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Archive for September, 2012

If you are the sort who craves white clam pizza, you will be happy to learn that Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza (4940 Wisconsin Ave.) now delivers to Glover Park.

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On October 11, the Savoy Suites Hotel (2505 Wisconsin Ave.) will host a cocktail reception and fundraiser for Friends of Guy Mason, the nonprofit group that helps maintain the Guy Mason Recreation Center (3600 Calvert St.).

Although Guy Mason is a city-run facility, Friends of Guy Mason augments what the government’s stretched budget is able to provide. In the past, the group has maintained the center’s tree canopy and fragrance garden; installed new playground equipment; and led community cleanup days. “We promise to continue to be strong advocates for the interests of students, faculty, and guests inside the building as well as all the outdoor users,” writes FOGM president Dan Melman in a statement to Glover Parkers. “As we build upon our past successes, we ask you to support us in our efforts to steward and improve our local treasure. We cannot do it without you.”

The October 11 event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $60 each and can be purchased at the Friends of Guy Mason website.

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Einstein Bros Bagels, which lost its spot at 1815 Wisconsin Ave. last year due to a major renovation, has leased the vacant Fan Fair and Vespa storefronts at 2233 Wisconsin Ave., according to a Georgetown Metropolitan commenter who goes by the handle “Downtown Dave.” The new location should open “in a few months,” he writes. The adjacent storefronts at Georgetown Plaza have been vacant since Vespa and Fan Fair closed in late 2008. We’ve emailed Einstein’s for comment and will update this post when/if they respond.

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As we predicted, salads and fro-yo are coming to the BodySmith building (2200 Wisconsin Ave.). A representative of Sweetgreen has confirmed as much to Eater DC. The new location will open in November and will have “lots of window seating,” the blog reports.

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At the September 13 meeting of ANC 3B, commissioners unanimously resolved to request a formal Alcoholic Beverage Control Board hearing into the ownership of JP’s Night Club. The strip club, which has been closed since a January 2008 fire at its 2412 Wisconsin Ave. home, is in the process of reopening under new management, but the identity of the reopeners keeps changing.

“ANC3B is seeking a more open process at this point due to a series of actions, representations, and misrepresentations that have occurred in recent months pertaining to the ownership of JP’s,” the resolution states. Referring to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board’s rapid approval of one new owner—Brian Petruska—last year and a series of  putative new owners who have presented themselves since then, the resolution states that “the actions of ABRA initially and the contual restructuring of owners and partners” in the club’s holding company, Wisconsin Ventures LLC, “do not give us confidence that when JP’s reopens it will be managed well enough to protect the community from the secondary impacts associated with nude dancing establishments.”  ABRA has already promised to hold a protest hearing before the JP’s license is reactivated. The hearing requested by the ANC would occur prior to that.

An August 13 application to transfer the JP’s license to two new owners of Wisconsin Ventures—Jason Daniel and Philip Mathew—is “still pending the submission of additional documentation,” says ABRA spokesman Bill Hager. The ANC’s request for an ownership hearing “will go before the ABC Board for their review and consideration,” Hager added.

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In late August, Old Europe (2434 Wisconsin Ave.) underwent a complete remodel—its first since the 1980s, according to owner Alex Herold. Along with fresh paint and new wood paneling, the dining room received some much-needed repairs. “All in all, things are going to reappear as they were before, just with a new look, cleaner and fresh,” Herold told us during construction. “It’s high time.” The German restaurant reopened for business on August 28.

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Remy Esquenet, the primary owner of 2317 Wisconsin Ave., is suing his former business partner for full ownership of the building, the City Paper reports. The storefront, soon to be home of Sprig & Sprout Vietnamese restaurant, is one of several that Esquenet owns with the former partner, Jeremy Landsman, a Baltimore developer who pled guilty in June to involvement in a marijuana trafficking ring. The two men went into business together in 2011, shortly after Landsman—unbeknownst to Esquenet—had been indicted under seal. “It’s a crazy story,” Esquenet told the paper.

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The fire-damaged service station at Wisconsin Ave. and Q St. will become a Shell station within two months, the Georgetown Patch reports. The Georgetown Auto Shop (1576 Wisconsin Ave.) has been closed since a March 2011 fire.

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Sprig & Sprout, the Vietnamese restaurant coming to 2317 Wisconsin Ave., will open later in September than planned, according to a posting on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Originally expected mid-month, the opening has been delayed until late September due to water damage caused by a construction-related roof leak. “Our brand new wood floors, ceilings, and walls have to be taken out and re-installed,” the owners write. “Water…our friend and enemy.” To tantalize would-be diners, the restaurant has posted its menu on its website.

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On August 13, two men—Jason K. Daniel and Philip M. Mathew—applied to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration to take over the liquor license for the dormant JP’s Night Club (2412 Wisconsin Ave.). On their application, the men listed themselves as the president, secretary, and managing member (Daniel) and vice president and treasurer (Mathew) of Wisconsin Ventures, LLC, the corporation that owns JP’s.

Last year, Local Man of Mystery Brian Petruska identified himself to ABRA as the president, secretary, and manager of Wisconsin Ventures. Now that Daniel holds those titles, where does that leave Petruska—let alone Paul Kadlick and Gokhan “Jake” Akkus, who in May represented themselves to ANC 3B as having bought a 90 percent share of JP’s?

We spoke to Kadlick, and he tried to explain the matryoshka doll of holding companies that now surrounds the strip club. Due to unspecified business and tax considerations, Kadlick says, he and Akkus did not end up purchasing the club directly. Instead, a partnership called The Vice Group purchased 90 percent of the shares in Wisconsin Ventures. The remaining 10 percent of the stock in Wisconsin Ventures was retained by Brian Petruska. Wisconsin Ventures owns a company called BJ Enterprises, which owns the JP’s license.

Kadlick is the authorized spokesperson for The Vice Group, but he insists that he does not hold an ownership stake in that group. Daniel and Mathew, who do hold ownership stakes, are both area nightclub promoters and managers who “are longtime associates of mine,” says Kadlick. They will be responsible for the club’s day-to-day operations, he adds. We asked Kadlick how he stood to gain from JP’s without being an owner, and he told us that the business is part of a larger structure of deals he could not discuss.

Last week, several Glover Park civic leaders sent a letter to ABRA chief Fred Moosally expressing concerns about the transfer application. In the letter, ANC commissioners Jackie Blumenthal and Brian Cohen, Glover Park Citizens’ Association president Sheila Meehan, and attorney Milton Grossman called upon ABRA to transfer the JP’s license only to “people who have demonstrated their qualification to run a legal, above-board operation.” The liquor board seems likely to go ahead with the transfer, though. In response to our inquiry, ABRA spokesman Bill Hager reminded us that, no matter who holds the license, JP’s will have to survive a public protest period before it’s allowed to reopen.

Kadlick plans to attend the September 13 ANC meeting, where he will discuss the club’s security and valet parking arrangements. He says the ANC should be reassured by his knowledge of the neighborhood and its needs. “I’m not embarrassed to tell you I’ve been a patron of JP’s for 20 years,” he says. “It’s an upscale neighborhood, and we’re going to cater to that customer.”

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