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PopVille reported this morning that the Alcohol Beverage Control Board has denied the Class C (Tavern) liquor license application by "River Front at the Ball Park" for the event site it was wanting to create on the empty Florida Rock site on Potomac Avenue SE between Nationals Park and the Anacostia River. It had been described as "a food and drink venue before and after Nats games," plus the operator was also intending to have "partnerships to bring kickball and bocce, weekend food and flea markets, and other events to the site."
While a stipulated liquor license was narrowly supported by ANC 6D in May after some teeth-gnashing, in June 6D ended up protesting the full license application, as did commissioner Ed Kaminski of neighboring 6D02--though 6D07 commissioner David Garber sent a separate letter in support. MPD also filed a protest.
The Finding of Fact and Order rejecting the license is pretty lengthy (and you are welcome to read it, because I shan't try to hit every high point), but the overriding issues came down to the following:
"First, the Board is not confident that MPD has sufficient resources to police the establishment and the surrounding streets during events at Riverfront; especially, when Riverfront is requiring some patrons to come to the establishment from off-site parking areas.
"Second, as an undeveloped lot, Riverfront cannot prevent noise generated at the venue from bothering nearby residents.
"Third, based on its proximity to South Capitol Street, S.E., the Board lacks confidence that Riverfront can ensure the safety of pedestrians.
"And fourth, the Board is unconvinced that approximately three foot bicycle racks and silt fences sufficiently block patrons from the river bordering the proposed location."
Commissioner Garber, in whose single-member district the Florida Rock site is situated, took to Twitter this morning with his disapproval of the board's decision, a thread which also includes a fair number of comparisons by local resident Mike Mills to the Fairgrounds at Half and M and the noise problems it has caused for residents north of M.
What do YOU think?
UPDATE: WaPo's Mike DeBonis adds some detail, especially one I {ahem} didn't know--one of the members of the team trying to launch the event site is Carlos Gray, the 37-year-old son of the mayor.
Comments (7)
   
 
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MurphsMyDog says: (11/15/13 12:59 PM)
I have to say I'm OK with that. Florida Rock should start building.


202_cyclist says: (11/15/13 1:23 PM)
I agree with this decision as well. With the Capitol Skyline hotel and the Fairgrounds, I think there are already adequate outside venues in the area that sell alcohol.


monkeyrotica says: (11/15/13 1:42 PM)
Bring on the upscale fauxnuts for the cronut intolerant!


conngs0 says: (11/15/13 2:38 PM)
On it's face, the denial is pretty fallacious, which everyone has pretty much pointed out. To Murph's point, perhaps the denial is geared more towards cutting off an income stream to the developer in the hopes of getting it to, you know, develop. I doubt that strategy will prove effective, but in light of the fact that the neighborhood already has the Fairgrounds, I'm fine with giving it a shot!


MJM says: (11/15/13 4:04 PM)
I'm fine with what they are proposing if they would follow what they are proposing. Look at the Fairgrounds -- it was promised as the next best thing with CONEXs, social events, a nursery, a tobacco shop, and whatever else they promised and it would benefit the residents most of the year. Today besides being an orange and blue eyesore (with rats under the CONEXs), the containers are now boarded up, there is nothing there. Its empty. Being empty does not support the area. The DbZ routinely are over 85 1.5 blocks away even after 10pm. Booze it up all day long but it comes down to the noise of an open air venue I would love to see this idea floated for G-town or the empty lots north and south of the Safeway in SW.

So why should this new place be trusted? Only have one model to go off of and they have not been a good example. Maybe they will be but if they come in and it becomes another Fairground its too late. For the residents that live in the Yards do you think the footbridge and river will cut down on the noise? Will the license be pulled if they start to deviate from their plan and hold open air concerts - not bands every weekend for a couple hours like the Yards (that don't go till 10pm)? This place is not a ghost town any more and shouldn't e treated like one.

This neighborhood needs real development like what we have seen in the past 12 months and proposed for the next three years. There is space below 55M St that could host bocce, cornhole, etc. Why not open a H St country club type place there?


202_cyclist says: (11/16/13 9:13 AM)
Does any other Capitol Riverfront residents find it unacceptable that Toll Brothers does construction work at 7 AM on Saturdays? I support new development and welcome more people moving to the neighborhood but this is ridiculous. If you don't think 7 AM weekend construction noise is acceptable, please email Councilmember Wells and ANC 6D.


monkeyrotica says: (11/18/13 6:59 AM)
Construction has been restricted to 7am to 7pm Monday through Saturday for as long as I can remember. Good luck getting it changed.

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