ABC to hear Tonic’s request for liquor license in November

The Alcoholic Beverage Control board decided Wednesday morning it will hear Tonic Restaurant’s case for a liquor license in late November.

Michael Kimmel, a resident of Letterman House and the representative for 33 Foggy Bottom petitioners who still oppose the license, was not able to reach a compromise with the restaurant late last week.

In a memorandum filed on behalf of the petitioners, Kimmel said Tonic’s liquor license should prevent sale of alcohol after 9 p.m. Tonic’s co-founders, GW graduates Jeremy Pollok and Greg Nicholas, said they intend to serve alcohol until 1 a.m. during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends.

Tonic had come to a voluntary agreement with the Advisory Neighborhood Commission to reduce its closing times from 2 a.m. on weeknights and 3 a.m. on weekend nights, but some Foggy Bottom residents were unable to compromise.

“I don’t know any other restaurant in the world that is only open until 9 p.m., unless they’re only open from breakfast to lunch,” Pollok said. “We’re just so far apart with Mr. Kimmel and his group that mediation isn’t going to bring us anywhere.”

The D.C. City Council passed legislation in June that allowed Tonic, which is in a residential area, to still apply for a liquor license.

The final hearing, scheduled for Nov. 27, will give both Tonic and the opposition the opportunity to present their cases.

Pollok, who said he did not expect to have so many complications when he first applied for a license, is optimistic that Tonic will be able to serve alcohol.

Pollok said, “Hopefully, by the end of the year we’ll have a liquor license and that beer will taste mighty sweet.”

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