Owner Abdul Khanu said H2O Restaurant & Lounge would reopen at 5 p.m. for happy hour tonight, following today’s decision from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to give the establishment back its liquor license on a provisional basis. The board’s decision came just a week and a half after an H2O patron was killed outside the establishment on May 27.
According to board chair Charles Burger, for the next two weeks, the club must close by 1:30 a.m. every night, bottle service must end by 12:30 a.m., and the last call for all other drinks must be 12:45 a.m. The board also required that six Metropolitan Police Department officers monitor the establishment on Friday and Saturday nights.
The board will reconvene on June 20 to assess how well the club has met those requirements and determine whether it can stay open later. The board did not, at this time, decide to move forward with a “show cause” hearing, which could have resulted in a revocation of the establishment’s liquor license.
“If we thought this operation were an inherent danger to the community, we would be…going to a revocation,” ABC board chair Burger said. “We’re not playing with public safety here.”
In an interview, Khanu called the board decision “very fair…I’m just happy we got the license back.”
He also said that the establishment would be closing down its VIP room, permanently. “The VIP room is done. There is no more VIP room at H2O.”
Last week, Sgt. James Somers testified that the alleged gunman, Rashod Charles Holmes, said in a videotaped confession that the altercation that led to the victim’s death began over a spilled bottle of Cristal in the club’s VIP room. Today, Burger testified that none of the receipts handed over to the board by H2O show that a bottle of Cristal was sold that night. Still, last week, the board said it wanted more information about the “inner workings” of H2O’s VIP room.