ANC blasts alcohol regulators for allowing Dixie Liquor to sell singles

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.”

Hear, hear.

Photo from Flickr user Pedestrian Typography used under a Creative Commons license.

6 Comments on “ANC blasts alcohol regulators for allowing Dixie Liquor to sell singles

  1. Listen, I’m as much of ANC-skeptic as anyone else. But sending strongly worded letters is what the ANC does. I think it’s expected that once it reaches a decision, it has a duty to the neighborhood to advocate for that position. Feel free to disagree with the decision, but their advocacy is to be expected. Their methods are a natural extension of their decision.

  2. One cannot be too careful when it comes to the dispensing of fine liquors. We know of several Georgetown students who possess boorish manners and have partaken in the drinking of our servants cooking sherry.

  3. Thanks Steven. I’ve long been fighting the same battle with people over “champing at the bit” versus “chomping at the bit.”

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