If I were a betting blogger, I’d say that the city probably won’t let Mehmet Kocak reopen Philly Pizza. Call it superstition, but when your entire neighborhood is organized against you, the mayor’s attorney compares you to a brothel, and Mayor Adrian Fenty himself shows up at your store’s fresh grave to dance on it, that spells death for your chances of making it in Georgetown.
But Kocak isn’t so easily phased, and this week, he continued his bid to get a new Certificate of Occupancy from the Department of Consumer Regulatory Affairs—the same department that shuttered the same storefront back in March of this year. The Georgetown Dish reports that he went before the DCRA to make his case earlier this week. And while they’re light on the details, it’s clear from the attendance at that hearing—DCRA Director Linda Argo, a lawyer from Attorney General Peter Nickles‘s office, ANC Commissioner Bill Starrels, and the residents who fought to shut him down and their lawyer, Marty Sullivan—that Kocak is going to be under a lot of scrutiny.
Sullivan says that they already have reason to worry if Kocak does reopen Philly Pizza, or some other store at the Potomac Street location. While he’s advertising his new store concept as a prepared food shop, akin to Subway, Commissioner Starrels said that Kocak has also applied to operate a 500-degree-plus oven—for pizza.
“I don’t think [Kocak] has earned any credibility,” Starrels told the Voice in July. “I hope that Peter Nickles will do everything in the law and his power to protect my constituents from having to suffer under these people again and from this place reopening.”
I’m going to go look up the Vegas odds, but I’m guessing they’re not in Philly Pizza’s favor.
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In this week’s edition of “How Burleith Residents Misunderstand the 2010 Campus Plan,” we take a look at Lenore Rubino, President of the Burleith Citizens’ Associations. This gem of a line is from an email Rubino sent out over the Burleith listserv:
“Good for all: More on-campus, affordable housing that accommodates student needs. I would think university students, no matter where they are located, would want and demand safe, affordable, convenient on-campus housing, especially at the tuition rates some universities are charging.”
Sigh. I’m not sure where Rubino thinks the University can build more on-campus housing. Neighbors often cite the fact that an architectural firm identified space for 800 additional beds on campus—if the University built on every plot of open space there exists on campus. (And built only dorm-style housing that no student would ever opt to live in as an upperclassman.)
I’m also not sure why Rubino thinks that new on-campus housing would be less expensive than off-campus housing. It certainly isn’t more affordable now.
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Some tragic news: At 4:45 a.m., police discovered a man who had died of a gun shot wound in a car on M Street. Metropolitan Police Department Officer Mark Beach told the Washington Post, which first reported the story, that it was “an apparent suicide.”
After being found with a gun in his lap parked outside of an art gallery on eastbound M Street, the man was taken to George Washington University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Traffic on M Street reopened by 7:30 a.m.
Photo from the Washington Post.
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According to a Public Safety Alert sent out to the Georgetown community, a student reported a burglary on the 1400 block of 36th Street NW at 2:10 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.
The Public Safety alert says that the student, who left his townhouse at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, discovered that unknown suspects had forced open the back door of the residence. The student soon discovered that “various electronic items were missing.”
MPS detectives are investigating the burglary.
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Georgetown University Law Professor Martin D. Ginsburg, who was considered one of the foremost U.S. tax law experts, died on Sunday at age 78. Professor Ginsburg had taught with the GU Law faculty since 1980 when his wife, Ruth Bader Ginsburg became a Supreme Court Justice a Judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Ginsburg become a Supreme Court Justice in 1993.)
In addition to teaching courses on taxes and corporations, Professor Ginsburg also practiced at the D.C. law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. The Brooklyn-born, Long Island native served as the chair of councils within the American Bar Association and the Bar Association of the City of New York. He was also the author of many influential articles on corporate taxation and business acquisitions.
“Marty Ginsburg was not only one of the most innovative legal thinkers of our time, he was a gifted teacher and respected colleague,” Georgetown Law Interim Dean Judith Areen said in a GU Law press release. “He will be deeply missed.’”
Professor Ginsburg did his undergraduate studies at Cornell University, where he met Ruth Bader, and received his law degree from Harvard after briefly serving in the Army. According to the press release, “Ginsburg was known to friends and colleagues as a superb chef, an outstanding golfer and a stellar wit.”
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Georgetown Wing Co. had its soft opening this Sunday on the second level of 3291 M Street above Crêpe Amour, and it looks like all are welcome. Commence the great wing wars of Georgetown!
But not really. Glancing at Wing Co.’s menu, they offer pretty different fare from Wingo’s—like ‘mango caliente’ or chili lime sauce on your wings. (Sorry, I only know ‘mild,’ ‘abusive,’ and ‘nuclear.’ Can we get a conversion chart?) To celebrate their opening week, they’re having several beer specials, with $1.50 Miller Lite & Yuengling bottles and $3 Sam Adams Seasonal and Sierra Nevada bottles. This Friday, they’re even kicking off a brunch menu when the World Cup starts. Mimosas and crêpes! At a wing joint!
Still, Vox prays that this leads to an epic face-off between Wing Co. and Wingo’s, with escalating deals and specials for students à la Qdoba and Chipotle. We’re just salivating at the thought of half price Wing Wednesdays and we have lots of clever lines at the ready, like “All’s fair in love and wings.”
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Well, what do you know—Foxhall residents have a few reasons hate the 2010 Campus Plan, too!
At last night’s mayoral candidate debate, an audience member from Foxhall, an affluent neighborhood north of both the University and Burleith, asked the three candidates what they thought of a few elements of the 2010 Campus Plan—specifically, its plans to “build a 30-foot roof over Yates [Editor's note: they mean Kehoe], which already towers above the forest behind Georgetown,” erect an 83-foot smokestack over its power plant, and build a service road on an “already fragile embankment.”
So, what do D.C. mayoral candidates think (and know) about Georgetown’s 2010 Campus Plan?
We’ll start with former TV news reporter Leo Alexander‘s answer, which was ludicrous. He began by laying out his in-touch-with-the-community creds, telling the audience that he’d actually attended a meeting about Georgetown University, where he “heard all about Georgetown and its students and all the nuisances they’ve caused returning home from bars and parties at night.” Cheap shot, Leo. Then his answer got weird.
“Georgetown University is not going anywhere. They can threaten all they want,” he concluded. “They may say, ‘If you don’t let us do whatever we want, we’re packing up,’ but they’re not going anywhere.” As a final note, he added that he wanted Georgetown to build more on-campus housing and establish a board that enlists the opinions of neighbors.
Umm … what? We’re kind of curious to know what gave Alexander the idea that (1) the oldest university in the city, which has invested its image, millions of dollars, and hundreds of jobs in three major D.C. campuses has ever threatened to leave D.C. (and go where? Rosslyn?) if the city doesn’t allow it to build a minor service road for its food delivery trucks and buses, and (2) that neighbors would be real broken up if Georgetown did leave, and need reassurance that Georgetown is here to stay.
We’re just wondering. Because Alexander’s ridiculous musings about the 2010 Campus Plan have officially made him the awardee of Vox‘s Craziest Theories About Georgetown title—usurping it from Stephen R. Brown, who thinks that a cabal of Georgetown Jesuits are planning to build an entirely new hospital facility in Burleith (and who takes secret photos of students from bushes).
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Posted by: Molly Redden in News, Vox Populi, tags: ANC, ANC Wrapup, Bars, CAG, Crêpe Amour, Crime, Drinking, Georgetown Neighborhood, Il Canale, Jon Hedgecock
Last night’s Advisory Neighborhood meeting was pretty long for my taste. Discussion included streetcars and the ANC’s preference for having them built without overhead wires and without dedicating an entire lane of traffic to their operation—but aside from that, (and streetcars aren’t even coming to Georgetown until after an environmental review that will start in 2012 or 2013) there wasn’t much more to it, as far as Georgetown students are concerned, than extended bar and restaurant hours and public safety improvements. Here’s the wrap:
Dining in the wee small hours of the morning
What’s that old saying? When the mice are away, the Advisory Neighborhood Catmissioners will unanimously pass a resolution that allows every bar in Georgetown to seek permission to start serving alcohol at 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday for the entire month that the FIFA World Cup is taking place, with less than five minutes of discussion … and will play?
Something like that. But that’s pretty long for an aphorism, so let me break it down a little further.
At last night’s ANC meeting, commissioners responded to a bill passed by the D.C. City Council that will allow D.C. bars to seek exemptions to open at 7 a.m. from June 11 – July 11 for the World Cup.
Bars still need permission from their respective ANCs to seek an exemption from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, however, and Vox‘s guess is that if Georgetown University was still chock full of students, this would have been a serious issue.
But like we said, there was only about five minutes of mild discussion. Under D.C. law, bars can start serving at 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday and at 10 a.m. on Sunday, but few Georgetown bars are actually licensed to open that early. The ANC resolution will not only allow bars to seek exemptions from ABRA to open at 7 a.m. but also to serve alcohol during the revised hours for the entire month of the World Cup, provided they serve food and open their outdoor seating areas at their normal hours only. (In one of our favorite parts of the meeting, commissioners wondered why bars had to open so early for the World Cup. Student Commissioner Aaron Golds (COL ’11) explained that it’s because the World Cup was being held in South Africa this year).
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For as long as Dixie Liquor has been seeking an exemption to the Ward 2 ban on single bottles of alcohol, the Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commission has been trying to stop Dixie owners from getting one. Their logic? Allowing Dixie owners to sell super expensive microbrews and fancy culinary liqueurs will drive vagrancy and student drinking.
But earlier this year, ANC commissioners found themselves unable to stop the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration from giving Dixie an exemption anyway. So the ANC has issued a strongly-worded resolution against ABRA’s decision to issue Dixie Liquor a singles ban exemption without ANC approval. (Strongly-worded!)
The resolution comes after a misunderstanding which caused the ANC to mistakenly believe that ABRA would not rule on Dixie’s application without an ANC resolution approving of the exemption. Wagner’s, a liquor store on Wisconsin Avenue, was also granted an exemption to the singles ban, which the D.C. City Council passed for Ward 2 in 2008, without ANC approval.
Georgetown Metropolitan has the full text of the resolution, which reiterates arguments against the exemption that ANC 2E commissioners have been making for more than a year-and-a-half. Echoing concerns they brought up in both a January 2009 ANC meeting and an emergency meeting this April to discuss Dixie’s exemption application, the resolution accuses Dixie’s single sales of contributing to the presence of homeless people in nearby Francis Scott Key Park.
It also disputes Dixie’s claim that it needs to be able to sell smaller-sized liquor bottles to chefs and expensive microbrews as singles, saying that anyone who cooks often will be willing to buy larger-sized liqueurs and that Safeway has had no trouble selling microbrews in six packs. And it obliquely suggests that allowing the exemption will contribute to drinking among Georgetown University students, the reasoning being that Dixie’s is the largest provider of kegs to Georgetown students.
GM thought—and we agree—that the resolution went too far:
“[T]he resolution’s overly cynical analysis of the merits of Dixie’s application is unnecessarily harsh and is inconsistent with past positions of the ANC. Remember that just last year the ANC and CAG were close to supporting a Georgetown-wide exemption from the single sales ban. That’s all ancient history now, though, since according to this resolution nobody but drunk Georgetown students would ever want to buy a single serving of alcohol and any liquor store that can’t survive without selling them isn’t trying hard enough.”
Photo from Flickr user Pedestrian Typography used under a Creative Commons license.
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Although nothing agitates the blood of a Vox reader quite like a post about a Citizens Association of Georgetown meeting about the 2010 Campus Plan, you’ve got to hand it to our neighbors in West Georgetown—they know that plan backwards and forwards. CAG seems to have a clear idea about what exactly in the plan they don’t like and why it threatens their neighborhood.
Don’t believe me? Then you should go to the next Burleith Citizens Association meeting about the 2010 Campus Plan, where their take on the plan is unfortunately beset by speculation and half-truths.
If you read our coverage of the first meeting the BCA held about the final plan draft in April, you’re already familiar with Burleith residents’ main gripes with the 2010 Campus Plan. And if you didn’t, I’m sure you can guess the usual suspects. The plan doesn’t add new on-campus housing for undergraduates; it adds over 2,400 graduate students to the school in the next ten years; it threatens to increase traffic in the neighborhood; and in general, it gets residents talking about how awful it is to live near students. With a few adjustments, the slides at the two meetings that the BCA held this past Saturday and Sunday to talk about the 2010 Campus Plan were more or less the same as the last meeting.
So I’ll spare you another rundown of what Burleith hates about the plan. What’s more interesting is what they just don’t get about it.
Let’s start with the portion of the presentation led by Candith Pallandre, the BCA’s treasurer, which consisted almost entirely of assumptions and misunderstandings. Pallandre zeroed in on the road that will run the length of campus between the woods and Kehoe Field, the tennis courts, and the power plant.
“This was supposed to be a service road, and now they’re saying that buses are service vehicles,” she said. With a knowing smile, she continued, “Buses carrying students are not really service vehicles.”
Pallandre didn’t give any clues as to why it would be a problem for GUTS buses to drive along a road that is bordered by woods and Georgetown University property. But it’s clear that she assumed the University thought it was being sneaky by classifying GUTS buses as service vehicles, and that this would have sneaky consequences.
In reality, the road will allow Georgetown University to pick up passengers from the north end of campus and then exit out Canal Road—which is what Burleith residents have been demanding for years.
After the jump, we recap the rest of the gripes from last weekend’s BCA meeting.
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