Firepower Last Friday night, JR’s Bar & Grill was packed to the brim, as usual. It seemed as if the 17th Street NW establishment couldn’t hold one more person—especially the one who walked through the door around 12:30 a.m.: a D.C. fire marshal. The marshal issued JR’s a citation, and the bar ceased serving alcohol until the crowd, predictably, thinned. The visit—provoked by a neighbor’s call—probably wasn’t just an innocent spot check on one of D.C.’s most hopping nightspots; it was more likely a calculated move in a chess game involving JR’s and neighborhood activists who oppose the business’s expansion. In two weeks, JR’s will petition the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board to expand its license to include property recently acquired next door. Dupont Circle’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B, which supports a moratorium on liquor licenses in the 17th Street commercial strip, recently voted 5-1 against JR’s proposed expansion. That doesn’t bode well for JR’s chances with the ABC Board—and the fire marshal’s stopover last weekend probably won’t help matters. JR’s owner Eric Little declined comment on the incident.