11 Dec 2013

Liquor License Hearing for Romeo & Juliet Today, 1:30 pm

Near-northeast/Massachusetts Avenue neighbors: are you concerned about the petition for extended liquor-serving hours for the new tenant in the former White Tiger space? Perhaps you are excited that the Michael Romeo Group, who own Lotus and FUR nightclubs among other properties, is taking over the space and asking to serve liquor until 3 or 4 am, because you feel that this section of Massachusetts Avenue, NE, could use an increase in nightlife traffic.

Maybe you are not as excited, and know that it will be hard to keep down the noise and traffic in this highly residential part of the Hill. If you are in the latter group and can sneak away at lunchtime, you should definitely attend the hearing going on at the Reeves Center, 2000 14th Street NW, TODAY, December 11, at 1:30 pm. Your presence alone will boost the neighbors who will be testifying against this liquor license change. A concerned neighbor left this video from WUSA-9 in the comments  from an earlier post: it gives you more context as to who the owners are.

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3 responses to “Liquor License Hearing for Romeo & Juliet Today, 1:30 pm”

  1. ObliviousScout says:

    Out of curiosity, do the NIMBYs ever believe a place is appropriate for “nightlife”?

    Massachusetts Avenue is hardly a tiny, quaint street; it’s a large avenue with wide sidewalks. The location is adjacent to other restaurants and bars, including Union Pub and Lounge 201, that stay open late without trouble. And it’s two blocks from the busiest metro station in the system and the transportation hub of the region.

    So if that’s not a good location, what pray-tell is?

    This is one Italian restaurant, not a whole strip. Fighting this just makes the Hill look that much more unreasonable to any business thinking of locating here, resulting in empty storefronts. Is that what we want?

    In general, I’m a fan of mixed-use areas that encourage a blend of residential and commercial uses. This location in a “highly residential part of the Hill” means many of the future customers of the restaurant are current residents. Do these residents not get heard because they’re not as loud and strident?

    I couldn’t make the hearing, but I’m a neighbor (I live on 3rd between Mass and E), and I’m not particularly “concerned.”

    • María Helena Carey says:

      I’m glad you’re not concerned– one less thing to think about 🙂
      The issue at hand is not so much whether we can have “one more Italian restaurant,” but whether this is really going to be a”restaurant.” The only place with late-closing hours on the Massachusetts strip is Club 201, and I highly suspect that their closing hours are more generous because they are located in the basement of a commercial building.
      Right now, the owner’s stubborn insistence to get later opening hours instead of settling for the same hours as four or five other restaurants in a two-block radius is resulting in a vacant storefront. This is not the work of awful, evil NIMBYs trying to stop progress: this is a deliberate action by the restaurant owner and the building owner.

    • HillRes says:

      I completely support a new restaurant rather than an empty store front, but a petition for a liquor license for 3-4 AM is ABSURD for this area. Obviously this is going to be a nightclub and along with it we’ll get nightclub-related problems in this residential aera. Dig up the dirt on the Michael Romeo Group and Mr. Romeo himself and tell me you want them in the hill?! I
      vote NO. We should be VERY afraid:

      This group is notorious for legal troubles, including:

      Nightclub beatings: http://www.wusa9.com/video/1034500836001/0/Problems-For-Lotus-In-DC-Before-Beating

      Selling alcohol outside of their licensed hours: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2010/04/15/club-midtown-accused-of-boozy-brawl-cover-up/

      Not paying their bills: http://thedirty.com/2010/03/career-bartender-from-dc

      And just overall bad news http:// thedirty.com/2008/10/dc_-_douchebag_central

      Hope they don’t get their license and sell the building to a real restaurateur, rather than a nightclub owner.

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