From the May 2009 Glover Park Gazette:
At an ABC Board hearing in March, the owner of JP’s Night Club at 2412 Wisconsin fought a bid by the ANC to revoke his liquor license. The site has been vacant since a January 2008 fire, and James Charles, attorney for owner Michael Papanicolas, testified that the landlord considers the club’s current lease “null and void.” The two parties are discussing a new lease that would take effect after the landlord demolishes the building’s burnt-out shell and builds its replacement, he said.
Charles told the board that a new investor was interested in joining or buying Papanicolas’s business, but that no deal could be struck until reconstruction begins. “It’s a very interested party, very substantial, but they obviously can’t sign anything till the building starts going up,” he said. With deeper pockets, the rebuilt club would be “a very, very high level operation,” Charles added. “The décor is going to be rather impressive. Better menu; better management.”
Judy Green, a member of the Alafoginis family group that owns the building, testified that its lease discussions with JP’s are serious but not exclusive: the family is open to other potential tenants. Even though that means the JP’s license might end up homeless, ABC Board members said they saw no cause to take action now. “We’re not going to be dissolving this license based on what we’ve heard today,” said board chair Peter Feather.
Meanwhile, project manager Fredrik Starmark of The Construction Guild says he’s “getting very close” to securing a permit to raze the structure, after a protracted application process that began last October. Out of 13 “clearance” documents needed to show that no utility or government agency objects to the demolition, only two were incomplete at press time. Starmark estimated he would secure those two—and submit all 13 to DCRA—before the end of April.
DCRA spokesman Rupert has said that once proper clearances are submitted, approval of a permit to raze the building might happen fairly quickly. Starmark says demolition will start within days of permit approval and will be completed two weeks after that.