Tag Archives: Brookland’s Finest

Brookland’s Finest – Dissecting The Protests, Support And Liquor License Hearings

View from the inside of the proposed Brookland's Finest location.
View from the inside of the proposed Brookland’s Finest location.

It seems like you can’t get too far into a conversation around the neighborhood without the topic of Brookland’s Finest, a new restaurant hoping to open at 12th and Jackson Streets NE, coming up. Now that the deadline to submit a protest of the restaurant’s liquor license application has come and gone, we decided to lay out where the restaurant stands in the process.

Many were surprised to hear at the most recent ANC 5B meeting that in addition to the ANC protest, and protests that were filed in May, there were a number of new protests submitted to DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) in June.  There was also a Settlement Agreement submitted to ABRA that was negotiated by Brookland resident Jose “Joe” Barrios and the restaurant’s management, that we covered here. For those interested, the protests and the settlement agreement are public documents, and are easily obtained by contacting ABRA’s Sarah Fashbaugh at Sarah(dot)Fashbaugh(at)dc(dot)gov. So, first off, who can protest a liquor license? From ABRA:
  • Abutting property owner
  • Group of five or more property owners sharing common ground or a group of three or more in a moratorium zone
  • Incorporated citizens association
  • Affected Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC)
  • DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)

We took a look at the protests and the settlement agreement. First, here is our analysis of the protests. At first glance, you can’t help but notice that all the protests bear almost identical language throughout, suggesting a single source responsible for initiating and/or collecting the various petitions. Here is a breakdown:

 1) In May, a combined 31 signatures from three different documents were collected and submitted that all appear to be from the local Brookland community. The farthest appears to be at 13th and Monroe. On May 19th (based on fax time stamp) 20 signatures were sent to ABRA, on May 20th there were 11 more.
2) On June 23rd, 22 additional signatures were submitted that are also  from Brookland neighbors. One was a signature in the name of a church, so as far as we know, that one signature would be invalid.
3) On June 24th, the day of the ABRA protest deadline, two protest petitions were filed from two local churches with a combined total of 63 signatures. Among these, only one signature is from Brookland; the remainder are from all other parts of DC and suburban Maryland. Several signatures used the church address, making it impossible to determine where they’re from unless the protestants do in deed live at the church itself. There were approximately 27 signatures from Maryland on these two church petitions, from as far away as Largo and Clinton. As far as we know, signatures from non DC residents do not carry any standing with ABRA.
Putting all this in consideration there are about 53 combined valid protest signatures.
On to the settlement agreement.
On June 24th Joe Barrios submitted a settlement agreement to ABRA. The framework for the settlement agreement came about as the result of a meeting that was advertised with flyers to every residence within a one block radius of the proposed restaurant. The residents (full disclosure – I was one of them) in attendance were generally supportive of the establishment but had concerns with regards to operation of the summer garden/patio, noise, garbage, and the like. The result was a series of proposals that ultimately served as the basis for the Agreement and led to the restaurant amending their application to limit the summer garden (outdoor) seating area hours to 10 pm weekdays and 11 pm weekends at the request of the residents. Looking at the signatures in support of the settlement agreement, there were 149, all which appear valid and within roughly a three block radius from the proposed restaurant (Monroe to Girard Street and the Railroad tracks to 13th Street, NE).  We therefore believe this puts Brookland’s Finest in a strong position going into any subsequent negotiations or the final hearing. Notably, the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) has also passed a motion supporting Brookland’s Finest in light of the Settlement.
So what is next? There will be a series of ABRA hearings as follows:
On July 8th there will be “Roll Call” Hearing at 10:00 am. The people (or a designated representative) who are protesting must show up to the hearing or their protests will be dismissed. Assuming the protestants show up,  a settlement conference/mediation is scheduled in which the protestants and the restaurant management will attempt to reach a compromise with the help of an ABRA mediator. If a compromise cannot be met at mediation, a Protest Hearing will take place where both sides will present their evidence in support of their positions.
The Protest Hearing date has already been scheduled for August 14, at 4:0o pm.
From what we understand, the only people allowed to testify at the Protest Hearing are a limited number of people who are selected ahead of time by either the protestants and the restaurant. However, we also understand that a strong showing of either support or protest by those in attendance can hold some sway with ABRA, and we have also been told that there will be a way for those in attendance to indicate their support or opposition at the Hearing. All ABRA hearings are open to the public and will take place at 2000 14th Street, NW on the 4th floor. We will let you know of any new developments as we hear of them.

Brookland’s Finest And Neighbors Reach Settlement Agreement On Liquor License Application

As we posted earlier, there has been drama surrounding the liquor license application of Brookland’s Finest, a new restaurant aiming to open in Brookland at the corner of Jackson and 12th Streets, NE. Many neighbors were taken aback when ANC 5B voted to protest the application despite having no public discussion about it, and after many neighbors wrote their ANC Commissioners expressing their support. This caused some neighbors in the immediate vicinity of the restaurant, of which I am one, to wonder how we will have our concerns about the restaurant addressed. Out of this leadership vacuum, a neighbor, Jose “Joe” Barrios stepped up to bridge the communications gap between the immediate neighbors and the restaurant management by negotiating a Settlement Agreement with Brookland’s Finest.

One day soon this will be our new neighborhood watering hole.
One day soon this will be our new neighborhood watering hole.

The Agreement came about as a result of Joe meeting with concerned residents and representing their “wish list” of ideas in a series of negotiations with Brookland’s Finest. Residents, including myself, were present and provided feedback during all of these discussions. Joe also reached out to legal advisors who are experts in DC’s alcohol regulations. A major negotiating point was the operating hours of the summer garden/patio, which residents wanted to close at 10 pm weekdays and 11 pm on weekends. The Brookland’s Finest team agreed to the request and had these hours added to its ABRA application by amendment instead of being in the Agreement.

Now that the Agreement has been hashed out, Joe will be collecting the signatures of sponsors in a 3-block radius of the Restaurant in support of the Agreement. Joe stated:

“I do want to make clear that anyone who signs as a sponsor is agreeing to appoint me as their representative for purposes of this agreement, and will be bound by its contents. I believe that a strong showing of support for the Agreement will serve as a counterweight to an ANC protest that was devoid of meaningful community input. I also wanted to take a moment to commend the Brookland’s Finest team for their amazing cooperation in getting this agreement done. They listened carefully to the residents’ concerns and proposed constructive solutions.”

Do you live in close proximity to the restaurant (from Monroe to Girard and from the Railroad Tracks to 13th Street NE) and would you like to sponsor the Agreement?  If so Joe would be happy provide you with the final copy of the Settlement Agreement and have you sign. The deadline for signatures is this Sunday, June 23rd.  Joe Barrios can be reached at jbarrios9396(at)gmail(dot)com. The Settlement Agreement is as follows:

THIS AGREEMENT is made and entered into as of this _____ day of _______________, 2013 by and between Brookland’s Finest, LLC (hereinafter the “Applicant”), and the designated representative of a group of residents who live in proximity of the establishment in question (hereinafter “Residents”).

WHEREAS, Applicant having filed an application with the District of Columbia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (hereinafter “ABC Board”) for issuance of a Retailer’s Class “C” Tavern license for the premises of 3126-3128 12th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017 (hereinafter the “Restaurant.”)

WHEREAS, in recognition of the ABC Board’s policy of encouraging parties to settle their differences by negotiating agreements, the parties hereto being desirous of entering into an agreement whereby, subject to approval of the ABC Board, Applicant will agree to adopt certain measures to address the Residents’ concerns in exchange for issuance of the ABC license without need to file a Protest.

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants and undertakings memorialized herein, the parties agree as follows:

1. Noise Suppression: There shall be no loud or live music performed, nor acoustic speakers placed, outside the Restaurant or on the Summer Garden. Music from inside the Restaurant shall not be audible at any time on the opposite (northwest) corner of Jackson and 12th Streets NE. Reasonable sound attenuation methods will be utilized to minimize noise from inside the restaurant spilling outside; examples may include but are not limited to building a second set of entry doors or use of a heavy curtain separating the entrance from the seating area of the restaurant. The Restaurant’s operation shall at all times be in compliance with the D.C. Noise Control Act. Applicant will encourage employees and patrons, by posted signs or other printed notation on the front door and inside the bathrooms, and verbally as needed, to be considerate of residents in the neighborhood after departing the building, by keeping conversations and other noises at a level that will not disturb the peace, order, quiet and tranquility of residents in the enjoyment of their homes or generate a noise complaint.

2. Summer Garden: The Restaurant will undertake reasonable efforts to deploy vegetation and planters around the outside Summer Garden area. Service of food and alcoholic beverages on the outdoor Summer Garden shall at all times be for seated patrons only, who will be served by Restaurant staff. There will be no service of food or alcoholic beverages at any time to any standing patron at the bar that adjoins the Summer Garden. Patrons from inside the Restaurant shall not be permitted to bring alcoholic beverages and stand outside on the Summer Garden. Once the Summer Garden is closed each evening at the hour listed on the Applicant’s license application, all patrons shall be vacated and the “garage door” separating the Summer Garden from the interior shall be closed.

3. Dining and Kitchen. Restaurant must be maintained as a tavern offering full waiter service and a kitchen that is open until at least two hours before closing every night. Restaurant will maintain a dinner menu commensurate with the menu presented in the original business plan. The restaurant may offer “light fare” or a “light menu” before and after dinner hours.

4. Special Events: The Restaurant will not advertise alcoholic drink specials that are specifically geared towards college students.

5. Trash Pick-Up and Removal: Applicant will maintain regular trash/garbage removal service, a minimum of 3 times per week (days to be decided by owner and business necessity) only during the hours from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, from the trash and dumpster area and see that those areas are regularly kept clean. An exception will be where the city declares air quality or other environmental or weather concerns, at which point the Restaurant will be exempted from the trash pick-up hours requirement for that day. Applicant shall keep dumpster lids tightly closed and incapable of being entered by rodents, in order to limit odors and help control pest and rodent population. Applicant will conduct regular rodent and pest (insect) abatement as needed. Dumpsters are not to be visible from the street or from the next door neighbor, and Applicant must use fencing or planters with vegetation to hide them. Applicant will provide for proper removal of grease and fatty oils from the Restaurant and will not deposit grease or fatty oils in dumpsters or down drains. Bottles shall be dumped into the recycling bins outside only between the hours of 9:00 am and 10:00 pm, and they will be disposed of in bags to reduce noise.

6. Litter and Debris Removal: The Restaurant will comply with applicable D.C. laws and regulations with respect to removal of litter and debris on its premises. Applicant will encourage employees and patrons, by posted signs or other printed notation on the front door and inside the bathrooms, and verbally as needed, to be considerate of residents in the neighborhood by not littering as they are departing the premises. Applicant will petition the D.C. Department of Public Works (DPW) for a DPW-owned and maintained trash can to be placed on the corner of 12th and Jackson Streets, NE adjacent to the restaurant for the benefit of patrons leaving the restaurant, and will post a copy of that petition to the Brookland listserve (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Brookland). As a service to the community, Applicant will send an employee, every morning before opening, to make best efforts to clean up litter for 25 feet beyond the restaurant property lines down Jackson and 12th Streets NE and their adjoining sidewalks, as well as the abutting alley. It is understood that only best efforts are required, and restaurant will have no liability beyond what is required by applicable D.C laws and regulations.

7. Parking and Bicycles: Applicant shall support community efforts to obtain residential zoned parking on the 3100 block of 12th Street NE and the 1000 block of Jackson Street, NE, at a minimum by writing letters of support to the appropriate government agencies and posting copies of them to the Brookland listserve. Applicant shall petition the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT), or otherwise work with government officials, for the installation and maintenance of DDOT-approved bicycle racks at a convenient location on the Restaurant’s premises, and will post a copy of that petition or other evidence of compliance to the Brookland listserve. Applicant will encourage employees and patrons, by posted signs or other printed notation on the front door and inside the bathrooms, and verbally as needed, to be considerate of residents in the neighborhood by complying with nearby residential parking zones and regulations.

8. Smoking: Applicant will instruct patrons who are smoking to do so in a limited designated area on the 12th Street NE side of the premises without service of food or alcoholic beverages.

9. Cooperation between Applicant and Residents: Applicant and Residents’ designated representative agree to meet, as needed, to discuss any problems arising from the operation of the Restaurant, or challenges arising from its compliance with the Agreement. The Applicant and Residents both agree to work in good faith to resolve these challenges and problems.

10. Addition to License: The Residents agree not to protest, and agree to the issuance of Applicant’s license upon execution of this Agreement, provided that this Agreement is incorporated into the ABC Board’s order issuing, amending or renewing the license, which order is thereby conditioned upon compliance with this Agreement.

11. Right to Protest: The parties agree that Applicant will be given notice of any alleged violation of this Agreement, and will be afforded reasonable time to investigate and respond to any such complaint (not greater than ten (10) days).  The parties agree that if reasonable discussions of violations are not resolved then any failure of the Applicant to adhere to the foregoing commitments would constitute a breach of this agreement and grounds for the Residents to petition the ABC Board for issuance of an order to Show Cause, as provided by the D.C. Regulations.

Video – ANC 5B Comissioners Voted To Protest Brookland’s Finest Liquor License

On Saturday, we posted the agenda for May’s ANC 5B meeting, which was held last night. The agenda listed three items: the Metropolitan Police Department, DC Public Works, and the Office of People’s Council. So, we thought it would be a pretty uneventful meeting. Little did we know that ANC 5B-04 Commissioner Steptoe would introduce a resolution, and the Commission would take a vote, to protest the Brookland’s Finest liquor license by the end of the meeting. From what we understand, the resolution was procedurally sound. Commissioners are allowed to introduce resolutions under “new business”, which is always an agenda item (though not listed on the meeting’s notice – as detailed agendas are not required on those).  For those of you interested, here is a video of the portion of the meeting regarding the Brookland’s Finest liquor license.

The vote resulted on a 3 to 1 decision. Commissioners Steptoe, Jones, and Higgins voted to protest and Commissioner Bridge voted against the protest. Many readers have reached out to us asking how they can support the Brookland’s Finest team and make this restaurant a reality. A member of the community created a Yahoo! Group in the support of the restaurant  – you can join here. Really though, to be profitable, a restaurant like this needs a liquor license. The Brookland’s Finest team has applied to DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) for a ”Tavern” license. At this point, since the ANC Commissioners have voted already, you may write to ABRA directly expressing your support. ABRA will take the ANC 5B vote result into consideration, but they also consider other factors. ABRA can be contacted at: 2000 14th Street, NW, Suite 400S  Washington, DC 20009. Email: abra@dc.gov Phone: (202) 442-4423.

You may want to let your ANC Commissioner know how you feel about their vote.  Most of Brookland is divided into 5 Single Member Districts (SMDs), each represented by a Commissioner. As a whole, it is called ANC 5B.   The ANC 5B Commissioners are as follows and the mailing address of ANC 5B is: ANC 5B Office, 1322 Irving Street, NE Washington DC 20017. Here are their email addresses and a map of ANC 5B so you can figure out who is your ANC Commissioner.

(5B-01) Shirley Rivens-Smith –   5b01@anc.dc.gov
(5B-02) Ursula Higgins –   5b02@anc.dc.gov
(5B-03) Tiffany Bridge  –  5b03@anc.dc.goc
(5B-04) Carolyn C. Steptoe –  5b04@anc.dc.gov
(5B-05) Jenese L. Jones –  5b05@anc.dc.gov

ANC 5B Boundries 2013
ANC 5B Boundries 2013

BNCA Meeting Saturday – Brookland’s Finest, Brookland Green And DC Statehood Resolution

FoRIA BNCA Cleanup 007The next Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) meeting will take place this Saturday, May 18th. The agenda will cover a Great Brookland Yard Sale recap, a DC Statehood Resolution, and a Brookland Green Committee Report. There will also be a discussion with Tony Tomelden, John Solomon and Frank Hankins, the management team from Brookland’s Finest, a restaurant planning on opening in the neighborhood. Tony Tomelden left a letter of the doors of residents living closely to the restaurant’s proposed location about the meeting, here is an excerpt:

“…we will be answering questions about our proposed business Brookland’s Finest…we will be discussing the hours of operation, concerns about noise, trash and parking. We look forward to seeing as many folks as possible and getting feedback from the neighborhood.”

Tom Bridge, President of the BNCA announced in an email to members that:

“As a courtesy to members, and to foster open discussion and in support democratic ideals, this meeting will be recorded for distribution to membership within five days of the meeting.”

It is anticipated that the BNCA will take a vote on whether or not to write a letter of support for the restaurant at another upcoming meeting; so if you haven’t joined or renewed your membership this year, now would be a great time to do so. The meeting will begin at 10:00 AM at the Howard University School of Divinity, 1400 Shepherd Street, N.E.

Brookland Liquor Licenses – Menomale, Little Ricky’s And Brookland’s Finest

Given a lot of the chatter around Brookland these days about new restaurants, we thought readers would appreciate information regarding some of Brookland’s newer restaurants  and their liquor licences.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We learned from an ANC 5B-04 meeting on Saturday April 27th that Menomale’s liquor licence was up for renewal. ANC 5B-04 Commissioner Caroline Steptoe spoke to immediate neighbors of Menomale and received only one very minor complaint. The deadline to protest their license renewal came and went without any issues on Monday April 29th, because they are viewed as good neighbors. Menomale is a craft pizza restaurant that just celebrated one year of being open and is  located at 2711 12th Street NE.

Little Ricky’s, has been open since November 2012 and its liquor licence is currently up for renewal. We spoke with Chase Moore, co-owner of the Cuban restaurant and he stated “Lola and I have worked hard to not just be in the community but to build community- a lot of that is being a good neighbor. To date there haven’t been any noise concerns expressed and certainly there have been no violations. We think most of the neighbors enjoy knowing there is a place they can go where everyone behaves responsibly and all are welcome.” As regular patrons, we couldn’t agree more! The deadline to send a letter in support of or protest their license renewal is Friday May 24th. Let’s hope all goes well there. Little Ricky’s is located at 3522 12th Street NE .

There has been quite a bit of discussion about the liquor license application of a new restaurant hoping to open in our neighborhood, Brookland’s Finest. The Brookland’s Finest team has applied to DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) for a “Tavern” license. My wife and I actually live pretty close to the proposed Brookland’s Finest location, so we wondered what a Tavern license means for the immediate neighbors. An article in the Ward 5 Heartbeat, which posted a copy of the Brookland’s Finest liquor license application indicated that it will allow the restaurant to “operate from 7am to 2am Sunday through Thursday and 8am to 3am on weekends”  with minimal food requirements.  Having said that, the sample menus as part of their business plan  indicates that they will offer substantial food service. However, this license will allow them to forgo keeping the kitchen open late as it would with a “restaurant” liquor license. Thus, if they do so, later hours will be for drinking only. Tyler Nelson, Editor of the Brookland Avenue Blog shared the following liquor license information about Brookland restaurants with us for comparison:

Menomale – Restaurant license
San Antonio Grill  – Tavern license
Optimism – Tavern license
B’Cafe – Restaurant license
Little Ricky’s – Restaurant license
We thought readers would be interested to know that the immediate neighbors to this location have been drawn into a debate about what this restaurant will mean for us. A Yahoo! Group in support of the restaurant has popped up here, ANC 5B-04 Commissioner Caroline Steptoe went door to door over last weekend asking us our opinion in a “for or against” format, while neighbors also received a letter from Tony Tomelden, a Managing Member of Brookland’s Finest and longtime Brookland resident. Mr. Tomelden’s letter described his commitment to the community and encouraged feedback from neighbors so they can work out any concerns ahead of time. His letter also addressed concerns that he is already aware of. As this process has unfolded, my wife and I have had many conversations with neighbors and the major concerns seem to boil down to noise, trash, and parking. As we talked to neighbors, we were also surprised to hear a lot of misinformation being spread about the restaurant. This prompted us to share the business plan distributed at the an ANC 5B-04 meeting on Saturday April 27th with neighbors and start a petition in favor of the restaurant. While we are generally in favor of the restaurant, we still feel that productive, civil, and reasonable discussions need to take place between immediate residents and the Brookland’s Finest team to make sure everyone is heard and happy. Brookland’s Finest liquor license application was submitted to ABRA over three weeks ago, but the placards have not been posted on the building yet, which means there is still time to have this constructive dialogue with the restaurant’s management team. We will keep you posted as to any new developments as they occur. The proposed location of Brookland’s Finest is 3126-3128 12th Street NE.

Brookland’s Finest – Home Grown Restaurant To Establish A Quality Food, Bar And Coffee Spot

There has been a lot of excitement building in the neighborhood about a new restaurant coming to the intersection of 12th and Jackson Streets, NE. We got a tour of the proposed location and spoke with two of the Brooklanders behind the project – Scott Evans, who owns the building, and will build out the space, and Tony Tomelden, a Managing Member.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Many neighbors know Tony already as the owner of the popular H Street NE watering hole, The Pug. Tony has teamed up with two other owners of successful DC restaurants – John Solomon of Solly’s U Street Tavern and Frank Hankins of Sova, a coffee house. Together, this trifecta of restaurant expertise wants to bring a “neighborhood friendly, casual dining, and community bar atmosphere in Brookland”. I asked how this restaurant will compare to The Pug and Solly’s, which are known for their “dive bar” atmosphere and cheap beer. Tony, who has lived in Brookland for 10 years, just one block from the future restaurant location, and has young children, emphasized that this will be a family friendly restaurant. In deed, one of the first things we noted was that the restaurant will have a real Kid’s Menu complete with Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches. (See sample menus in the slide show.) He added that their beer concept will be entirely different from the other locations, centered on craft microbrews at higher price points and – my favorite part – will only have local DC beers on tap. He envisions the clientelle as the Brookland resident who will walk to the restaurant to start the day with a great cup of coffee and wind down the work day over a beer with neighbors.

Tony wanted to clarify that “Brookland’s Finest” is the name of the restaurant’s company, and that the name of the actual restaurant may be something entirely different. He noted that friends are helping research the history of the property to hopefully tie in a historical aspect to the name. Tony spoke at length about how important Brookland’s  history and neighborhood character is to him – his father and grandfather both made Brookland their home. Whatever the name, this place will fill many of the voids we have in the Brookland dining scene. For example, Frank Hankins will be pulling from his Sova experiences to establish a strong coffee program, something we are in dire need of. For now, Tony plans to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner all week long. This is a welcome development for those of us who work in Brookland and have extremely limited breakfast and lunch options, especially Monday through Wednesday.

Scott Evans is a friend of ours, and a stand-up guy. He lives a stone’s throw from the restaurant location and told us he “will work his heart out” to make the restaurant something his fellow Brooklanders will be proud of. The restaurant, once complete, will have about 2,500 square feet of indoor space. There will be 45 -50 dining room seats, including booths along one wall. There will be 16 – 18 indoor bar seats. Then – ready for this? There will be a sweet garage door opening to the patio where diners can belly up to about 6 outdoor bar seats and 25 outdoor dining seats. So what kind of decor can we expect? Lots of natural light from the large windows, skylights, and garage door, and lots of exposed brick. We happen to know that Scott is a fan of cool repurposed elements, so don’t be surprised to see some upcycled design features. For a good example of Scott’s handiwork, check out the work he did for The Pig restaurant on 14th Street NW. So far the only work Scott has done on this shell of a building is to make it stable, safe and secure, and as you can see, a lot of work needs to be done. I know it seems like the building has sat for a long time in disrepair, but we give Scott a lot of credit for waiting for the right tenant to do the build out. Without going into details, for months he has taken the longer, harder road by turning away proposals from businesses that would not improve the neighborhood. We are glad he held out for Brookland’s Finest! We will track the progress of the restaurant and bring you updates as they are available.

Many readers have reached out to us asking how they can support the Brookland’s Finest team and make this restaurant a reality. A member of the community created a Yahoo! Group in the support of the restaurant  – you can join here. Really though, to be profitable, a restaurant like this needs a liquor license. The Brookland’s Finest team has applied to DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) for a “Tavern” license. One of the most important things you can do is contact your ANC Commissioner and let them know you support this restaurant and their liquor license application. Most of Brookland is divided into 5 Single Member Districts (SMDs), each represented by a Commissioner. As a whole, it is called ANC 5B. The ANC 5B Commissioners will vote at an upcoming meeting about whether they recommend the restaurant be allowed to have their liquor license. ABRA will take the ANC 5B vote result into consideration, along with other factors. You may also write to ABRA directly expressing your support. The ANC 5B Commissioners are as follows and the mailing address of ANC 5B is: ANC 5B Office, 1322 Irving Street, NE Washington DC 20017.

(5B-01) Shirley Rivens-Smith –   5b01@anc.dc.gov
(5B-02) Ursula Higgins –   5b02@anc.dc.gov
(5B-03) Tiffany Bridge  –  5b03@anc.dc.goc
(5B-04) Carolyn C. Steptoe –  5b04@anc.dc.gov
(5B-05) Jenese L. Jones –  5b05@anc.dc.gov

Here is a map of ANC 5B so you can figure out who is your ANC Commissioner. ABRA can be contacted at: 2000 14th Street, NW, Suite 400S  Washington, DC 20009. Email: abra@dc.gov Phone: (202) 442-4423.

ANC 5B Boundries 2013
ANC 5B Boundries 2013

Menomale, Brookland’s Finest Liquor Licenses, 901 Monroe Development – All Topics At SMD 5B-04 Meeting

About 10 days ago, we posted about this Saturday’s Single Member District 5B-04 Meeting, where it was announced that the managers/owners of a new restaurant, Brookland’s Finest, would present their case for a liquor license. Yesterday, we learned through an updated meeting agenda that quite a bit a more is in store. In addition to the new restaurant, the liquor license renewal for the super-popular Menomale is up for discussion as well as an update on the 901 Monroe Development project. This should be a very interesting meeting and we encourage those that are interested in development in the neighborhood to show up and voice your opinion. Here is an image of the meeting’s updated flyer:

5B 04 SMD Meeting April 27 2013

New Brookland Restaurant Seeks Liquor License & ANC Commissioner Seeks Input

There are have been rumblings that “something is coming” at the South West corner of 12th and Jackson Streets NE for some time now. We noted last summer that the space was on the market for sale or lease as a build to suit property, and that some preliminary construction was underway. We have recently learned that this space may become a restaurant called “Brookland’s Finest Bar and Kitchen”, serving American comfort food. Many Brooklanders, like me, who live near this intersection couldn’t be happier that finally something is happening with the eye-sore of a building. Some quick history – the property was originally split down the middle; one side was a church that met sporadically, the other half was being used as storage space for some type of backhoe company. Needless to say, this corner generated no foot traffic and just looked sad, so much so, that my wife and I convinced the previous owner to let us plant two trees on the property.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Back to the restaurant. We learned via a series of communications from Single Member District 5B-04 Commissioner Caroline Steptoe that Brookland’s Finest Bar and Kitchen has applied for a liquor licence. As to be expected, Commissioner Steptoe is very interested in the community’s “thoughts, issues, concerns and/or compliments about this proposed establishment.” Neighbors that live closest to the proposed restaurant received a flyer at their home indicating that she especially wants to hear directly from them. A different, more generic, flyer has been posted throughout the blocks surrounding 12th and Jackson, on the Brookland listserv, and yet another message went out to Steptoe’s email list of constituents. All communications indicate that there will be a meeting where the community can give their input and hear a presentation from the restaurant owners and the owner of the property. We applaud Commissioner Steptoe for so thoroughly getting the word out through various  modes of delivery. The following was taken from her email to her constituents:

Excerpts from Executive Summary: “The goal of Brookland’s Finest Bar & Kitchen (Brookland’s) is to provide a neighborhood friendly casual dining and community bar atmosphere in the Brookland neighborhood…The business itself sits at 3126-3128 12th Street, NE . . . The lot area is approximately 5,000 sq. ft., and the restaurant, once complete, will have over 2,500 sq. ft of indoor space.  Brookland’s mission is to establish a quality food, bar and coffee program. . . The restaurant will have approximately 90 total seats combines.  This includes 45-50 dining room seats, 16-18 bar seats, approximately 6 outdoor bar seats, and approximately 25 outdoor dining seats. . . Brookland’s aim is to provide a casual dining and drinking atmosphere that’s conducive to social and business networking as well as being family friendly.”   

The meeting will be held on Saturday, April 27  at the office of ANC 5B, demountable trailer at 1322 Irving Street NE, from 12:00 – 3:00 pm. The presenters will be the restaurant’s Managing Members Tony Tomelden, Frank Hankins and John Solomon and the building owner Scott Evans. It should be noted that Tony and Scott both live in Brookland, near the restaurant location, and are great neighbors. For me, this is a very important factor in my support for the restaurant. We will be following this one closely and will post any updates as we have them.