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Posts Tagged ‘ABRA’

From the February 2015 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

On January 5, a judge ordered that the liquor license for JP’s Lounge (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) be turned over to the federal government as part of a plea deal in a cocaine trafficking case. The defendant, Lawrence Carl Nelson, pled guilty of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Nelson, a co-owner of the license, is believed to have bankrolled the club’s 2012 purchase by a partnership known as The Vice Group. Also seized by the feds was a $1 million promissory note from The Vice Group to Nelson, according to the judge’s order.

The strip club was evicted from its building last July for nonpayment of rent, and the building has been vacant since then. The landlords found the original liquor license on the premises and turned it over to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration for safekeeping.

Meanwhile, the club’s former owner, Michael Papanicolas, is suing The Vice Group and its spokesman, Paul Kadlick, for breach of contract. Papanicolas claims he is owed at least $375,000 from the 2012 sale. There was a hearing on the case held January 9, but no defendants showed up. Another hearing has been scheduled for March 27.

As for the building, the owners of The Mason Inn (2408 Wisconsin Ave.) are in talks to move to the larger JP’s space. Although neither the landlords nor the Mason Inn owners are talking publicly about the negotiations, the Georgetown Current has reported that the Mason Inn owners are interested in purchasing the building.

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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.”

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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.

 

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The Glover Park Citizens’ Association is holding a special meeting on Tuesday, August 13 at 7 p.m. to vote on whether to support two Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B resolutions regarding JP’s Lounge (2412 Wisconsin Ave.). The strip club reopened in June under new ownership, four years after its original building was destroyed by a fire. The meeting will be held at Stoddert Elementary School (4001 Calvert St.).

The resolutions—which the ANC passed in July—oppose the recent reactivation of JP’s liquor license and also the proposed use of tabletops and alcoves in the bar for semi-private dancing.

An Alcoholic Beverage Control Board hearing on the matter is scheduled for Wednesday, August 14 at 9:30 a.m.

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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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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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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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