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The Adams Morgan ANC is fighting like hell to get the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to reverse its decision yesterday to revoke the liquor licenses for Bossa and Bobby Lew’s Saloon for failing to meet food-sales requirements. The commissioners have a compelling reason to take a stand now: even more Adams Morgan joints could be on the ABC Board’s chopping block.
The ANC released a statement today urging the board to take a more realistic look at Bossa and Bobby Lew’s:
Both of these establishments are in fact making good-faith efforts to sell food. In the case of Bobby Lew’s when the current owner took over the location, the establishment —- that had been issued a restaurant license —- had no kitchen in it whatsoever.
Neither of these establishments are what any resident of Adams Morgan would consider as “problem” establishments and neither have had any Tier One violations.
The problems that Adams Morgan faces will not end because of the closure of these two establishments, but the neighborhood will lose two businesses have made a good faith effort of follow the law, that don’t cause any problems, and add to the character of Adams Morgan.
Over at Going Out Gurus, nightlife writer Fritz Hahn gets to the bottom of the ANC’s concerns: 16 different operations in Adams Morgan are not in compliance with the law that requires restaurant licensees to derive at least 45 percent of their gross receipts from food sales. Even more problematic, if the neighborhood loses those licenses, they are gone forever.
And that means only one thing: fewer places along the 18th Street drag to drink and party and puke, which may be the whole point of this ABC Board sweep.
…Restaurants operating as defacto bars and nightclubs has been a problem for a long time, but the ABC board has begun to take more action in the last year.
According to Adams Morgan ANC Commissioner Bryan Weaver, four other Adams Morgan establishments are also in jeopardy of losing their licenses: Adams Mill Bar and Grill, Chloe, Ventnor Sports Cafe and Grand Central. “There are 16 places in Adams Morgan that are in non-compliance,” by not hitting the 45 percent sales mark, Weaver said today, but “These [six establishments] are making less than 25 percent. [The ABRA board has] drawn this line in the sand.”