Mayor Fenty applauds local leadership in remarks at the closed Philly Pizza

Having successfully completed a months-long campaign to shutter Philly Pizza, today, neighborhood residents and community leaders received an additional surprise: a visit from Mayor Adrian Fenty, who drove up to the restaurant’s former home in his Smart Car just after 11 make brief remarks about the closing of this drunk food hot spot.

“They did a fantastic job, didn’t they?” Fenty said as he shook hands with neighbors gathered to hear him speak, in reference to Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners’ efforts to shut down Philly Pizza after the city had revoked its license to operate.

Flanked by Attorney General Peter Nickles and Department of Consumer Regulatory Affairs Director Linda Argo, his podium positioned near where tipsy Georgetown students used to sit on the curb to enjoy their pizza with ranch dressing, Fenty congratulated ANC Commissioners Bill Starrels and Ed Solomon for their work to “shut down a nuisance business causing havoc in the community.”

He likened Philly Pizza’s closure to other illegal businesses that the City has targeted, like used car lots and nightclubs. Later, in his remarks, Nickles volunteered brothels and used car lots that the City had closed as a comparison.

“We listened to our Georgetown residents and it was clear this business was not being a good neighbor,” Fenty said.

Argo, whose department has already received Philly Pizza’s request for a new certificate of occupancy that would allow it to reopen, said that the DCRA would look carefully at Philly P’s claims about its business going forward, saying “You can’t go out and buy plates and silverware … turn in a receipt and call yourself a restaurant.”

Solomon, one of the ANC commissioners whose residents had complained about the business, said he was not focused on the possibility that the DCRA might issue Philly Pizza’s owners a new certificate of occupancy. But Starrels, pictured right shaking Fenty’s hand, was much less optimistic, saying that the possibility was a cause for concern because it is so uncertain whether the DCRA would do so.

Starrels attended the hearings at the D.C. Superior Court held this week and last week which concluded yesterday, ultimately giving the D.C. government the power to enforce the DCRA’s revocation of Philly P’s license.

Until that point, Philly Pizza had been knowingly defying the DCRA’s decision. Today, Starrels said he thought the City Council should look at ways it could better empower the DCRA to enforce its own decisions without the City having to take violators like Philly Pizza to court.

“Frankly, the owners were just disrespectful of D.C. law,” Starrels said.

Neighbors gathered to watch Fenty expressed relief that their struggle to close Philly Pizza had ended. They described frustration over waiting at hearings all day and waking up to an inbox full of community e-mails about Philly Pizza every morning for weeks, just to have Philly Pizza continue operating until it was forced to close by the courts.

“This is a real victory for the City, where they went in, investigated the restaurant, and held a unanimous hearing process before the DCRA to revoke its license,” resident Wolf Wittke said. “But it’s strange to know that when the City puts out a ruling, you have to go through another process to enforce it.”

18 Comments on “Mayor Fenty applauds local leadership in remarks at the closed Philly Pizza

  1. Adrian Fenty joins James O’Donnell in the ranks of freedom haters.

  2. And while they shut down their nuisance, they proceeded to be a nuisance by blocking a main outlet to M Street. Way to go Fenty. You can’t get snow off the ground but you can stop take out pizza.

  3. With a little luck, Fenty will be able to shutter every local business by the end of his 2nd term.

  4. Hi all,

    Just wanted to stop in and let you know that after my campaign to increase unemployment in D.C. to 50% by shutting down small business like Philly Pizza, I’m planning to cease all blog activity and get rid of that pesky little thing called “freedom of speech.” If there’s one thing I hate more than foreigners and the poor, it’s their ridiculous pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. I believe blogs fall under this category. It’s all really very silly. Please make plans to discontinue blog activity in the coming weeks.

    Again, I’d like to applaud those fantastic Georgetown residents who helped me shut down Philly Pizza. Their oldness and crustiness are excellent weapons against freedom. To anyone who will join me on my crusade, meet me in Chinatown tonight as I will begin to shut down “massage parlors.” Down with freedom! :)

    Your concerned mayor,
    Adrian Malik Fenty

  5. I wonder if they could of shut it down if it was a franchise company instead of independent pizzeria.

    I feel sorry for the owner, maybe he has lost everything he got.

    Rich vs Poor, and Rich always wins.

  6. this warranted a mayoral press conference? seriously? is he joking! he just wants the neighbors money. what a joke

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  8. The more he pisses people off the less likely they’ll vote for him. Anyone but Fenty in 2010!

  9. Seems the problem wasn’t the pizzeria per se, but the loud, obnoxious, unruly students patronizing the business and taking their antics (litter, drunkeness, urinating, yelling) outside into the neighborhood – which the police couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything about. No winners here.
    A traveling podium?! And what’s with the need for a ‘press opportunity’ – hardly a ‘press conference’ as I’m sure he didn’t take questions!

  10. Georgetown residents love thousands of students pumping money into their community, but then hate that the students live in their community… They should all move to Bethesda and stop their whining.

  11. you got that right. considering the fact that fenty’s approval ratings are in the basement everywhere else in DC, all he really has left are the rich folks in georgetown. if they just so happen to be fixated on college students eating pizza, then goshdarnit, we’re gonna have to shut down those pizza pushers.

    @DC.. I agree, but in DC, pizza politics come down to who’s got the money and votes. but don’t worry, his corrupt rear-end is plainly visible to the other seven wards. people have even been staging protests at his house. i expect he’ll run a gloriously well-funded campaign, with tacky fenty signs plastered all over town, but reality-based DC’ers know he’s a crock.

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  13. Every time Adrian Fenty makes a speech God kills a kitten

  14. Pingback: Vox Populi » Philly Pizza begins construction, aims to reopen

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