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Posts Tagged ‘Margarita’s’

From the April 2013 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

On February 20, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board cancelled the liquor license for Margarita’s Restaurant (formerly at 2317 Wisconsin, the current home of Sprig & Sprout). The licensee, Maria Villalta, closed Margarita’s several years ago. Lately, she has tried unsuccessfully to find a new location for her restaurant or a buyer for her license.

Under Glover Park’s liquor license moratorium, up to 14 restaurants in the neighborhood are allowed to have full-service restaurant (CR) licenses. At press time, the former Margarita’s license was one of two Glover Park CR licenses that were unused and unapplied-for, according to an Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration spokesman.

The closing of Mayfair & Pine (2218 Wisconsin Ave.) and Kavanagh’s Pizza Pub (2400 Wisconsin Ave.) has left two more Glover Park CR licenses idle, though the Kavanagh’s license will soon be put to use at Arcuri, a trattoria slated to open in late April. The liquor license for JP’s Night Club (2412 Wisconsin Ave.), expected to reopen in May, is a nightclub (CN) license.

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Maria Villalta, the owner of a dormant Glover Park liquor license, has been unable to sell the license, according to a letter her attorney sent the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on December 31. Villalta used the license when she operated Margarita’s Restaurant at 2317 Wisconsin Ave., now the home of Sprig & Sprout. The ABC Board has said that they will cancel Villalta’s license unless she sells it or starts using it again herself.

Because she cannot find a buyer, Villalta has been “exploring the possibility of keeping the license and opening her own establishment,” the attorney’s letter states. She has been talking to the owner of the vacant tan condo building at 2136 Wisconsin Ave., three doors up from Monarch Paints, but the cost of constructing a kitchen there might be prohibitive. Villalta may seek to use the license in another part of DC, the letter states.

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From the December/January 2013 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

The owner of the liquor license for Margarita’s Restaurant is actively seeking a buyer, according to a status report she submitted to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on November 26. The owner, Maria Villalta, has approached Capital Restaurant Concepts—owners of J. Paul’s (3218 M St.) and Paolo’s Ristorante (1303 Wisconsin Ave.)—as well as the owners of Angelico la Pizzeria (2313 Wisconsin Ave.) about potentially buying the license, the report stated. By December 31, Villalta must submit proof of a firm deal to either transfer the license to a new owner or use it to open a new restaurant herself. If she does not, the ABC Board will cancel the license, according to an October 24 board order. Margarita’s Restaurant was formerly located at 2317 Wisconsin Ave., the current home of Sprig & Sprout.

Villalta’s license is one of two full-service (CR) licenses going unused under Glover Park’s license moratorium. The other license, one of two added when the moratorium was renewed last spring, has never been used and had not been applied for at press time, according to an Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration spokesman.

 

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On July 11, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board held a hearing to discuss the fate of the liquor license attached to Margarita’s Restaurant (formerly at 2317 Wisconsin Ave.). But licensee Maria Villalta failed to appear at the hearing, so instead, the ABC Board ruled the license abandoned, according to a board order. Villalta has until July 25 to reapply for safekeeping status for the license, which has been idle since Margarita’s closed in late 2008. If Villalta doesn’t reapply by the deadline, the license will be cancelled, the order states. 2317 Wisconsin, now vacant, is the future home of Sprig & Sprout Vietnamese restaurant.

One of the 14 full-service (CR) licenses allowed under Glover Park’s liquor license moratorium is already unused and available to apply for, according to an Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration spokesperson. The cancellation of the Margarita’s license would make a second CR license available.

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Monday was the deadline for objecting to the liquor license application of District Noodles, the Vietnamese restaurant planned for the vacant storefront at 2317 Wisconsin Ave. No protest petitions were received by the deadline, says Alcoholic Beverage Control Board spokesman Bill Hager. The ABC Board will discuss the restaurant’s license application at a meeting on June 25.

District Noodles submitted its application on April 17, the first day that two new full-service restaurant licenses became available under an extension of the Glover Park liquor license moratorium. As of yesterday, no one had applied for the second available license, Hager says.

Meanwhile, the license used by Margarita’s restaurant, formerly located at 2317 Wisconsin Ave., is still idle, Hager adds. The restaurant has been closed for more than three years. At a January 11 ABC Board hearing, a board member told licensee Maria Villalta that if she weren’t making “reasonable progress” by July toward either selling the Margarita’s license or using it herself at a new restaurant, the board might cancel it. Villalta is expected to appear before the board next month to report on her progress.

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From the May 2012 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

The vacant storefront at 2317 Wisconsin Ave., next door to Tennis Zone, has been leased to District Noodles, a restaurant that will specialize in Vietnamese cuisine, says co-owner Jennifer Hoang, who is launching the business with her fiancé, Marc Farmer. “We will be there every day—this is our first restaurant!” Hoang reports.

The menu will feature the rice-noodle soup called pho and French-bread sandwiches called bánh mì, as well as vermicelli and rice bowl dishes, Hoang says. On April 17, the restaurant applied for a full-service (CR) liquor license—one of two that became available that day under an extension of the Glover Park license moratorium. (As of late Friday, no one had applied for the other new CR license, according to a spokesman for the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.)

Though no structural changes are planned for the building, the interior needs to be renovated before the restaurant can open, says landlord Remy Esquenet: “It’ll probably be a four- to six-month buildout.”

Photograph by Brown W. Cannon III

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From the April 2012 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

2317 Wisconsin Ave., the former site of Margarita’s Restaurant, has a new owner—and it should soon have a new tenant. Remy Esquenet, a local real estate investor, bought the property on March 19 and hoped to lease it within a week, he told us shortly after the closing. “I’ve been speaking with some local restaurant-type tenants who are interested in the space,” he said. “If I can’t work something out with one of them, I’ll probably expand the first floor” to the rear to make the tiny storefront more attractive to national tenants.

A graduate of American University law school, Esquenet, 41, says he’s in Glover Park for the long haul. “I intend to own the building when I’m 80.” Esquenet owns several other small retail properties in the District, and he’s looking for more space in Glover Park, he says: “If you know someone who would like to sell their property and is looking for a good buyer, I’m a good buyer.”

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