How can D.C. fix the liquor license process?
A number of businesses' recent tangles with D.C.'s liquor license process has clearly shown the need for reform. The long saga of Hank's Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle clearly demonstrates the flaws as well as some strengths of the current system.
Back in 2005, Jamie Leeds wanted to open a restaurant on Q Street NW just east of 17th Street. However, a number of residents oppose new liquor licenses on 17th. They fear, rightly or wrongly, that 17th could become entirely filled with bars, making it much noisier and pushing out other types of retailers.
Leeds negotiated a Voluntary Agreement with ANC 2B, specifying some limits. However, other residents weren't satisfied and wanted even stricter limits, and the ANC pulled out of the process. Leeds reached an agreement with a second group, and then yet a third pushed for even more, effectively "moving the goalposts" and stopping the restaurant from opening.
[Continue reading David Alpert's post here at Greater Greater Washington.]
David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The
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