  • Anonymous

    I love people that deride Adams Morgan as sloppy, juvenile, or washed up. Look, nobody will defend the depths to which this area degenerates on weekends… but, some people actually enjoy the action and the grit… Furthermore, what happens on weekends says more about people in the surrounding areas who descend unto us than it does about the neighborhood itself. For the most part, i.e., 5/7 days of the week, Adams Morgan is actually a fantastic neighborhood in which to live, drink, eat, and play. So, what I’m trying to say is… suck it Logan.

    • greent


  • jared


    Does Tortilla Coast have a customer mailing list we can sign up that nutjob’s email address to?

  • S

    Darn, I was hoping for something better to open up on this corner. Another fancy restaurant (with sustainable food or some crap like that) or another hipster bar with no food or oooooo a bakery! yeah we need a nice french bakery or patisserie. DC doesn’t seem to have enough bakeries. There’s that one good one up in the french Georgetown area but it’s a little far. And the best place, Pastries by Randolph, is out in Falls Church, VA.

  • RDDC

    F*CK NIMBY’s, rents are high, restaurants and furniture are the only ones that do volume business outside of F st and G town to pay them.

    People really need economics and real estate 101, work with your neighbors, but people they will come (aka restaurants, bars, bakeries, alcohol, etc…)

    Wait for the day when the cronies who are now in place in DC gov give way to a young progressive business friendly leader who will strip the ANC’s of any say and make this city the first class world comepeting city that the city begs to be

    You dont need to beg to be a part of it, you can elect to stay in doors, or go to park, or move, or whatever it takes…fear begets progress

    Stop the insanity!

    • anonymous

      uh… what?

  • Sag Paneer

    A new Adams Morgan, eh? My advice: turn the whole darn city into an Adams Morgan. This will do precisely two things: 1) DC’s residents will no longer have to shoegaze and fidget like hamsters when faced with the dubious “Where do you live?” question that prompts even the most steadfast of its inhabitants to mumble weird esoterica like “Kinda 14th Street Heights-ish?” or “Not really Georgetown, not really Glover Park” or “Where Logan like dips into below Mass”, and instead they could reply with defiant bravado: “Adams Morgan!” AND, 2) Turning the whole city into an Adams Morgan will nullify and debase the actual Adams Morgan and the much feared Adams Morgan Effect. Now Adams Morgan, the real deal I’m talking about, resembles on any given Friday night essentially the first ten minutes of the Warriors: a neon swath of bellicosity; a bland riot, lazy and directionless. In short, it ain’t Montgomery County. Now imagine if all these knuckleheads were peppered throughout the entirity of the District, or rather, the entirity of Adams Morgan……Another positive effect would be favorable for the bubblebutts down at Metro who’d no longer have to wrangle with all those nasty syllables when naming new stations. So, good people of ‘midtown’, I tell you let them build the sucker. Hell, extend it all the way up to U St and throw up some stripper poles and an electric bull while you’re at it. And your first Jumbo Slice and $9 Moscow Mule is on me………

    • Anonymous

      i’m on board.

  • mike

    We’re a world class city. Beta+ to be specific, same class as Tel Aviv, San Francisco, or Melbourne.

  • mike

    As far as the A-M issue, my parents live there and yes 18th gets kinda nuts but its a great neighborhood and they couldn’t ever dream of moving. Stop hatin on A-M…

  • mike

    If you go by CMSAs we’re number 4!

  • Jay’O

    If Tortilla Coast can’t make it down on P st. they are welcome to come to 2917 Georgia Ave – where we are protesting the opening of a liquor store!

  • liveinapartmentsacrossstreet

    I am pleasantly surprised at the number of people who have taken the petition writer to task for his/her attack on Tortilla Coast.

    What I would like to point out as both a resident and a small business operator in the neighborhood is the damage that this sort of NIMBYism is causing small business and restaurant owners. There is rarely a proposed new restaurant, apartment building, retail store, or condominium project that is put forward these days that does not face the wrath of a band of community activist.

    These activist have Shanghaied processes like the ABRA Protest in order to cram their every capricious desire down the throats of entrepreneurs who want to bring much needed jobs, money, housing, and retail to neighborhoods in the district which have waited decades to be the beneficiary of private and public investment. Now that this investment is finally arriving there are those that think it is their right to reallocate it as they see fit.

    A self-elected NIMBY can add thousands and thousands of dollars to the cost of opening a bar or restaurant. Tortilla Coast will no doubt need to “lawyer-up” to protect itself from the demands of a few selfish neighbors who understand they can push through their own personal opinions and styles by making the process of opening a business more expensive and more cumbersome to business owners. “Make this modification, or else” they cry in the name of the democratic process. The end result is that it becomes more and more difficult for small businesses to actually come to fruition. A great cook with a dream of opening a nice neighborhood restaurant suddenly becomes disillusioned and overwhelmed when they realize that the costs of obtaining a liquor license (the lifeblood of any restaurant)will cost you tens of thousands of dollars by the time you have negotiated with the neighbors over the terms of a “Voluntary Agreement”: cutting valuable seating, decreasing your opening hours, losing your outside patio, etc.

    The irony that this petition writer fails to grasp, is that it is in this landscape that it becomes too tough for the non-chain, non-corporate entity to prosper. It becomes a landscape that is only able to be handled by a large corporate entity with deep coffers and the time and staff to invest in dealing with these community groups who in the name of preserving their neighborhood, make it less and less attractive of a neighborhood for the average business owner to do business in.

    The protester laments the loss of the day laborers at this site and pits the argument as a band of grass roots freedom fighters taking arms against a great corporate oppressor. What a crock!

    Do you think most day laborers prefer to not have the certainty of a full time job? Would the addition of a new restaurant with seating for 200 possibly provide more jobs than a paint store? Where would would they find many of the waiters, kitchen staff, busboys and bar backs…perhaps from the district’s many unemployed?

    The petition writer in this case probably does have some genuine concerns worth discussing. His/her methods for launching the discussion, however, are shameless and betray the underlying character of the writer as a fighter happy to throw the dirtiest punches.


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