ANC votes ‘no’ for liquor license

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners declined to support a liquor license proposal Wednesday for a new nightclub that would be located just off campus, saying that the owner’s other club has plagued the neighborhood with noise, public urination and vomiting.

Swaptak Das, who owns Shadow Room, a popular nightclub next to the Student Health Service offices, had petitioned for a liquor license for a new venue next door to Shadow Room, Sanctuary 21, located at 2131 K St. ANC 2A Commissioners voted 6-0 to protest the application for a liquor license on three grounds; adverse effect on the peace and quiet of the neighborhood, adverse effect on property values and community safety hazards.

Commissioners also voted to allocate $3,000 in legal fees to protest Das’ application, and also plan to retain an attorney to fight the new club’s opening. D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has the final decision on whether Das’ license application will be approved.

Shadow Room, which has been in business for roughly a year and a half, is open until 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. After public discussion, commissioners came to the consensus that due to Shadow Room’s “excessive noise violations and incidents of public urination and vomiting,” another club similar to Shadow Room in the same vicinity is largely unwelcome.

Das has come under fire from community members before. In November 2008, he arranged an agreement with the ANC designed to placate neighbors’ concerns and complaints about Shadow Room that had persisted since it opened that July. Neighbors, however, say the problems continue.

Several ANC commissioners cited the “arrogance of [Das’] clientele” as the reasoning behind nine reports of incidents since Shadow Room’s opening, including two documented assaults. Das suggested that perhaps the reports of the incidents occurred because he employs a police detail to protect the surrounding area of the club. The police detail is required, unlike regular security officers, to report all incidents that occur.

Upon the ruling, ANC chairman Armando Irizarry told Das, “If you came in here with a clean record, then this would be a different story.”

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