From the February 2012 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:
The long-vacant Margarita’s Restaurant storefront (2317 Wisconsin Ave.) is under contract to be sold—and there could be a scuffle for the restaurant’s unused liquor license. Licensee Maria Villalta has been holding onto the license since her restaurant closed in 2008, because she hoped to re-rent the building, either from her former landlord or from a new owner. (The building was listed for sale at $1.315 million last March.)
But Villalta’s former landlord recently notified her that the building was under contract and that the future owners wanted to buy her license, she told the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board at a January 11 hearing. “I was hoping to reopen the place,” Villalta said at the hearing. “So now it’s like, OK, I will sell the license.”
Intriguingly, Villalta has also heard from the leasing agent for the JP’s building across the street, according to Jonathan Wilson, a friend who accompanied her to the hearing. The agent wrote Villalta a letter stating that he knows several people who might be interested in buying her license to use at 2412 Wisconsin Ave., Wilson told the ABC Board.
Due to the Glover Park license moratorium, anyone who wants to serve hard liquor at a restaurant in the neighborhood must acquire an existing license. (Restaurants can apply to serve beer and wine without regard to the moratorium.) The only two restaurant liquor licenses currently available are the license held by Villalta and the one that was used by Town Hall at its former location, 2218 Wisconsin Ave., which is being offered as a package deal with a lease on that building.
Villalta told the ABC Board that she was willing to sell to anyone. “I will sell the
license, and I will do it as soon as somebody comes with an offer, either the building on 2317 or the other across the street,” she said. “I’m open.”