ANC Wrap-up: Bar hours extension extravaganza!
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).
The Citizens Association of Georgetown has to agree to most of the exemptions, too, since they are also parties to the Voluntary Agreements which govern Georgetown bars. That sounds like it would be a problem, but astoundingly, it wasn’t. Cookie Cruse, one of CAG’s most vocal members, told the room that CAG had no problem with the resolution. So to Vox, this resolution offered a glimpse of how booze-soaked Georgetown would be if only authorities weren’t so terrified of drunken Georgetown students. Dot com.
Several restaurants received permanent extensions to their hours of operation, including Chopsticks (now open until midnight Monday through Wednesday and until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday) and Il Canale (now open until 2 a.m. Sunday to Thursday and 3 a.m. Friday to Saturday), a new pizza place that will now be able to cater to the late-night bufala ricotta e proscuitto crudo-craving crowd. Commissioner Bill Starrels made them promise to keep serving delicious pizza before he would join the unanimous vote to extend their hours.
Finally, the ANC resolved to allow Crêpe Amour extend their hours, eschewing the jitteriness with which they had discussed the issue in their May meeting, when they more or less equivocated the sit-down restaurant with Philly Pizza. Thanks in part to the favorable testimony of Commissioner Tom Birch, Crêpe Amour (which seats 42 people—compare that to Philly Pizza’s 8, or 10 if your friends sat on the floor) will now be open until midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 3 a.m. on Friday though Saturday.
“I did some field work,” Commissioner Tom Birch told the representative from Crêpe Amour. “I think sometimes we just sit here and don’t do that enough. I walked down there to see what your place was like. This is a very different kind of operation from Philly Pizza, with no residential surroundings and considerable seating.”
Money can buy you law
Second District Leiutenant Jon Hedgecock was late to the public safety portion of the meeting, but for a good reason.
“Obama called me,” he explained. “A woman chained herself to the [White House] fence, right on the border of Wards 1 and 2, and we both had to go down there and figure out who [the space] belongs to.”
People chaining themselves to things and requiring your attendance—Vox feels that. Update 3:26 p.m.—Commenter Madame Psychosis pointed out that the woman chained to the fence, oddly enough, is Q’orianka Kilcher, the actress who voiced Pocahontas.
Hedgecock said that serious crime, like robberies on the streets and in stores, is down significantly in PSA 206, which encompasses Georgetown and Burleith. In nearby neighborhoods, however, particularly in Glover Park, patrols are experiencing “serious increases” in crime. Detectives in the north neighborhoods have developed some suspects and have some information on suspect vehicles involved in robberies, but Hedgecock urged people to be cautious anyway.
As for Georgetown, the only recent incident of note took place 12 days ago. (A suspect who said he was armed robbed the TD Bank, but he did not show a weapon.) In the meantime, Hedgecock said that MPD 2D is preparing for the crime that will probably accompany the opening of the Apple store.
Commissioner Ed Solomon also announced that the Georgetown BID has put up money for a reimbursable detail, which will pay MPD officers working overtime. With Georgetown University and the Citizens Association of Georgetown already paying reimbursable detail, Georgetown now has more officers on duty than any other patrol service in the City, with most of them patrolling Thursday through early morning on Sunday. Hedgecock linked that fact to the recent dip in crime.