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Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

From the December 2014-January 2015 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

 A new Glover Park business brings its clients together to solve a puzzle: how to get out of the place. At Escape Room DC (2300 Wisconsin Ave., Suite G-102), up to eight visitors get locked in a room together; the group has 45 minutes to figure out the combination to the safe that holds the key. (Co-owner Ginger Flesher watches the proceedings on closed-circuit video and provides hints if the group gets stumped.) Escape Room DC opened on October 16.

Flesher, a retired math teacher, and her husband, Darren Sonnier, got the idea for the business during a trip to Europe over the summer. “In each of the cities we visited, we found that there were live escape rooms,” Flesher recalls. “We thought we’d try one when we got back to DC and discovered that there weren’t any,” apart from one in College Park, Maryland, that locks its clients in a room with an actor playing a zombie.

The couple, who live in Chantilly, hunted all over the region for an appropriate spot for their business. They needed somewhere their clients would feel safe walking after dark. “When I drove into Glover Park, I said ‘This is the place’ before I even saw the building,” Flesher recalls. “It’s a very friendly neighborhood.” Escape Room DC costs $28 per person. Entry is on Hall Place, around the corner from Starbucks. For more information visit escaperoomlive.com.

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From the November 2014 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

Last month, we told you that the former owner of JP’s Lounge (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) was suing the man he sold the strip club to. Michael Papanicolas claims that Paul Kadlick still owes him $375,000 on the sale. (Wisconsin Ventures LLC, a corporation with which Kadlick is affiliated, is a co-defendant in Papanicolas’s suit.) On October 17, Papanicolas appeared in court to say he hadn’t yet been able to find Kadlick to serve him papers in the lawsuit.

Too bad Papanicolas wasn’t at the courthouse the day before: Kadlick was there in person for sentencing in an assault case. That case sprang from an incident in March of 2013 when Kadlick and two of his business associates—including Phil Mathew, the managing partner of JP’s—broke into a rental house in Southeast and punched its resident in an attempt to get him to move out. According to court documents, they called the victim a “squatter,” though he told police he paid rent. (Ironically, JP’s was evicted from its building in July of this year for nonpayment of rent.)

Kadlick pled guilty to the assault and, on October 16, received a 45-day suspended sentence and was ordered to complete six months of probation. Mathew also pled guilty, but at press time had not been sentenced.

That’s the misdemeanor portion of this month’s JP’s news. In the felony portion: it turns out that one of the club’s financial backers, Lawrence Carl Nelson, was indicted in Maryland last year for conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms of cocaine and for possessing two firearms as a former felon. The federal government identified the JP’s liquor license as one of Nelson’s assets. His indictment stated that, if he were convicted, the government would seize the license. In a restraining order, it forbade Kadlick, Mathew, and their associates from disposing of it.

On May 9 of this year, Nelson pled guilty to both of the charges against him. His sentencing hearing is set for Monday, January 5. Several parties, including Kadlick, Papanicolas, and the Alafoginis family—the stiffed landlords of 2412 Wisconsin Avenue—may try to lay claim to the license.

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From the October 2014 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

JP’s Lounge (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) may have closed, but its drama lives on. In July, the strip club’s former owner, Michael Papanicolas, sued the company he sold it to, Wisconsin Ventures LLC, for breach of contract. (Two months after the August, 2012 sale, Wisconsin Ventures turned the club over to The Vice Group, a different company with some of the same owners.)

Papanicolas’s complaint alleges that Wisconsin Ventures still owes him $375,000 from the deal. Paul Kadlick, a principal of Wisconsin Ventures and spokesman for The Vice Group, is named as a co-defendant in the suit. According to the complaint, the total purchase price for the club was $600,000, and Papanicolas received a hefty down payment, as well as scheduled monthly payments of $1,500 through last September. “Since October 1, 2013, and through the present, Plaintiff has not received any payments whatsoever,” the complaint states. Neither Kadlick nor Wisconsin Ventures has formally responded to the suit, according to court documents. JP’s has been closed since July, when its operators were evicted for nonpayment of rent.

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The 25th annual Glover Park Day neighborhood festival is happening today, June 7, from 11 am-5 pm at Guy Mason Recreation Center (3600 Calvert St.). There’ll be music, a food court, crafters, activities for kids, and representatives from community organizations and other interested parties, including Mad Fox Taproom, the brew pub set to open later this year at 2218 Wisconsin Ave.

For details, check out the schedule of events.

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From the December 2013 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

JP’s Lounge (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) has lost its bid to offer tabletop and alcove dancing, at least for the time being. On October 23, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board denied the strip club’s application to use the small performance spaces after club spokesman Paul Kadlick failed to appear at a hearing on the matter. Kadlick later wrote to the board apologizing for his absence—which he attributed to unexplained tardiness compounded by a Secret Service road closure—and requesting that the club’s application be reinstated. On November 13, the ABC Board denied that request. But there is nothing stopping JP’s from submitting a new application.

Meanwhile, an effort to question the club’s recent liquor license renewal seems to be at an end. On September 18, the ABC Board dismissed a protest of the license renewal by ANC 3B and the Glover Park Citizens’ Association. Because the groups’ joint protest focused the fitness of the club’s owners for licensure rather than the appropriateness of the club to the neighborhood, the Board ruled it “outside the possible grounds” for protest as outlined in the relevant statute. (The ANC recently used the appropriateness argument to get the club’s opening time changed from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) On September 30, the two groups filed a joint request to reinstate their protest, arguing that the Board had misunderstood the statute. On October 16, the Board voted to hear oral arguments in the matter, but on October 23, its members reconsidered their decision to reconsider and voted to deny the reinstatement request without hearing oral arguments. “I feel that we don’t need to hear oral arguments,” said Board member Nick Alberti at the meeting. “If the protestants have relevant information about the licensees’ fitness for licensure, then the Board will be interested in hearing that, and we will deal with it appropriately.” The club’s license will come up for renewal again in 2015.

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JP’s Night Club (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) is scheduled to open for business on Friday, June 21, more than five years after the strip club’s original home was destroyed in a fire, says authorized spokesperson Paul Kadlick. But the club will feature dancers only on its two customary stages, not on its three new tabletop platforms or in its two new semi-private booths. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board ruled today that the club’s management needs to file a separate application for permission to use the smaller performance spaces—something Kadlick vows to do by Friday at the latest. Kadlick says there’s still a bit of minor paperwork to do at the D.C. Department of Health before the club can open, but he anticipates taking care of that tomorrow.

Kadlick calls today’s ruling a “substantial victory” for the club, which has faced repeated attempts by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B to block its reopening. But the ANC can claim a victory in today’s ruling, too. ANC members have raised concerns that the tabletop and booth platforms could encourage illegal physical contact between dancers and club clientele. Earlier, the ABC Board twice rebuffed the ANC’s pleas that the Board study the propriety of the smaller performance spaces before allowing their use. But now the Board has decided to do just that.

Placards to be posted soon at the club will list a deadline for community members to file formal objections to the tabletop spaces or to the liquor license’s reactivation. The ABC Board will consider any valid protests at a hearing later in the summer.

UPDATE: Mark Segraves of NBC4 tweets that the final paperwork has been accomplished and that the club will open at 5 pm on Friday.

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After repeatedly ruling that JP’s Night Club (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) could reopen without community comment, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board last week decided to investigate the strip club’s new interior configuration before opening its doors to the public.

Since January 2008, when a fire destroyed the original JP’s building, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B has asked the ABC Board several times to consider revoking the club’s liquor license. The ANC has raised questions about the club’s changing ownership, the club’s appropriateness to an increasingly kid-centric neighborhood, and, most recently, its plans to add semi-private performance spaces to the rebuilt club’s interior. The ANC argued that these spaces would increase the likelihood of illegal hanky-panky between performers and patrons and that it constituted a substantial change from the old club’s operations. By law, any substantial change must be approved by the liquor board.

On June 5, the board denied ANC Commissioner Jackie Blumenthal’s written request to investigate the semi-private spaces as a substantial change. But on June 12, after the JP’s ownership applied to reactivate the club’s dormant license, the board decided to hold a hearing on the matter after all. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration spokesman Bill Hager did not respond to emailed requests for comment, but a knowledgeable source outside the agency says that the hearing is likely to involve testimony only from an ABRA investigator. If the liquor board determines that the new interior layout of JP’s constitutes a substantial change, it must then decide whether the change is acceptable, which might involve a second hearing with community input. If the board sees no substantial change to the bar’s operations, it would likely reactivate the liquor license, allowing the club to reopen.

The fact-finding hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 19.

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