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You know how, in soccer, defenders often cover their parts with their hands during a free kick? That’s what Dacha Beer Garden founders Ilya Alter and Dmitri Chekaldin looked like at a fiery and emotional meeting in May when they first presented their plans for a beer garden at 14th and S Streets NW. After showing off their original renderings of the project that had a total capacity of 600 people and discussing their plans to mitigate noise, neighbors lined up to voice their concerns.
In response, Alter and Chekaldin have dramatically altered how the new Dacha Beer Garden will look, should the project be approved. Most notably, nearly two-thirds of the total occupancy is now enclosed. This means tripling their build-out budget, according to the pair of owners.
They want concerned neighbors to know that there will be no live music or DJs, only background music, and that the entire site length along S Street NW and along the back alley will be fully encompassed by the building, with the intention of providing a sound barrier.
Negotiating a license to proceed with the project has been tricky because the address in question is situated where several ANC districts come together (U Street, Dupont Circle, and Logan Circle). The next step, according to the owners, is “to persuade the Logan Circle and U Street ANCs to negotiate a licensing settlement agreement with the new blueprints in mind.
The Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) and the Shaw-Dupont Citizens Alliance (SDCA) each have filed licensing objections with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration Policy Committee (ABRA). A license protest by an ad-hoc “group of 5 or more” D.C. residents living within an extended geographic area has also been filed with ABRA.
Dacha has created a website that details its new plan, with a section to “voice your support.”
Dacha Beer Garden, 1740 14th St. NW; dachadc.com