In June, Hank’s Oyster Bar’s liquor license caused a stir that has culminated in a hearing of a bill that will change how residents can address or protest a business’ application for a license.The Washington City Paper has done a good job of covering this issue.
A bill is scheduled to be introduced at a DC Council hearing and is sponsored by Councilmember Jim Graham and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Jack Evans and Yvette Alexander. One of the major changes in this bill will change the proximity requirement for protest groups from a 600 feet radius to only 400 feet from the business.
Should you be concerned?
Depends on your view of redevelopment for RIA and how close you live to it. As RIA NE continues to see positive redevelopment, more residents want sit down restaurants which could result in outdoor seating areas especially along the “Main Street” area between 18th and 24th Street. The protestors of Hank’s license say that their outdoor seating expansion violated a voluntary agreement the restaurant made with the community. On one hand, it could limit your ability to address issues with local businesses as they come to RIA and on the other, it could discourage businesses from wanting to take a chance on RIA (here is an example of residents already protesting a liquor license along RIA).
Just because it isn’t happening along RIA doesn’t mean it won’t affect us in the long run. Either way, I am sure that this issue will come back to us as our Avenue starts to become our “Diamond in the District”.
The hearing starts at 11 am, and will take place in room 412 of the John A. Wilson Building. If you wish to speak at the hearing, you need to be on the witness schedule. Contact Malcolm Cameron at mcameron[AT]DCCouncil.com or (202) 724-8191.