The controversial debate surrounding new campus eatery Tonic has taken on a second wind as neighbors continue to raise concerns with the restaurant’s proposed liquor license. While it is fair for a restaurant that is trying to establish itself as a staple of a college campus to request the ability to serve alcohol, Tonic must be willing to cooperate with neighbors and the University in setting appropriate hours of operation.
Residents fear, and rightly so, that a neighborhood family-oriented eatery could quickly become a disturbing nuisance due to excessive drinking and loud entertainment performers. Tonic should work with the concerned parties to set appropriate hours of operation and ensure only patrons of age will be drinking.
Meanwhile, it is important to note that already-established eateries such as Lindy’s and T.G.I. Friday’s only a block or two away have been serving alcohol for decades with minimal disruption to the community. Also, Thurston Hall is located even closer to the residential buildings in question than Tonic. A Friday or Saturday night brings more noise and disruption from Thurston residents on a consistent basis than would the upperclassmen and graduate students that would likely frequent Tonic.
Neighborhood relations are always a tricky matter for GW and Foggy Bottom residents, but both sides must resist the temptation to turn this battle into a war. With listening and compromises from all parties, it seems that both Tonic and neighbors can find a reasonable middle ground.