The well-documented tension between GW students and Foggy Bottom residents has taken another bizarre twist. Claiming its patrons are disruptive to neighborhood residents, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission passed a resolution opposing the renewal of McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon’s liquor license. Given the weight the city gives ANC decisions in final deliberations, it is entirely possible that McFadden’s will lose its liquor license, and older students a popular late-night hangout.
This page finds it inconceivable that a single bar – a significant distance from much of residential Foggy Bottom – is responsible for a significant disruption in the quality of life for residents. One resident even conceded that there are “other problems associated with bar life just generally.” Placing the blame squarely on McFadden’s is unfair. Students meandering through residential streets late at night could just as easily be coming home from bars in Georgetown or Dupont Circle as from McFadden’s. Further, McFadden’s has done an admirable job curbing underage drinking. Most students know that it is futile to use a fake ID there. It is absurd to think that a brash few residents can undermine a legitimate business venture simply for being successful. This merely adds more evidence to support the claim that some area residents are on a crusade against students, and student life.
Washington, D.C. is undergoing a profound urban transformation. The District is rapidly changing from a sleepy commuter city into a vibrant 24-hour cultural hub. Dynamics of entire communities are rapidly evolving in response to this transformation. It is understandable that area residents wish to preserve the suburb-within-a-city feel, but forces much larger than GW are compelling change. Given new realities, it is now incumbent upon residents and students to come up with an acceptable arrangement to accommodate both interest groups. Revoking McFadden’s liquor license will surely not solve the problem and the Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Administration should reject the ANC’s rash decision in favor of a more comprehensive plan.