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Nellie’s Getting a new Retractable Roof Deck, will Replace old Tent

by Prince Of Petworth April 22, 2014 at 11:25 am 14 Comments

9th and U St, NW via Nellie’s facebook

Thanks to a reader for sending:

“There was some discussion a while back about Nellie’s rooftop and new regulations that were passed. I received an email from Nellie’s today that shows quite a bit of progress has been made on a new structure and their Facebook page states, “Time for a facelift! We’re getting a fancy new retractable roof to replace our tent, and wanted to share our progress with you. But have no fear, our roof is still open for drinks in the meantime, and we’ve still got our night time DJ’s rockin’ up there!”

Roof deck construction via Nellie’s facebook

  • Anonymous

    Is this done to cut down on the noise in advance of city action? Speculation is my own. If it is about the noise, what about The Brixton?

  • redraiderdc

    I think it has more to do with the tent degrading over the time and the fact that it just wasn’t very attractive. Plus, they took it down completely in the summer so if it rains, you are screwed. This will be retractable so in summer rains, the party can go on!

  • andy2

    Great news – the tent was full of holes and not very stable.

  • shawguy

    I hope this helps cut down on some of the noise from the roof deck. I like going there, but I always feel a little guilty about patronizing a place that is so loud and must be so horrible for the neighbors to live next to. You can often hear that roof deck a block or more away. With new condos coming in right across the street and those little rowhouses right off the back, I hope this helps that issue.

    • Logan

      I mean, it is nice you care, but if anyone purchased a residence within an earshot of U Street, I am not sure they are in a position to complain about noise. Look around on a Friday or Saturday night in that neighborhood. I doubt there are many residences that can actually hear the noise from Nellie’s roofdeck indoors except maybe on the back side of that same block. They are likely willing to cope with the trade off in their increase property value.

      • anon

        Yes, they are in a position to complain about the noise. DC Noise ordinance gives them the ability to do so.

        • Logan

          Only if the noise is in violation of the noise ordinance. The existence of the ordinance alone does not give anyone the right to complain. Has Nellie’s been cited for being in violation of the noise ordinance?

      • shawguy

        @Logan – Not to get into an unnecessary and off-topic conversation about noise in commercial districts, but I’ve lived in DC for quite a long time. I can assure you, as recently as five or ten years ago, there are a lot of places within earshot of Nellies that I would have thought were probably fine at the time to buy and live in with peace and quiet – the development on 9th Street was going nowhere pretty quick back then, and all the bars and clubs on U Street were pretty much west of Vermont Avenue. That was sort of the end of the “strip” – 15th/16th on the west side to the War Memorial / Vermont Avenue on the east side. It hadn’t grown bigger than that for some time. MOST of the stuff that’s east of Vermont Avenue is less than five years old. Almost ALL of it – Town, Brixton, Nellies, Philanthropub, Shaw’s Tavern, etc – is less than ten years old.

        Plus, while I accept that U Street is going to be a louder place than most, when there’s a dozen bars within a block of a particular place and that one place is the one you can hear far away over all the others, that one isn’t just “going along” with the vibe of U Street – they’re exceeding it, considerably. And in my opinion, that’s kinda rude, so I don’t tend to patronize those types of places as often as I do others that I perceive to be more respectful of their neighbors. So, I’m hopeful that at least part of this project is going to help the people who came to Nellies to listen to the music to enjoy it and help to keep those who are not at Nellies from being bothered by it. If there’s even anyone over there who IS bothered by it. I don’t live nearby, so I don’t really know.

        • Logan

          I think your last sentence pretty much sums it up. I’ve been to Nellies a million times, have lived in DC for 15+ years, so I’m aware of all of this. But for 15 years, the writing has been on the wall that everything was moving East. I imagine most people who bought within earshot of Nellie’s before Nellie’s was there is probably happy to see what the development of that area has done to their property values. It is a trade off. And I am not one to say, oh if you don’t like noise, go to the burbs. Businesses have to be respectful. And there are many areas where I think noise and patio/rooftop restrictions make sense when pre-existing residences are beside or across the street. But honestly, there are not many residences that are adjacent to Nellie’s and the rooftop faces U-Street. I suppose houses facing T street on the back side of that block get noise from over top the businesses between Nellie’s and their rowhouses. And I have been by there plenty of times and night and it never stood out as any louder than the general hum of U Street.

          I just think when you buy property near a commercially zoned area, you should anticipate a certain level of noise and shouldn’t assume because something doesn’t exist there now it won’t be there in the future. Between that and the existing noise ordinances, which no one has shown Nellie’s has been in violation of, should be sufficient to allay noise concerns. Certainly this roof is likely to help.

          If I was a neighbor who bought there before Nellie’s, I’d be happy that Nellie’s was there. It was the anchor to a lot of new development over there.

          • Anonymous

            I live in a residence facing T on the back side of the block which you referred to. I never hear any noise from Nellie’s while in my home. Though as you also mentioned, I do notice music/bass coming from somewhere. It is one of those things I only notice when my girlfriend points it out and is tough to pinpoint but seems to come from one of the Ethiopian establishments. Either way, I don’t notice it really unless she points it out. In the summer months there is a low murmur from the roofdeck at 1905, but overall I think they are great neighbors and keep their noise level at a very respectful level.
            I used to really notice the Nellie’s music/noise when I rounded the corner onto Florida until Brixton went in. Brixton’s music is WAY louder than Nellie’s. If I can hear the music a block away when walking down the street I think that poses a problem, but as long as I can’t hear it in my residence I don’t feel a need to complain about it.

  • Phil

    It wouldn’t be so loud and bothersome to any nearby (irritated) residents if it weren’t for all the annoying bachelorette parties screaming and acting juvenile and ruining the experience for the rest of us.

    Do you really have to go to one of DC’s precious few gay bars to do that?

    • Bullwinkle

      Agreed. What’s up w/ the look alike sorority sisters hanging out at gay bars anyway?

      • Anonymous

        not to be judgmental or anything

  • sewsewsoso

    Did the DC government (and by extension our tax dollars) pay for this too like Ivy and Coney’s roof?


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