ABRA Tweaks New Bar Crawl Regulations – “Vomit” Cleanup Included

ABRA has announced revisions to the bar crawl regulations it issued on an emergency basis in January. The regulations,which many predicted would lead to the end of the bar crawl as we know it, were open for public comment this spring. After many hiccups and rejected bar crawls, organizers have figured out the system and bar crawls have not been completely eliminated, but there are certainly fewer than in years past.

ABRA issued revised regulations in response to comments from:

  • the bar Madhatter (a frequent bar crawl stop)
  • Lindy’s Promotions (longtime biggest player on the bar crawl scene)
  • ANCs representing U Street and Dupont
  • the Dupont Circle Citizens Association
  • the DC police, fire, and trash departments
  • the Golden Triangle BID
  • the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW),

Interestingly, although the ANCs, the Golden Triangle BID, and even Madhatter urged ABRA to create a rule prohibiting more than one bar crawl at a time in the same neighborhood, ABRA declined to include this in the revised regulations (although so far ABRA has generally only approved on bar crawl in each hood in practice). The revisions to the regulations include:

  • Detailing what must be included in the  litter management plan, including
    • “the cleaning of human waste (e.g. vomit);”
    • litter removal by 10a the next day;
    • removal of litter on both sides of street (including tree boxes/planters) on the route between bars on crawl;
    • Extend the deadline for pub crawl applications to 60 days (up from 45) before event);
  • Allowing crawls on St. Paddy’s Day and Cinco de Mayo (pub crawls on July 4th, Halloween, and NYE are still prohibited); and
  • Explicitly making it a secondary liquor license violation to participate in an unlicensed pub crawl.

These emergency regulations are still not permanent until approved by the DC Council.

Bardo Tries Again on the Anacostia Riverfront

Bardo’s planned spot on Anacostia (Credit: Bardo Brewpub Facebook page)

After losing its bid for a liquor license for Bardo Big River just south of Nationals Park (as first reported by Barred in DC), the folks behind Bardo are trying a different tack with ABRA. This time, instead of seeking for a bar (tavern) liquor license, the renamed Bardo River Brewery has applied for a Class B manufacturer’s license-a brewery license in other words.

Bardo will likely seek permission to sell and serve beer for on-premises consumption similar to most other breweries in DC. Manufacturer licenses, after a recent expansion in the law, allow beer to be served from 8a-midnight. It remains to be seen if Bardo will ask for the full hours as its closing time was a sticking point with the local ANC in its previous application. ABRA has requested a fact-finding hearing; undoubtedly the ANC will protest once again. Stay tuned whether Bill Stewart, Bardo’s charmingly don’t-give-a-damn owner, has figured out from the previous ABRA hearing and decision and is finally successful in bringing another cool drinking option to the Navy Yard/Capital Riverfront neighborhood.

Fundraiser for West Virginia Flood Victims – Thursday, June 30th at Smoke & Barrel

Barred in DC’s home state, West by God Virginia, has suffered horrendous widespread flooding over the past week, costing over numerous lives and millions of dollars in destruction. Two WV natives in the DC area, Elliotte McGraw and Cartney Renn McCracken, have quickly put together a fundraiser  downstairs at the great beer and bbq joint Smoke & Barrel (2471 18th St. NW) in Adams Morgan this Thursday, June 30th, from 6-9pm. 

The event will feature drink specials and prizes will be raffled off. Nick Rahall, who served nearly four decades in Congress representing WV, will be in attendance. Money raised will be donated to United Way of Central WV, while Smoke & Barrel will generously donate $1 for each of the featured beers & food items sold. If you can’t be in attendance, please consider donating on their website  (entering “DC” in the description): http://www.unitedwaycwv.org/

The Brig Beer Garden Opens on Barracks Row

The Brig DC Public Beergarden, website, FacebookTwitter, 1007 8th St. SE (at L St.) opens at 4p (weekdays) 11a (weekends), HH 4-7p weekdays, est. 2006.

The Brig

The Brig

The long-awaited beer garden The Brig finally opened its doors last Friday, June 17th. The open air spot in lower Barracks Row/Navy Yard (about 10 minutes walk from the Eastern Market and Navy Yard Metro stations) first got its liquor license in January 2011 and has been under construction since November 2014 (JDLand has all the background).

The bar area at the Brig

The bar area at the Brig

Barred in DC made an early visit midweek and found a quite relaxed, chill crowd. Sporting 40 taps (a mix of both German standbys and local drafts), the Brig seats up to 210 people and can fit up to 400 people. About 15 long communal tables are shaded from the sun under huge sturdy German beer-branded umbrellas, while 25 seats front the long bar in the service building.

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Prices are fair and uniform and posted on a flat screen in the middle of the bar – all drafts are priced at $8 (for half-liters for German beers, 16 oz. for the rest) and $15 or $16 for the liter. Happy hour specials include $5 select half-liters-not too shabby. As a plus, taxes are included, a departure from most new bars in the city. Food options are limited at this time, though $5 pretzels with beer cheese looked tempting (brats were on the grill to the side). Looking forward to stopping by happy hour and seeing how the crowd evolves as the night goes on or on weekends.

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These #FOIACakes Taste Funny

foiacakes

[Note: This Post Was Updated 5/25 Evening to Include Clarification about Use of Funds]
The famous Eastern Market bake sale held to pay for Capitol Hill ANC commissioner Denise Rucker Krepp’s FOIA request for data about prosecution rates in DC raised nearly $2,000 supposedly to cover fees to process her request. What Krepp or the numerous news articles covering the bake sale neglected to mention was that these FOIA fees never existed in the first place, according to a letter from the Department of Justice. The correspondence, sent to Krepp before December’s bake sale (which garnered its own social media hashtag #FOIAcakes), was attached to Krepp’s lawsuit filed against DOJ last week. Krepp, concerned about crime in her neighborhood, is challenging DOJ’s failure to find any responsive records; the agency said it didn’t have the records in the form requested.

Krepp has characterized DOJ’s letter as including an unwarranted assessment of FOIA processing fees, as well as a rejection of her request for a fee waiver. Media reports have similarly repeatedly referred to the government charging a $1000 FOIA processing fee for her request. None of which is true. Instead, DOJ simply explained (see excerpt below) that there “may be certain costs associated” with Krepp’s FOIA request, in addition to the standard fee schedule for all FOIA requests received by DOJ. The agency also generally suggested that a modification of the request could reduce potential fees and that it would “notify [Krepp] in writing at a later date” if it determines that fees will be more than $25. Although DOJ did not acknowledge Krepp’s fee waiver in the letter, her waiver request was not rejected.

DOJ letter

In other words, DOJ never said that Krepp’s request would incur any fees at all, let alone $1,000. In fact, the $1,000 figure was completely made up by her based on “her own experience managing FOIA requests in a former job,” according to one report. Krepp, who previously served as Chief Counsel for the U.S Maritime Administration, seems to have had what charitably may be referred to as an issue with reading comprehension.

Barred in DC privately reached out to Krepp after she went public with the $1000 FOIA fee and suggested that she partner with a local blog, which can get reduced or waived FOIA processing fees, and warned her that she might not get any information based on the wording of her request. That didn’t seem to make a difference, as we never received a response and the fundraising bake sale for the fictitious FOIA processing fees took place.

In the end, the $1,867 raised from #FOIAcakes, which includes money from a raffle for basketball tickets donated by Events DC and $350 from Dangerously Delicious Pies, never went to pay FOIA processing fees at all; which makes sense because DOJ never said there would be fees. Krepp said she would donate the excess money to either “a local organization that advocates for transparency in local government” or to “charity, such as groups that help crime victims.” None of the various articles in the local media have identified the organization or charity which received the funds raised from Krepp’s neighbors earmarked for the non-existent FOIA processing fees. [5/25 PM Update:] Apparently the funds are being retained for certain litigation costs and will be donated if funds remain.

Krepp filed her lawsuit despite the fact that DOJ even suggested to her when ruling on her appeal that although DOJ didn’t keep the records in the form she requested, she “might wish to make a new request to [DOJ] for prosecutions and convictions by crime and or by [police service area or] district” (see excerpt below). Instead of processing a new request, DOJ will need to divert resources to answer this litigation instead of processing requests by others. Barred in DC has made a FOIA request for the same data as Krepp is seeking following DOJ’s suggestion; we’ll see who gets it first (new hashtag: #FOIARace).

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Krepp is represented in her lawsuit by Jay Williams (a former Capitol Hill ANC Commissioner), along with a partner and other attorneys from the law firm BuckleySandler. Presumably this representation is pro bono; if not, will there be another bake sale? #FOIAcakestastefunny

In the interests of some disclosure, a significant part of Barred in DC’s job at the federal agency he works at involves processing FOIA requests, so the results of any litigation could theoretically affect the work he does. The views stated above are, of course, Barred in DC’s own personal views and do not constitute the views of the U.S. Government. 

Marble Alley, Trevor Frye’s Upcoming Bar, Slated for Bardia’s Old Space

Marble Alley, the upcoming laid-back spot from the beverage director of Jack Rose (and co-creator of Dram & Grain underneath), Trevor Frye, hopes to take over the space previously occupied by Bardia’s New Orleans Cafe, as well as the adjacent salon, Barred in DC has learned, although a lease may not been finalized yet. The ground level at 2412 18th St. NW is cozy-no more than 1500 square feet.

Bardia’s, a neighborhood favorite, shuttered in 2015 after more than two decades in that space and an ill-fated move to 9th and U. Marble Alley will move away from an emphasis on cocktails and aim to be a “comfortable” spot for neighborhood folks, according to the Washington Post Express, and ambitiously hopes to open by late fall. Frye will be stepping away from Jack Rose in early June to focus on this spot.

Cinco de Mayo in DC – 2016

Everyone’s favorite American-celebrated Mexican holiday is Thursday. A hastily put together list of Mexican/Latin/Non-Latin spots celebrating Cinco de Mayo on May 5th, 2016 is below. If you’re heading out of work/school early, El Rey, Mission, and Surfside starts the party at noon. Cheapest beer is The Front Page ($2 with a free taco bar).

Dupont Circle

  • Cafe Citron – 5p-midnight
    • $3 Coronas ($15 buckets) / $10 Coronaritas / $4 margaritas / $3 house tequila shots / $4 Milagro tequila shots / $7 mojitos after 8p / free Milagro shots from 6:30-7:30p
  • Mission – noon-2a
    • $4 Tecates + Dos Equis drafts / $5 Corona Extra / $6.50 El Jimador shots / $7 Mission margaritas / $25 Mission margarita pitchers
    • DJs + live mariachi bands
  • Lauriol Plaza  – drink specials all weekend long
  • Alero – 11a-1a all-day party with drink specials
  • Darlington House (Cantina) – $4 Coronas / $6 Margaritas / $5 Cuervo shots / $5 Nachos & $9 quesadillas
  • The Front Page – $2 Corona/Modelos/Miller Lite $5 margaritas & free tacos from 6-8p
  • Public Bar
    • $4 Coronas / $5 margaritas / $5 Cuervo shots (gold/silver)
    • $3 specials on rooftop: Avion Espresso/ Agave Loco/Peligroso/Cuervo Cinge

14th Street/Logan/U Street/Shaw

  • Tico – 3p-close
    • $5 tacos all day, plus $10 hibiscus, spicy orange and classic lime margaritas
  • Tortilla Coast – 5 days of specials from May 1-5 inc. raffle drawing on 5/5 for bike cruiser –
    • $4 Mini Tacos / $5 Queso / $7 Tot-chos
    • $4 Dos Equis Draft, Corona and Corona Light bottles / $5 Frozen Margaritas / $7 Milagro Silver Margaritas
  • El Centro D.F. – doors open at 4p
    • $20 Endless Mexican Cuisine + $6 Margaritas / $5 beers
  • Masa 14  – $6 food specials + $6 Margaritas / $5 beers
  • El Rey – noon-1:30a
    • mariachi band + photo booth + ice luge + live donkey
    • $6 Margaritas & Sauza Blue tequila shots / $7 shots of Corralejo
  • Espita Mezcaleria –
    • fried oyster tacos
    • $5 beer specials (Allende Golden Ale & Brown Ale) (add $5 to include 1 oz. mexcal pour)
  • Alero – 11a-1a all-day party – 2 DJs + drink specials + DJs
  • Hawthorne – party starts at 5p – Cinco de Rooftop party (not exclusive to rooftop)
    • $4 chicken tacos & $10 guac/chips
    • $5 Tecate tallboys & $7.50 margaritas
  • The Royal – Nueve de Mayo celebration on Mon. May 9th starts at 9p
    • mezcal cocktails / arepas / frozen drinks / tequila-filled pinata
  • Lost Society – 5:30p-2a
    • DJ on rooftop
    • $5 tequila shots & Coronas
  • Policy
    • tacos & drink specials
  • The Prospect
    • 2 for $6 tacos
    • $4 Coronas and Tecates, $5 tequila shots and $6 margaritas.
  • Provision No. 14
    • $3 beer bottles and cans, $6 house red and white wine, $6 draft cocktails and $5 draft beers ($10 suggested donation at the door)
  • The Brixton – Mexican menu – $4 Tecates
  • Commisary – $5 margaritas and food specials

Shaw/Bloomingdale

  • Espita Mezcaleria –
    • fried oyster tacos
    • $5 beer specials (add $5 to include 1 oz. mexcal pour)
  • Wicked Bloom – $3 Coronas & Dos Equis Amber & $5 house margaritas
  • The Royal – Nueve de Mayo celebration on Mon. May 9th starts at 9p
    • mezcal cocktails / arepas / frozen drinks / tequila-filled pinata

Capitol Hill/Eastern Market/Navy Yard

  • Agua 301 – $4 Corona Light and Negra Modelo drafts, $3 Corona bottles, $6 Sauza margs and $9 Casa Noble margaritas
  • Tortilla Coast – 5 days of specials from May 1-5 inc. raffle drawing on 5/5 for bike cruiser –
    • $4 Mini Tacos / $5 Queso / $7 Tot-chos
    • $4 Dos Equis Draft, Corona and Corona Light bottles / $5 Frozen Margaritas / $7 Milagro Silver Margaritas
  • Banana Cafe – $4 Tecate/Corona/Pacifico/Cuervo shots + karaoke
  • Boxcar Tavern
    • $1 off all tacos
    • $4 Coronas & Cuervo Gold shots
  • Union Pub – $5 margaritas (frozen/rocks)
  • Pacifco – open at 11a – grande Coronaritas in larger glasses

H Street

  • H Street Country Club
    • $3 for 2 tacos / $3 Tecates and $5 ritas 4-7p
    • music all night
  • Impala Cantina – 5p-midnight / 2 DJs
  • Sol Mexican Grill – HH 3-5p – open till 11p (48 oz fishbowl margaritas available)
  • Chupacabra – Tequila specials + $5 taco w/ shot of tequila/PBR or water combo
  • Ocopa – $9 Margaritas: Mango Aji/ Pineapple/ Watermelon/ Cherry
  • Halftime Sports Bar – $2 Coronas / $4 frozen margaritas / $20-25 hookah specials
  • Da Luft – $6 HH margaritas / $10 Peligroso / $12 Sinna-Rita / $15 Don Julio margaritas / more specials on Dos XX & Corona

Chinatown/Penn Quarter

  • Zengo – $5 beer / $6 margaritas / $6 food specials
  • Del Campo – 6-9p – SEIS DE MAYO MAY 6TH – rooftop celebration
    • $35 admission includes food
    • optional $30 cash bar
    • Cigar & Mexcal offerings at late night HH on patio downstairs afterwards
  • Bar Deco – $4 tacos / $6 Deco margaritas / $10 nachos
  • Penn Social – $5 margaritas & quesadillas

Adams Morgan

  • Johnny Pistola’s
    • Live DJ
    • Happy hour from 5-7pm including $2 Select Tacos, $3 Tecate, $4 Pacifico, $5 Margaritas
    • $5 min donation for wristband for $3 Tecate all night / donation for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Rumba Cafe
    • La Unica band at 8p
    • taco specials
    • $4 Pacifico & Dos XX / $12 Don Julio margaritas
  • 2020 – $4 beer & rails
  • Town Tavern – starts at 3p
    • get 1/2 off 1st drink if you wear sombrero or mustache
    • $3 taco baskets till 10p
    • $4 Coronas / $5 margaritas & tequila sunrises all night
    • $12 optional open bar (domestic bottles & rails) from 9-11p

Georgetown/Glover Park

  • El Centro D.F.
    • $20 Endless Mexican Cuisine + $6 Margaritas / $5 beers
  • Chaia – $7 beer and wine cocktails
  • Mad Fox – HH specials
    • food specials
    • DJ during HH
    • $5 Kolsch-A-Rita
  • Surfside – rooftop party starts at noon
    • 1/2 off margarita pitchers & new frozen rum-based cocktail
    • DJ

Columbia Heights/Petworth

  • Top Spanish Cafe – HH starts at 4p
    • food specials
    • $4 Corona / $6 Cuervo / $8 Patron shots / $24 Margarita Liter / $20 House Sangria Liter
  • Petworth Citizen – 7p-midnight
    • Mexican cocktail spotlight in Lexicon cocktail series
  • El Chucho Superior – opens at 4p – $5.50 margaritas / $7.50 Jimador + Tecate combo

Downtown

  • Toro Toro –  all night HH inc. $5 Beer, Wine, and Cocktails + free salsa class from 9-10:30p
  • BLT Steak – $30 cocktail flight with 3 drink pairings (tequila & sangrita)
  • The Park
    • HH from 5-7p inc. $5 Don Julio margaritas & Bud Light Ritas
    • food specials from 5-8p inc. $5 quesadillas, chicken fajita skewers, and guac/chips
    • Roving Mariachi band
    • complimentary “Park-A-Rita” if RSVP
  • Opera – $5 Corona bottles / $7 Avion tequilla drinks