Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

It was one year ago today that we heard the first rumblings of plans for a beer garden to be built on the northwest corner of 8th and L, SE. It would have 99 indoor seats and space for an additional 200 customers in a "summer garden," and would offer live music.
The project went through all manner of liquor license wrangling, followed by a lot of work on the design in order to satisfy the Historic Preservation Review Board (which it finally did, in March). At many of these sessions, the owner spoke of wanting to get the project underway as quickly as possible, but since the HPRB approvals in spring, it hasn't seemed like anything has been happening.
However, late last week, when I was playing around with DDOT's new Public Space Permit locator app and figuring out how to import its Occupancy Permit data into my own list of Near Southeast Public Space Permits, I saw that a construction staging area permit had been issued for 720 L St. SE on Sept. 22. Some digging into the city's building permits application also found building permits applied for on Aug. 18, but still not yet approved.
I contacted the owner, Mark Brody, and he tells me that they indeed are working on permits, but "it's taking longer than expected." (I know, this is a shocker.)
So, no timetable for the project's opening at this point, but it appears it hasn't fallen completely off the map.
(And, speaking of the permits feed on the JDLand home page, I've tinkered with both the public space and building permits so that they're now sorted and grouped by address.)
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MJM says: (11/8/11 3:01 PM)
Was gonna ask about this because the only new activity in the last few months on the site are two bitpulls that run the fence line


AndyCHT says: (11/8/11 3:33 PM)
I like this "Whatever Happened To:" concept. I'm curious about the Madison Square Garden talk that popped up a couple years ago about them looking to place a property in DC.


MJM says: (11/8/11 4:38 PM)
I asked JD about that a few days ago - nothing will come of it but hey look at the SW Waterfront plans - a 4,000 seat multi-use theater (if accurate). Maybe that will be it???


Kelsey25252 says: (11/9/11 10:21 AM)
I heard a rumor at the ANC 6 ABC meeting they're going to be laying down a concrete foundation soon...


JD says: (11/9/11 10:24 AM)
Well, "soon," but under the confines of "not until that building permit is approved." Once a permit comes through in the systems, then people can start watching for "soon."



BillP says: (11/9/11 2:17 PM)
at this rate, in another few months we'll be asking whatever happened to the coffee shop that was supposed to be at the little red building site?!?!?!


MJM says: (11/10/11 11:43 AM)
Lot 38 - last word from the peeps on site this past weekend: 1 Dec

Next will be the 'Methadone' :) which btw is under construction


Tyler says: (11/11/11 12:33 PM)
JD -- This is a great post because it highlights the difficultly with starting a new business in DC and why the bureaucracy of DC discourages investment. Small businesses do not often have the time and capital to spend a year getting approval to start a new venture like the beer garden. Can you imagine the paperwork for a Liquor license, design, DCRA permits and Plans, DOT public space permits, etc? It's out of control...

Does anyone ever wonder why Cornercopia Deli after two years still does not have outdoor seating? Stop by and ask Albert. Part of the reason is the paperwork, plans and process that he has two jump through to get the permit. Like every other small business, he does not have the time and energy for all this work while carving up sandwiches and running his business. This is why it is taking two plus years to get outdoor seating and he still working on the process. We need the city to reform the process and make DCRA and the other agencies friendlier to our local businesses. After all the lack of outdoor seating at Cornercopia Deli the delay in opening up the Beer Garden doesn't only hurt the small businesses but it takes options away from the local residents that would be enjoying these locations if the city bureaucracy wasn't as time consuming and costly.

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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / DAVID C POSTLEWAITE
SB1900411 / CONSTRUCTION
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MPR REALTY / BOB BIROONAK; BOB BIROONAK; ART DISPLAY CO
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FC BOILERMAKER LLC / ROBERT S. WATTS; ROBERT S. WATTS
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