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Mayor Vince Gray and his girlfriend Linda Greene ate dinner at Hank’s Oyster Bar last Thursday to show support for the Dupont restaurant in its battle with a handful of neighbors over the termination of its voluntary agreement with the neighborhood.

The dispute resulted in the Alcoholic Beverage Control board forcing Hank’s to shut down a portion of its patio a month ago, pending a review of the termination. It’s also stirred up a debate about liquor laws and how much power small groups of neighbors should have over the operations of restaurants.

The visit was pre-planned, chef Jamie Leeds tells Y&H. She says she told him that it’s “frustrating and ridiculous” that a small group of people can dictate what a business can and can not do. “He totally agreed with me,” Leeds says.

She told him she just wanted to get her patio back.

“He said, ‘Well, I’m sure you will,'” Leeds says. “It was all very positive.”

Among the dishes at Gray’s table: lobster bisque, steamed Blue Bay mussels, and a flounder special.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery