- Request by Selam Restaurant (1524 U St NW) to change their liquor license from "restaurant" to "tavern"
- Historic Preservation review of proposed construction at 1508 Caroline St NW
- Valet parking application for Tico at 1924 14th St NW
I provide some background and thoughts on each item below:
- Application for change in liquor license from restaurant to tavern for Selam: I met with Yosef, the owner's son two weeks ago to discuss this request. In short, the restaurant is having a hard time meeting the minimum food requirements associated with a restaurant's liquor license. They would like to be considered a tavern to avoid those minimums. Selam has generally been a great neighbor for the past 19 years, though I understand there are some perennial concerns with late night noise, particularly DJs and live music. Their existing settlement agreement from 2008 already allows late night operations and entertainment and I think it is working well. The concern here is not with Selam, but rather with whatever might come after Selam. Supporting a tavern license in this location could mean that one day if Selam is no longer the tenant, a full fledged bar could appear in its place. I've heard concerns from many residents about restaurants transitioning into bars and nightclubs, which often disrupt neighbors more. Because of this, I am hesitant to support a tavern license in this space and plan to "protest" the application next week. Protesting is a procedural maneuver that allows the conversation among the residents, the restaurant and the ANC to continue. I'd love to hear your thoughts!
- Application for historic preservation review for 1508 Caroline St: The new owners of 1508 Caroline Street, who also happen to own and live in 1506 Caroline Street, are applying to renovate 1508 by adding a rear addition, a rear deck, a basement dwelling and a third story addition to the front of the home. This would be a 3-4 bedroom home with a separate basement unit, likely rented out. Caroline Street, which is an entirely unique treasure in our city, is comprised of 12 pairs of row houses on each side, all built together in the late 1800s. The property in question is paired with a home which built a third story addition in the 1880s or 1890s. The owners intend to "clone" the paired home. There have been several great discussions among neighbors that have resulted in two small, but important changes to the plan. I intend to introduce a resolution supporting the project, with the caveat that this visible third story would not be precedent setting for the rest of the block. I do not intend for this to be the first of many visible third story additions - this is a unique situation. Again, i'd love to hear from anyone with thoughts on that; it is not necessarily straightforward.
- Application for new valet staging at Tico (1924 14th St): Tico is requesting the use of three spaces on 14th Street for evening and late night valet. I generally support valet on 14th St because it helps reduce visitor parking on residential streets and cars aren't circling for hours looking for a spot. The route that the valet will take between Tico and the parking lot is entirely on 14th St and not on residential streets.