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Former Pharmacy then Campaign Office to Become a Liquor Store on Georgia Ave

by Prince Of Petworth June 20, 2011 at 10:22 pm 52 Comments

Georgia Liquors is looking to open up at 2917 Georgia Avenue NW (at Columbia Rd). This is the space most recently used as a campaign office for Jacque Patterson’s unsuccessful campaign for an at large city council seat. Prior to that I think it was a pharmacy.

I have to admit I’m a little disappointed because there are already a bunch of liquor stores on Georgia Ave. I was hoping this sweet corner space would become a restaurant.

I guess if it looks like the new Sherry’s in Woodley Park it won’t be so bad…

  • Anon

    Protest the liquor license. The density of liquor stores in our neighborhoods is ridiculous.

  • Dave

    Awesome, that is exactly what Georgia Avenue needs. Another Mother [email protected] liquor store. If the council let’s this through I will be so mad.

  • t

    finally, Georgia Ave gets a liquor store

    • Kevin

      +1 Def. much needed in this neighborhood.

      • Buzzed!

        Sweet – now I can cut my 1 blk, 30 second death-trek for boozes in half!

  • No Liquor Store Here

    Don’t worry, the neighbors aren’t going to let this happen. There are already 11 liquor licenses within a 2-3 block area. We don’t need any other people coming into our neighborhood to exploit the us.

    What do they think – “hey, this poor, minority DC neighborhood doesn’t have enough opportunities to buy lottery cards, beer, wine and Vodka. I know, I’ll selflessly help them out by opening a yet another liquor store (a liquor store I would protest if someonw tried to open it in my MD/VA neighborhood).

    Go try to make money off the misery of others somewhere else!

    • Fonzy

      Regardless of what the neighbor’s want, it is not uncommon for these stores to get the license anyways, so it will take more than just a few NIMBY neighbors to stop this. I encourage anyone who has a strong opinion about this attend tonight’s community meeting with the ANC1B ABC board. The meeting starts at 7pm at the Thurgood Marshall building located at 1816 12th Street NW, conference room 1.

      • anon

        I can’t make the meeting… is there somewhere I can register my opinion with the ANC via e-mail or in writing?

        • LaurenMcK

          If you can’t attend tonight’s meeting, or the full ANC Meeting on Thursday, July 7, please email the ANC Commissioners from 1B. Email addresses can be found: http://www.anc1b.org/cms.html

          • Rob

            Good idea, I just did!

          • Sherlock Homes

            Neighborhood government in action. Love it!

    • Not a Dentist

      I don’t think you need to bring race into the discussion here.

  • No Liquor Store Here

    Correction: the us = us (but kind of a weird typo – maybe freudian? I dunno…)

  • Thor

    wasn’t there some kind of moratorium on liquor stores on Geo. Ave?

  • 10th and Spring

    Does anyone know how to protest this? Is it the ABC board?

  • That is a bummer. Georgia Ave. barely has any restaurants, and I keep hoping for a new one whenever there is an empty storefront.

  • JDC

    “I guess if it looks like the new Sherry’s in Woodley Park it won’t be so bad…”

    it won’t look like that. It will definitely be bullet proof. But even if it DID look like sherry’s, would it still be any more worthwhile of an establishment? LIPSTICK ON A PIG – “our liquor store is great! it just opened up in woodley park so now a bunch of yuppies can get zimas and fat tires after work” versus “No more liquor stores on georgia avenue the people don’t need it”. Well, a liquor store is a liquor store, no matter where it is, and it can still do the same amount of societal harm by being in woodley park as it can by being on GA avenue. I find it perplexing that we can celebrate the birth of a liquor store that serves a perdominantly white community yet bemoan the birth of a liquor store that serves a perdominantly black community and probably won’t carry well-aged Pinot Noir. People have the right to earn a living, and if the demand is there, then businesses have every right to supply it. Don’t blame the merchants, blame the people who put them in business.

    • Another guy named Chris

      Once again it’s not about the race of the patrons!

      One group buying liquor after WORK, and the other group of patrons drinking all day and night while they sit in the park wasted then stumble around and shit in your yard.

      That is the difference.

      We can’t blame the merchants though they just want to make money, this is where the local government and residents need to step in and say 5 stores on a block are enough.

  • anon

    Maybe we should just make alcohol illegal. Worked really well last time!

  • Park View Drew

    This is two blocks from my house, and my first reaction was of course “WTF”, but now I’m a little torn.

    Let me play devil’s advocate for a second:

    Imagine Georgia Ave. as a nice commercial strip… What would be there? I suggest there WOULD be a liquor store – just 1, not 10, and it would be a totally sweet liquor store.

    So how do we get from here to there? Someone has to open an awesome liquor store which gradually takes business from the others, until those run-down liquor stores would be more profitable as something else.

    This might not actually be so bad. Worst case scenario, it’s just one more liquor store.

    • Hobart Pl Guy

      Worse case scenario it is yet another obsticle to positive development on a street that really need some more positive development.

      And let’s not forget, negative development like this actually scares away positive development (restaurants, stores, etc.)

      • anon


  • Mr. Poon

    Agree with all the liquor store talk, but what bothers me just as much is being reminded about the devastation of the independent pharmarcy in America. CVS basically ran them all out, and now Walgreens looks to run CVS out (yes, Walgreens is coming in force to DC).

    I don’t automatically dislike things that are chains; some are fantastic. But pharmacists, just a generation ago, were more familiar to people than their doctors were. Now they’re strangers — usually imported from East Africa or Lebanon in this town — who count pills and put them in bottles. They’re still all super-educated, don’t get me wrong, but the process is impersonal.

    Dead are the days of soda fountains and candy at the pharmacy.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I welcome Walgreens. I like them so much better than CVS. Now if my health insurance would just let me use a local pharmacist, nope mail order for me.

      • anon

        But Walgreens is anti-union. Most people here should be boycotting them.

    • MichelleRD

      Eddie, the CVS pharmacist on Georgia at Ingraham, is like this. Knows just about everyone by name and certainly by face. Woefully understaffed and beleaguered by poor management, though.

      Outside my time living overseas, I haven’t gotten satisfactory service at a pharmacy in maybe 15 years.

      • LisaT

        You are so dead on about Eddie! And unfortunately about the management. I waited there for TWO HOURS for scripts for my grandmother the first time I went in, only to find out some kind of problem with them going through. Eddie gave me enough to get her through the weekend until I could sort it out on Monday. He’s known me every time since. They are so incredibly busy and so understaffed, but they’re really nice. Stressed, but nice to customers.

    • saf

      I love my pharmacist at the Giant on Park Road.

      • Anonymous

        I love the hot male pharmacist at Giant on Park Road!

      • WDC

        Anyone remember the pharmacist from Giant in CH, lovely gentleman in his 50s or so… he was killed in a car accident back in 2007 or early 2008, I think. I’m ashamed I can’t remember his name. Mr. Miller, maybe?
        Such a dear. I miss him, although the current ones are nice too.

        • saf

          Is that where he went? Wow, I didn’t know that.

  • Marcus Aurelius

    If you are talking about an open store with a good selection at fair prices, I’m fine with that. But if this is going to be another bulletproof retail store, no thanks. Those stores breed nothing but contempt between customers and the owners. I went to the liquor store on the same block as Looking Glass the other weekend. It was one of the hottest days of the year and the place was a sauna. No a/c. The customers were complaining and the owners were oblivious. Luckily I was buying vodka and not wine – can’t imagine what the temperature was doing to all the wine on the shelves.
    I’ve resolved not to shop at any more bulletproof stores in my neighborhood. Unless it’s an essential last minute purchase, or something small like a bag of chips, they’re not getting my business anymore.

  • Hoodrat

    The neighbors seem to be coming out in force against this. I too confess myself torn. A clean, well-run liquor store would be vastly preferable to an empty storefront. And it might drive some of the dumpy places out of business. Another dump that lets drunks hang out just outside being obnoxious is just another nuisance on a strip that doesn’t need another nuisance spot. I may attend the meeting tonight to see if they provide any useful information. Does the owner have any other stores? What are they like? Will they sell singles? What type of security do they propose?

    • Hobart Pl Guy

      I think it is a false choice to say the either it will be a full scale liquor store or an empty store front.

      The guy who bought the building has already fixed it up. He can rent it out or open a store that does not have as much potential negative impact on the neighborhood.

      In any case an EMPTY STOREFRONT is preferable to a scummy liquor store like Harvard Liquors… Currently it is empty and there are no drunks hanging around and littering.

      DC government wants neighborhoods to be involved in the development process in our community. We should take that responsibility seriously and encourage positive development!

      • anon

        Agreed on the false binary.

        I’m tired of seeing the litter on my street that obviously comes from the corner liquor store — empty liquor bottles, empty snack wrappers, discarded lottery tickets, etc.

        There are enough places like this in Park View as it is.

  • Anonymous

    residents of this neighborhood should be emailing councilman Graham. And the ANC commissioners.

  • Eyeless in Gaza

    I am white and just moved to the irving street. If the liquor store is even somewhat decent and not bulletproof, then great! I won’t have to walk down to Petworth Liquors which charges at least $5 more for the same size bottle of Skyy Vodka than a store in Mt. Pleasant or AdamsMo would charge.

    The building has been fixed up nicely, so i doubt the owner is going to allow a dump to go in. And it beats having an empty storefront.

    • Anonymous

      Why don’t you just go the liquor store on Georgia and Kenyon? Or one of the other five or six stores within a one to two block radius of this proposed store?

  • steve

    it’s really strange to me that a place like this can open without issue but it’s a HUGE ordeal to get a nice restaurant open anywhere north of U and east of 14th

  • Comm. Tony Norman 1b10

    This is in my district (SMD) we intend to strongly oppose this liquor store. The owner did not even have the courtesy to contact the civic association or other ANC reps. to discuss his plans.
    It is important for residents to come to the full ANC meeting on July 7 2011 and the Abc board hearing. This raises a serious issue as to the direction we want to take our community

  • To the ANC

    Comm Norman
    thanks for weighing in. I don’t think people realize how critical ANCs are for directing development etc in their neighborhoods. Granted, some ANC commissioners are crazier than others but on a day to day basis the ANC has more impact on me than the Council. Having said that, is it time to revisit the idea of a ward -wide ban on singles? It was brought up by CM Graham a few years ago but then didn’t get any traction for the usual race/class issues/moving of the problem etc. Or we need a moratorium for a a few years on liquor retail stores? to the person who said all liquor stores are the same? Where are you living? there are nice, well maintained places (ie Dvines, hell even target beer/wine is pretty damn good) an then there are places that are covered in litter, run by folks behinf bullet proof glass who prob don’t even live in the City. I know the singles-ban is gonna open a hell of a nasty discussion but other wards have done it and it does solve some short term nuisance issues. Just a thought.

    • saf

      “ward -wide ban on singles”

      No. It’s time to ask the police to enforce existing laws, and to hold stores to the terms of their licenses. Don’t sell to someone who is drunk. Do not allow drinking on the premises. You know those laws, they know those laws. Enforcement would take us a long way.

  • RH

    I live on the 2900 block of GA Ave, in the middle of the rowhouses. I’m deeply opposed. two children live immediately next door and there are a few additional kids on that block. I don’t want people “hanging out” by the liquor store especially since DC has no anti-loitering laws. I worry about safety for everyone on that block.

    I also don’t like that the notice went up sometime this weekend and the issue is going to be discussed on Tuesday. I would be in attendance, but I have to work. And who are these people? Where is the community engagement for this proposed establishment?

    Want an adult beverage? Check out KUSA on GA and Irving, there is also a shop on GA and Girard and of course, there’s the liquor store at Sherman and Harvard. All of these stores are within two blocks of 2917 GA.

    I’m told we should email Commissioner Spencer: [email protected]

    • Anonymous

      Right on RH! And for the commenter below who says the owners are good people – sure that might be the case, but it doesn’t really matter. If they bought the building and then say they have not been able to rent it for a year, then that aint my fault.

      Also, the owner is applying for the licquor license in his name. It’s hard for me to believe that the owner bought the business, fixed it up, and then decideds to suddenly enter the liquor store business. It is a huge career change going from a landlord, to being a inner-city liquor store operator!

  • RH

    Also want to comment on the owners of 2917 GA. They are nice people; I have talked to the owner’s son who has been fixing it up here and there. Last week they installed white vinyl flooring. They have wanted to rent or sell that property for nearly a year. It looks like it is fairly unique: corner unit with a lot of windows and street exposure and a smallish patio to the left on Hobart. Vintage tin ceiling. A side entrance leads to what looks like an upstairs apartment.

    Vincent Orange most recently had his campaign HQ there.

    • Anonymous

      what are they renting it for? perhaps we can help them find a better tenant.

      • Anonymous

        Good Idea – the owner should let us know at the meeting tonight.

      • RH

        disappointing that the owner applied for the license; his son was friendly enough.

        I don’t know how much they are asking in rent and I don’t know how much they want to sell it for. I do know that the catering business at the end of the block appears to do brisk business, so maybe they could use the additional space?

  • Taco

    Georgia Ave has so much potential. Another liquor store is definitely not a step in the right direction.

  • Park rd

    I hope I can make purchases here in loose change.

  • slimwood

    Dang! I was hoping for a Neiman-Marcus on that pharmacy site.

  • r.e.union


    25.3% of residents below poverty level

    Maybe a wine bar with outdoor seating anyone? Just what the “yuppies” who are disconnected from the social ills that hold our people down like addiction, poverty and unemployment.
    ECON 101 Do you really think that the 20 bottles of wine which ranges from $20 to $40 per bottle that this merchant is likely to sell per week will sustain a business and for how long?
    Those who can afford the $20 to $40 per bottle are likely to be buying online. How long do you think before the merchant realizes that he can sell Night Train and Thunderbird, Wild Irish Rose, and MD 20/20 by the case load (ie ghetto wine).

    If you can’t do the match you were probably loaded down with too many anthropology classes or a study abroad experience in Europe. Now that you are hopefully in a job trying to save the world and mankind, now try a crash course called ECON 101 for dummies or better yet move to Woodley Park and support liquor store licenses on Connecticut Ave.


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