This post was written by reporter Andrew Hesbacher.
The Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission unanimously reserved its right to protest granting a liquor license to a tavern’s owners at the location of the previously shut down bar Sugar Tuesday if the negotiations go south later.
Saad Jallad, one of the owners of the bar and Crepeaway, is applying for a tavern license in order to use the space at 2121 K St. for private events.
The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration distributes liquor licenses, but the owners are working with the ANC to show ABRA that the commission supports the tavern. ABRA is required to consider any information sent by the local ANC when deciding to provide a liquor license, according to the ABRA website.
ANC Chairman Patrick Kennedy said the ANC plans to work with Jallad and expects to reach an agreement with the owners by the end of the week, but that Jallad will likely meet resistance in the future when he negotiates with ABRA.
ABRA closed Sugar less than a year after it opened when investigators found the bar did not actively confirm customers were above the legal drinking age, Borderstan reported.
ANC Commissioner Eve Zhurbinskiy said Sugar had four underage drinking violations including footage of an owner helping an underage woman outside when police arrived.
“That was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Zhurbinskiy said in an interview with The Hatchet.
Jeff Jackson, a representative of Jallad, said at the meeting that one-day liquor licenses have been approved in the past, but this tavern license will allow the owners to rent out the space without continuously applying for licenses.
Jackson added that the tavern would not be open to the public and would only allow guests of private events to enter. GW student groups would be able to rent the space, but all guests would have to be 21 or older to enter.
The tavern additionally hopes to become a chain, he added.
Employees would receive ABRA training, which includes how to distinguish a fake ID. The security was not in-house in Sugar and was not trained in spotting fake IDs, Jackson said.
Before the decision, Zhurbinskiy told The Hatchet while some people were sympathetic with the owners, people also want to know how the tavern will manage liquor sales.
“I know that the tavern isn’t they’re not planning to open it to the public they just want to do special events there so I think that will probably camp down controversy,” she said.