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Archive for June, 2013

Like all city rec centers, Guy Mason (3600 Calvert St.) is closed on Sundays. But a move by a Guy Mason pottery instructor and the Friends of Guy Mason booster club may change that, The Georgetown Current reports. Pottery teacher John Kerr first suggested the extended schedule, and FOGM president Dan Melman told the Current that the move wouldn’t cost the city any extra money. “The air conditioning is on whether anyone is in the building or not,” he told the paper. “Why not use these services that are provided?” A meeting between advocates of the idea and the director of the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation is scheduled for next month, Kerr told the Current.

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Max’s Best Homemade Ice Cream (2416 Wisconsin Ave.) will remain open for the next few months, according to shop owner Max Keshani. “Yes, I’m here through summer time,” he tells us. Rumors of a lease extension deal have been flying for days, but lawyers for Keshani and landlords Gail and Barbara Bassin have so far declined to comment. (The two parties had previously announced that they would not comment during negotiations but would issue a joint statement on the end result.) Keshani confirmed to us that his lease had been extended, but he did not specify an end date; the rumor we heard was that the extension ends September 30. (Update: it ends October 31; see attorneys’ statement below.) Keshani says he hopes to negotiate a further extension after this one expires: “I’m working harder and harder to stay longer and longer.”

Keshani was formally notified in May that his lease would not be renewed when it expires June 30, and next-door neighbor John Snedden of Rocklands (2418 Wisconsin Ave.) soon announced that he would expand his barbecue shop into the vacated ice cream space. But Keshani, who believed he had been in the process of negotiating a lease extension, was shocked by his ouster, and friends and supporters rallied to his defense, urging the Bassins to reconsider and allow Max’s to remain. Some vilified Snedden, blaming his expansion plans for the end of Keshani’s lease. But the Bassins insisted that their decision to end Keshani’s lease had nothing to do with Snedden.

Snedden, for his part, says he has not received formal notification that his lease on the Max’s space will not begin on July 1, as agreed. But he has not brought in an architect to plan for the expansion, let alone applied for any building permits, he says. When the uproar over Max’s lease first erupted, Snedden told the Bassins he’d be willing to delay the start of his lease, and he has been operating on the assumption that they would take him up on the offer. In the meantime, Snedden says, he has been devoting his time to launching another project: the Right Proper Brewing Company, a Southern-themed brew pub at 624 T Street in Shaw, set to open this fall.

UPDATE: Shortly after midnight on June 28, attorneys for Keshani and the Bassins issued the following statement:

Max’s Best Ice Cream will continue in business at 2416 Wisconsin Avenue through October 31, 2013.  Max and Gail and Barbara Bassin, the owners of the property, have agreed that this represents a fair and reasonable outcome for all involved.  It gives Max and the community the benefit of having Max’s Best Ice Cream in Glover Park for the entire 2013 summer and part of the fall.  We are grateful to John Snedden and Rocklands Barbeque without whose active support this arrangement could not have been achieved.

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Massage Escape Spa, which offers deep-tissue massage, hot stone massage, and foot massage, opened earlier this week at 2352 Wisconsin Ave. The spa occupies the second and third floors of the Head & Nails manicure shop building, which is located between Bourbon and Arcuri.

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The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board yesterday voted to allow The Mason Inn (2408 Wisconsin Ave.) to serve alcohol on a new rooftop deck. Construction permits will be filed this week, and the deck should open in September, says co-owner Fritz Brogan. The bar’s ownership agreed to several noise-reduction measures—including encircling the deck with a wall—to resolve formal protests filed by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B and a group of near neighbors. “We’re excited for the rooftop to open,” says Brogan. “We’re glad we were able to find common ground with the ANC, and we’re looking forward for the rooftop being a place that all of our Glover Park neighbors can enjoy.”

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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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Tom and Karen Sprecher KeatingGlover Park neighbors are concerned about W Street resident Karen Sprecher Keating, whom they have not seen for more than a week. Local resident Robert Hyman posted on the Glover Park Yahoo newsgroup that Keating’s car has been parked in the Pearson’s lot (2430 Wisconsin Ave.) for that long. “If anyone knows her whereabouts, please contact me right away,” writes Hyman, whose email address is robertehyman@gmail.com. “The police are now involved trying to locate her.”

Keating is a very tall (well over 6 feet) white female in her mid-50s, with shoulder-length blond hair that is usually pulled into ponytail, according to Hyman. We are seeking a photograph and will update this post when we receive one.

UPDATE: From Robert Hyman, June 19, 10:26 a.m.: “Karen is now officially a missing person, she was not in her home. Her car is in the possession of the police. She may have been last seen at Breadsoda. I am going to check the woods behind business’s on the east side of Wisconsin Ave. today.”

UPDATE: We believe the above is a photo of Karen Sprecher Keating with Tom Keating at a 2005 Northwestern University fraternity gathering.

UPDATE: From Robert Hyman, 1:51 p.m.: “I just received information letting me know Karen is in the hospital. I have no further details.”

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The Mason Inn (2408 Wisconsin Ave.) was not at fault for a bizarre attack that occurred several blocks from the bar in March, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board ruled last week. The confrontation, in which a drunken proponent of religion smashed an atheist in the face with a fraternity paddle, started after the victim had left the bar, according to an Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration investigator’s report. The paddler was not named in the investigator’s report.

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