Monday, November 30, 2015

Petition in Opposition to large Beer Garden at 1322 9th Street NW (for ABRA hearing 9 Dec 2015)

Dear Neighbor (apologies
to any non-neighbors on this list) :

We represent a group of
residents who are deeply concerned with a recent application for liquor license
at 1322 9th St. The applicants want to operate an all day,
386-person outdoor drinking space (described as a “beer garden” but it would
not be restricted to beer) on this vacant lot that backs up into the historic
Naylor Court alley. While the neighborhood has supported the revitalization of
9th St as a dining and entertainment destination, allowing an open
air drinking establishment of this size would be dramatically damaging and

We have filed a protest
with ABRA and, along with our ANC representatives and adjoining property
owners, we will appear before ABRA on December 9 at 1:30 for a protest hearing
to have our voices heard and present evidence to show how the proposed
establishment will negatively impact the neighborhood’s right for quiet and
peaceful enjoyment, property values, safety and parking. 

We are reaching out to you for your support in filling out the
attached form to petition ABRA to deny this application based on the overwhelming potential negative impacts on our
community. In order to make a stronger case, we urge you to answer a few survey
questions that will provide the board with more specific concerns of our

In addition, if you want
to bring a unique perspective to the hearing, you can provide personal
testimony or a written statement/affidavit of objection that will be used as
evidence in the case (please contact evin Batteh at or Paul Harrison at no later than Tuesday 12/1).

This is an open hearing
and will go on for several hours so if you are able, please appear in person at
the protest hearing (Wednesday 12/9, 4th
Floor, 2000 14th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20009)

Please come by 932 O Street anytime between 3–6 p.m. on Sunday
11/29 to drop off your petition, ask questions, hear more about the case, and
mingle with neighbors.


Applicants. The applicants, under
the company name Naylor Stables LLC (trade name TBD), have applied for a tavern
liquor license for an outdoor beer garden on 1322 9th St NW. They currently own
and operate two establishments on 14th street: Garden District, a
150 person outdoor beer garden and Etto, a gourmet pizza restaurant and outdoor

Location. The proposed location is an open lot measuring ~7,000 sq. ft.
with a ~500 sq. ft. building that stands on the alley. It is within the Blagden
Alley-Naylor Court Historic District and Naylor Court is on the National
Register of Historic Places. It is one of only two “H-style” interior alley
complexes remaining in the District, and is unique because of its primarily
residential and live-work space uses. Many of the residences have bedroom
windows directly on the alley with no yard to buffer them from noise. Several
of the alley residents have children under three.  

Proposed Operation. The application states seating inside for 8, sidewalk café
seating 16, summer garden space for 333 and a total occupancy of 386. We know
very little about their plans because they did not file architectural drawings
and operational details (security plan, traffic plan, etc.) with their
application. Despite several requests for more information, they have not
engaged with the community until recently after ABRA-required mediation. At the
recent ANC Alcohol Policy Committee meeting applicants explained that their
updated plans would use the structure onsite for food preparation and eight
bathrooms, appearing to mean that all customers would be in the open air. Trash
will be contained onsite and trash collection will occur through the emergency
exit in the alley. They will try to limit deliveries to 9th street
but there is no mention of this in their application.

As recent experience with Dacha has shown, once
allowed this use is liable to grow even larger. This site is three times larger
than Dacha and four times larger than Garden District, so if equivalent
densities were approved this site could hold over 700 people.  And, as
experience with Be Bar, then Mood Lounge, now Vida Lounge shows, assurances about
any particular operator can turn to dust when an operator sells the
establishment to another.


Paul & Kevin (representing protesting group
of 13 plus several others who have subsequently joined)

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