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“Anyone who’d like to appear before the board to protest the request must file a petition or request to appear before May 31”

by Prince Of Petworth May 17, 2016 at 2:15 pm 16 Comments

2121 14th Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

FYI, Eatonville Inc. (owner of Mulebone at Union Row, 2121 14th St NW) is seeking to terminate the Settlement Agreement it signed with a former Union Row resident in 2009. Eatonville Inc. claims that because the former resident was the “sole beneficiary” of the agreement, and the resident has since moved away, the restaurant should be able to terminate the agreement.

The Settlement Agreement requires: (1) emphasis on food with limited live entertainment, (2) any live music must only be audible inside the restaurant and must end by 10pm, (3) maintenance of a security plan, (4) outdoor patio must close by midnight, (5) reasonable efforts to eliminate rat infestation, (6) signs advising patrons of capacity limits and the residential nature of the neighborhood, and (7) encouragement for patrons to use public transit or park in public garages rather than on residential streets. Mulebone’s current liquor license class is C-Restaurant.

There is a hearing on Eatonville Inc.’s request for termination of the Settlement Agreement on June 13, 2016. Anyone who’d like to appear before the board to protest the request must file a petition or request to appear before May 31, 2016. Notice of the hearing, and a copy of Eatonville Inc’s request, are attached.

Hearing Notice (PDF)

Mulebone SAT Termination Request (PDF)

Since both Mulebone and Eatonville before it have been struggling here, I’m guessing they are angling for later live music and dancing – perhaps a restaurant that turns into a club a la Alero (13th & U) on the weekends. My two cents on the “sole beneficiary” argument – the resident who originally entered into the settlement was beneficiary by virtue of his occupancy of the building, not by virtue of his identity as an individual – so whether he moves or not, the intended beneficiary is whoever lives in that unit in the building (probably the unit right above the restaurant). The fact that a residence exists above the restaurant hasn’t changed, so the Settlement shouldn’t terminate. But anyway, not my area of expertise, just my opinion.”

  • anon

    Work with your ANC – the settlement agreement is strongest if they are party to it. It’s pretty easy.

    • vpatel

      The ANC refused to be a party in the original agreement. Then ANC chair Brianne Nadeau did not want go against the owner of Busboys. Maybe this ANC will have a different opinion.

      • anon

        Yikes. She must have wanted a place in his administration! Hopefully your new ANC reps are more reasonable.

        • anon

          PS – If your ANC still won’t help, you need a group of 5 residents OR a resident of an abutting property to file a petition and then create a new SA. Having the ANC involved would help eliminate this mess when someone moves, but there are other ways.

          • Yes I Live Here

            True. And in addition to a group of five or more or an abutting property owner, (or the ANC), a community association with open membership can intervene if the restaurant is within its boundaries, and members vote at a scheduled meeting. Both U St Neighborhood Association and Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association could do this.

  • Accountering

    I feel like 5, 6, and 7 should be a requirement for every single bar and restaurant in DC, whether or not they have a settlement agreement.

    • [rrrrr]

      Curious what is really required of the restaurant by 7, though. I certainly don’t think street parking should be totally unavailable to any restaurant patron anywhere in the city. I also realize that’s probably not what that line item implies. Anyone have more detail on what it means in practice?
      5 & 6 definitely seem like basic expectations.

      • Anonymous

        It probably means no valet or validated parking allowed.

        • anon

          It means the opposite – encourage people to valet or validate in a private garage, not on the street.

    • textdoc

      Amen to Accountering.

  • 14th Streeter

    If someone starts a petition to protest, I would gladly sign!

  • Sam

    This is crazy – This restaurant is literally under a condo building with multiple units above and around it — and not just in the Union Row building but also across the street. They should not be allowed to transition into a night club just because someone moved out of the building. Mulebone is not doing well because there are other places with better food and service. The neighborhood should start a boycott of this and all of the Busboys and Poets restaurants for failing to be good neighbors.

  • dcd

    I have no stake at all in this, but want to protest purely out of principle. How on earth are ANY of those enumerated points for one person’s sole benefit? Good grief.

  • Glen Collins

    Union Row owners are meeting this evening to discuss and lay out an action plan. We obviously have immediate concern and interest in this Settlement Agreement termination action by Eatonville, Inc. (Mulebone) connected to its DC ABRA license. ANC comments are also consistent with suggestions received to date.

  • Carla

    This really does set a troubling precedent that all residents of that area need to be wary of. If Mulebone is allowed to transition into what is essentially a nightclub and concert venue, then there’s no reason other restaurants in the neighborhood that are located in condo or rental buildings can’t do the same. If I lived above or next to Busboys & Poets, Tico, Matchbox, Ted’s Bulletin, Sala Thai, or countless other restaurants on 14th street I would be extremely concerned about this. Not to mention all the high end condos that are being sold across the street from Mulebone (like the Lumen) which will also be negatively affected. What a way for DC to shoot itself in the foot by allowing what has become a great new neighborhood to turn into another 18th street.

    • vpatel

      Adding to your concern are the zoning “overlays” that the city implemented years ago to spur economic growth. The ARTS Overlay runs up 14th Street (from about P St. to Florida Ave.) and from U Street (about 16th St. to 9th St). In this zone, all buildings — including condos and mixed-use buildings – are zoned commercially. This includes the residential units above. So, when trying to complain about noise, trash, or whatever, you must adhere to the commercial laws and not residential.


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