Shadow Room to have police presence every night

Media Credit: Charlie Lee | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Shadow Room, a night club on K Street, will have a police detail for several hours every night following a court ruling.

Shadow Room, a nightclub on K Street, will now be required to have a police detail outside the building, according to a recent court decision.

After appealing the court’s decision several times during the decade-long case, Shadow Room was finally compelled to conform to the ruling. Neighbors and community members have long complained of the nightclub because of the noise and the physical altercations that have occurred there.

Neighbors in the West End Place apartments on 22nd Street and members of the Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission have repeatedly called for a police detail to be stationed at the club during night hours.

Representatives from the apartment building and Shadow Room did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The neighbors have complained of noise, trash and loitering near the nightclub for years. At the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board meeting March 17, community members and local police testified about the problems the community has experienced as a result of Shadow Room.

At the meeting, Metropolitan Police Department Lieutenant Donald Craig included 70 pages of police reports at the club from 2009 to 2013 as evidence for the appeals case. The reports detailed 911 calls for issues like an assault with broken brandy glass in 2013 and a 30-person fight in the club in 2011, according to court documents.

“Asked whether he thought a police detail would be helpful, Lt. Craig stated that a detail would greatly diminish the amount of noise and unruly behavior at the club,” the documents read.

The board unanimously voted to renew Shadow Room’s liquor license on the condition that the club has the police presence at least four hours every night the club is open, with at least one of those hours occurring an hour after the club closes, the documents show.

Patrick Kennedy, an alumnus and the chairman of the ANC, said he thinks the decision will help ease neighbors’ complaints.

“I think the police detail is called for and the case will help to deteriorate some of the neighborhood issues,” he said.

Kennedy said if assaults continue to occur, the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration board may have to revoke the nightclub’s alcohol license.

“So, we’ll see how the police detail works out again. Hopefully it resolves a lot of these problems, but really time is going to be the only judge of that,” Kennedy said.

Another D.C. nightclub, Barcode on 17th and L streets, shut down temporarily for police to investigate a double stabbing that occurred there in February. McFadden’s on Pennsylvania Avenue also ultimately closed last year after five people were stabbed at the establishment.

Florence Harmon, an ANC commissioner who lives in West End Place apartments and was a lead voice in complaining about the club, declined to comment. She was the last person to testify at the meeting, arguing that the Shadow Room failed to monitor the area and violated a 2008 agreement.

Eve Zhurbinskiy, a sophomore and commissioner at the ANC, said she thinks fewer students would go to the club with the additional security.

“I realize that people like to go to Shadow but I also think that there’s definitely a public safety issue if there are all these assaults happening, and I think it’s important that we discourage that from happening,” she said.

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