The meeting started at about 7:15 p.m. at
1. Following a motion from Commissioner Green, the agenda was approved in a unanimous show-of-hands vote. No other action was taken
There was a lengthy discussion with Cynthia Simms, of the
D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), Retta Makonnen, the
owner of the Nile Restaurant and Market,
Commissioner Green said she wanted to hear community views
Ms. Simms said the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC)
is changing the way it handles voluntary agreements. Agreements older than four
years can be changed at one party's request, she said, noting that the
She said that despite the fact that there is an existing voluntary agreement that Mr. Makonnen wants to change, he must formally apply to ABRA for a "substantial change" to his existing license if he wants to extend his weekend hours from midnight to 2 a.m. and offer live entertainment. ANC 4B and the community will be notified of the application. They can support or oppose the request. ANC 4B and/or the community can then negotiate a voluntary agreement or the matter will be decided entirely by the Board. The voluntary agreement applies to everyone who holds that license, she added.
ANC 4B and ANC 4A both have "great weight," but the Board will consider many factors, she said.
Mr. Carley distributed a petition signed by 16 residents
who oppose a 2 a.m. closing. Neighbors want to negotiate a compromise, he said.
Commissioner Abdullah said 16 residents do not represent a neighborhood and
that most of these residents live more than one-half-mile from the
restaurant. Mr. Carley said everyone who
signed the petition lives much closer than one-half-mile from the
Commissioner Abdullah said that a 2 a.m. closing is consistent with other nightclubs in the city. Mr. Carley responded that the community is looking for a restaurant, not a nightclub, at that site, and there is a concern that other nearby restaurants will ask for the same hours and live entertainment.
Commissioner Jones said this special meeting was not necessary, that the community had an opportunity for input at previous Commission meetings.
Mr. Makonnen thanked the Commission for holding the meeting. He said that he did not understand the process. Others agreed and said Ms. Simms' presentation was very helpful. The meeting adjourned at about 8:15 p.m.
--- Submitted by Sara Green, Secretary