Posts Tagged ‘Maria Villalta’

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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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.”

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