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Word has arrived today (h/t Barred in DC) that the city's Alcohol Beverage Control Board has denied the application for a liquor license submitted by Bardo for its proposed outdoor beer garden and "neighborhood-oriented park" on the west end of the Florida Rock site, just across Potomac Avenue from Nats Park.
This was Bardo's second attempt at a license for this site (having withdrawn the original application before a ruling was made), and a previous similar notion for the site was denied a liquor license for similar reasons back in 2013.
You can read the entire ruling here, but the gist of it is on page 2:
"While Bardo has presented a modified Application, the Board is not convinced that this new business plan alleviates the problems previously identified at this site. Specifically, the Board is still not convinced that an open air tavern has the capability to prevent unreasonable noise disturbances; that the neighborhood has a sufficient amount of parking; that Bardo can coexist or be included in the neighborhood's official traffic plan; that encouraging stadium attendees to cross Potomac Avenue, S.E., is safe; and that Bardo can exist without delaying or interfering with people and vehicles attempting to the leave Nationals Park after games or other events. Consequently, Board finds itself compelled to once again deny an application at this location."
Bardo optimistically started construction on the site more than a month ago, plus started advertising for staff, and was telling outlets that it "might start serving customers as early as April." As recently as this morning Bardo tweeted a photo of the "freshly milled wood going into the construction of our riverfront brewgarden."
However, this afternoon, there was this tweet:
In the meantime, construction continues on the Dock 79 apartment building just to the east of the Bardo footprint, with leasing about to start and move-ins coming later in 2016.
Is the writing now perhaps on the wall/bulkhead for the notion of an outdoor drinking/congregation establishment on this site?
PS: It's probably worth emphasizing for people wandering through who don't read this stuff religiously that this is not the Fairgrounds site north of the ballpark.
UPDATE: The full transcript of the Feb. 10, 2016 hearing may be illuminating, as might be the first Bardo hearing in April of 2015, and perhaps the ruling rejecting the pre-Bardo venture back in 2013.
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GG says: (3/17/16 3:43 PM)
Ignoring all the other possible pros and cons on this, for the ABRA to deny the license because of parking concerns is just nuts.


Bruce says: (3/17/16 3:53 PM)
Back in 2013, a group of us fought and won against Dos Venture who tried to open a pop up bar on this site. MPD and the Nats were against it and MPD testified with us citing safety and many other concerns. I'm glad ABRA denied a license again.


JD says: (3/17/16 3:58 PM)
Always nice to be updated on your many accomplishments, Bruce, here in this comment, and in your comment on the previous post, and on Facebook.....


Bruce says: (3/17/16 4:00 PM)
Just pointing out history. Ron McBee was leading that charge. :)


kalicki says: (3/17/16 4:24 PM)
Just read through it, such a joke. Basically every potential complaint in there could be more accurately attributed to either the ballpark, the Fairgrounds, Yards Park, Bluejacket, or a few other things in the neighborhood.

The decision is basically "well, we said no the last time, so we're saying no again. Oh, and nobody complained about the Bullpen/Fairgrounds, so we can't talk about that."

Nobody is going to be driving there who wouldn't be driving to a Nats game anyway, the vast majority of any parking there would be an addition to overall capacity. The noisiest thing in the neigborhood is already the ballpark itself, by far, and there's so very little right around the site to complain about any noise. There are already thousands of people who cross Potomac and South Cap to get to other parking lots.

A few annoying, inexplicable quotes:

From the ANC: "She also noted that biking is prohibited between the 11th Street Bridge and the Frederick Douglas Bridge that connects to South Capitol Street, S.E.; therefore, it is unclear how most bikers would access the site."

Uh, from the North? The same way that hundreds get to the ballpark's own bike garage?

From MPD: "Mr. McCarthy also discussed the public transportation available in the neighborhood. Specifically, the last train on the Red Line ends service at 11:20 p.m. between Sunday and Thursday; therefore, all baseball game attendees that rely on Metro must be on the train at that time."

And? Is any bar prohibited from opening anywhere in DC that stays open later than 11:20 during the week now?

"Specifically, in the past, the area has had issues with people crossing South Capitol Street, S.E., which led to one traffic fatality. In response, barriers were placed on the South Capitol Street, S.E., to prevent dangerous street crossings."

They put barriers up for opening day, playoff games, and Taylor Swift concerts. There's signs at S. Cap and N saying no crossing on game days, but they provide crossing guards. If the traffic safety is adequate for baseball games, Bardo wouldn't be making it any worse.

"He has concerns that the food trucks operating generators on the site to support their operations will generate high levels of late night noise."

Again, any noise is outweighed by either the ballpark, whether game noise, or the industrial air conditioners on the roof that regularly malfunction, or by the highway right next to it.

Well, that got long.


Shogungts says: (3/17/16 5:20 PM)
Hmmm, I wonder why the Nats would be against it. I am sure it wouldn't have anything to do with it being a competitor.

And as GC said, how is parking a concern? Where is everyone at the Bullpen, Justin's, Gordon Biersch, Bluejacket, etc parking?

I can somewhat understand the concerns about potentially holding up traffic and safety at Potomac Ave, but certainly they could have come up with a solution using crossing guards as they do around the corner at 1st St.


Shogungts says: (3/17/16 5:30 PM)
Oops, I hadn't refreshed the page since I opened it; kalicki did an even better job listing the reasons didn't work.

And it is hard for me to take MPD testimony seriously when you get gems like this: "Commander Jeff Brown of MPD about how the "applicant here says it's going to be cornhole bean-bag toss, which I'm not even going to pretend to know what that is, but I think I'll be safe to say that it's not very popular."" (quoted from JD's previous coverage). How is someone who is so out of touch and obviously didn't do the slightest bit of research before commenting on something considered credible?


JD says: (3/17/16 5:40 PM)
Just to be clear, the Jeff Brown testimony is from the 1st license application for Bardo. 1D's new commander, Commander Contee, testified at this hearing.

Here's the full transcript for the most recent hearing, on Feb. 10, 2016:
link



Chris says: (3/17/16 5:44 PM)
I was not a member of the ABC Committee when this application was considered, and I don't really have a position on it, but I'd note that it was on the agenda of numerous public meetings, most of them right here in the neighborhood. When neighborhood members and the police speak out against it and noone other than the business owner speaks in support of it, it's pretty unlikely to be approved.


JES says: (3/17/16 6:36 PM)
So it's too unsafe for a beer garden, but totally safe enough for the bars that'll eventually occupy Dock 79's ground floor? Ok, whatever.


JD says: (3/17/16 6:42 PM)
I might suggest reading the transcripts of the two Bardo hearings. I don't think Mr. Stewart did himself any favors at either hearing with his presentation and preparation.



Kels says: (3/17/16 8:29 PM)
Is there anything that Navy Yard residents can do now? We were really looking forward to this place.


JHUGrad says: (3/18/16 10:03 AM)
I think there are plenty of other places for folks in the Capitol Riverfront to drink/socialize that are, frankly, much better venues than this would've been.


202_cyclist says: (3/18/16 11:33 AM)
Will the Brig actually open this spring/summer?


JD says: (3/18/16 11:38 AM)

¯\_(?)_/¯



JD says: (3/18/16 12:51 PM)

So, I have zero specifics, and don't wish to say anything that would reveal how I know this, but I think we're going to be hearing about another restaurant coming before long, in an existing retail space (ie, not a building still under construction).



202_cyclist says: (3/18/16 1:27 PM)
I hope it is one of the spaces on L St, SE, across from the blue castle. With the Indian restaurant, Las Placitas, the Brig (if it ever opens), and the new residential building there, it would be a real boon to lower 8th Street.


the Brig says: (3/18/16 2:47 PM)
the brig is on track to open in 30-60 days.
Pavers are going in as are the 40 taps.
More info and probably a big story after JD reads this.
Bring your well behaved dogs here too.
1007 8th Street SE at the corner of 8th and L.


JD says: (3/18/16 2:56 PM)
(and I can confirm that that comment is from the actual Brig folks)


JES says: (3/18/16 3:36 PM)
holy crap, 40 TAPS???

hurry the hell up then!


202_cyclist says: (3/18/16 3:36 PM)
Thanks for the info. Opening right in time for the next JD Land happy hr!


JD says: (3/18/16 3:37 PM)
Yes, that's probably a good target for the next happy hour. No pressure, Brig!



rdotis says: (3/18/16 4:29 PM)
Not sure who 'Bruce' is, but I don't see this action in anyway to be a positive accomplishment. If so, those who support the denial should reveal exactly why is is a positive action. As did 'kaliki,' anyone who goes thru the decision document will be hard pressed to find any compelling reasons for the denial. For example: someone is concerned about the safety of pedestrian traffic crossing Potomac Ave from the ballpark to the Bardo location. The ballpark's river facing stair case was designed to foster pedestrian traffic across the street. The Florida Rock park immediately across the street, the riverwalk, and the Florida Rock retail establishments (including a barbecue and beer joint) all require pedestrians to cross Potomac Ave after ballgames. Why would Bardo be any different? If there's an answer, I'd like Bruce or anyone else to provide it.


NavyYardGuy says: (3/21/16 9:01 AM)
Has anyone been to Bardo on Bladensburg Road..let the Bardo dream die..and bring on the Brig.

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