On June 25, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board voted to extend alcohol sales at Safeway (1855 Wisconsin Ave.) by two hours in the morning. The grocer is now approved to sell beer and wine from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Archive for the ‘Liquor Licenses’ Category
Breadsoda (2233 Wisconsin Ave.) sold more than enough food in 2012 to comply with its liquor license, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has found. On June 4, the Board dismissed a case against the pub for violating the provisions of its license.
Although the restaurant took in more than the minimum gross food sales of $2,000 per seat, it did not originally report its actual sales, due to what the owners termed “a clerical error.” Says Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration spokesperson Jessie Cornelius, “The licensee submitted corrected quarterly reports showing adequate food sales. As a result, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and Office of Attorney General agreed that there is no violation.”
On Friday, June 6, the Office of Tax and Revenue seized the liquor license of JP’s Lounge (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) and ordered it shut down for nonpayment of $654,077.87 in sales tax, penalties, and interest, according to OTR spokeswoman Natalie Wilson.
This morning, to hear the owners’ representative tell it, the strip club got its license back—along with a heartfelt apology from the city tax agency. “The owners owed zero. These guys have been paying taxes fine,” says Paul Kadlick, a representative for the Vice Group, which owns the club. “The revenue agent couldn’t have been more apologetic.”
Curiously, OTR’s Wilson tells a different story. As of late afternoon today, she says, the matter has not been resolved. “OTR has not released the licenses nor granted a reinstatement of any kind,” she wrote in an email after we told her about our conversation with Kadlick. “OTR is working with the new owners to bring them into compliance.”
So what gives? According to Wilson, an OTR review of the club’s account revealed that the club hadn’t paid expected sales taxes for the past six years. That’s what generated the massive tax lien. What the agency’s records apparently failed to reflect was that the club was shut down between January 2008, when a fire destroyed its original building, and June 2013, when the club reopened under new ownership. Wilson told us that OTR was unaware that the club’s ownership had changed. We wonder whether documentation of this change is what’s missing now before the club can reopen.
Kadlick told us he expected the club to be open tomorrow night.
While we had Kadlick on the phone, we asked about the long-shattered glass in the club’s mirrored doorway: Do the owners intend to fix it? Kadlick explained that someone–a Georgetown University student–has been arrested and charged with the crime of breaking the door, and that the club’s owners are awaiting the outcome of that case before repairs are made. “Someone has to make restitution” for the damage, Kadlick says. He estimated the repair cost at “several thousand dollars.”
From the May 2014 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:
Breadsoda (2233 Wisconsin Ave.) is facing potential discipline from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration after an audit revealed that the bar had misreported its food and alcohol sales numbers for calendar year 2012. Although the restaurant took in more than the minimum gross food sales of $2,000 per seat, it did not report its actual sales, due to what the owners termed “a clerical error.” In an April 22 letter to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, co-owner Bill Thomas wrote, “I accidentally overstated our liquor sales. What idiot does that?” A report by ABRA investigator Adeniyi Adejunmobi challenges this assertion, though, stating that “based on the audit performed, Breadsoda underreported food and alcoholic beverages sales.” A hearing on the matter has been tentatively scheduled for May 21.
A restaurant named Sushi Keiko has leased 2309 Wisconsin Ave., the former home of Sushi Ko. On March 12, company president Wei Zhang applied for a liquor license for the new restaurant. The Sushi Keiko menu will feature a variety of Asian foods, including sushi and sashimi, small plates such as grilled baby octopus with mango sauce, and entrees including roasted Maine salmon, the application states. Sushi Ko closed its Glover Park location last summer.
Good Guys (2311 Wisconsin Ave.) has promised not to apply for permission to create private dancing spaces for one or two patrons, under a formal agreement with Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B. The club’s promise would obtain unless another strip club within two miles is permitted to create such spaces, or unless the law against strippers performing within three feet of patrons is changed. The formal agreement cleared the way for a three-year renewal of the club’s liquor license.
Good Guys has never applied for permission to create private dancing spaces. But last year, the neighborhood’s other strip club, JP’s Lounge (2412 Wisconsin Ave.), tried to gain permission from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to put dancers on small tabletops and in semi-private alcoves. The ANC opposed this application, which was dismissed when a JP’s representative failed to appear at a required hearing.
The ANC formally protested the Good Guys license renewal on the grounds that the club is not appropriate for such a family-centered neighborhood. It withdrew the protest in light of the February 24 compromise agreement, which also requires Good Guys to place a security camera outside its front entrance. In recent years, a few scuffles have occurred on the sidewalk in front of the establishment, and in 2007, a man who had been kicked out of the club for unruly behavior returned and started a fire that killed a young manager.
The agreement submitted to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board included a third provision: that all Good Guys performers would use the building’s rear entrance before 5 p.m. (Good Guys opens at 11 a.m., while its competitor JP’s is not allowed to open until 5 p.m.) But commissioners struck that provision after a City Paper reporter suggested to them that it was discriminatory.* “Would fully clothed women who happen to strip for a living really destroy the family-friendliness of the neighborhood simply by walking on a sidewalk nearby?” asked Perry Stein in a March 7 story. In an email quoted in Stein’s story, commissioner Jackie Blumenthal wrote that the ANC’s main sidewalk concern is the behavior of club patrons, not staff. “It didn’t occur to me that using the rear door would appear to be discriminatory until you raised it,” Blumenthal wrote to Stein. “Thank you for making us rethink this issue.” On March 12, the ABC Board approved the compromise agreement without this third provision.
*The first version of this story erroneously reported that all three provisions of the submitted agreement had been approved.