The Issue: One of the Trinidad Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANC) wants to curb alcohol-related problems by having liquor licenses banned at establishments along Bladensburg Road in NE, with one exception. An ANC proposal says that all establishments in the area will be denied licenses to sell alcohol for five years unless they are “part of an established chain.” But some think the ANC is going too far—and is specifically targeting a new diner that plans to open down the street.

Burger, Hold the Booze: Former commissionerKathy Henderson told City Desk that the area is “out of control with public drunkenness, drug dealings, and robberies—the police are doing a lot, but we need alternative solutions.” She says that the chain restaurant exception is a compromise: “If you are not a chain with a proven track record, such as T.G.I. Friday’s or Ruby Tuesday, you will not be welcome to come.”

Burger and a Beer, Please: Others argue the proposal discriminates against locally owned businesses; plus, you can loiter just as easily outside Ruby Tuesday. Some think the proposal is aimed at Matt Ashburn‘sCapital City Diner, but he appeared at an ANC meeting this month to reassure the commission that he didn’t even want to sell liquor. A resident commenting on the blog We Love DC says: “This is clearly targeted at them….The diner is the one hope that there won’t be bullet-proof glass between you and your food.”

Next Step: There is a public hearing on Oct. 21. Mark, also commenting on the blog, says: “Please attend, this promises to be excellent sport.”

Photo by Roadsidepictures, Creative Commons Attribution License