ANC 2B Votes to Protest Bar Charley’s Request for Later Operating Hours

Bar Charley

Bar Charley

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B voted last night (Wed. Nov. 13) to formally protest Bar Charley’s request for expanded interior operating hours. This protest will be made despite the statement of Will Stephens, a local ANC2B commissioner, who posted on his official blog (incredibly helpful Q&A here) that he would propose that the ANC support the application. According to both a Barred in DC correspondent who attended the meeting and Kevin O’Connor, another ANC2B commissioner, the protest is being lodged primarily because both the notoriously NIMBY Dupont Circle Citizens Association (read about DCCA’s fights with Hank’s Oyster Bar here) and a group of 5 or more neighbors were planning to protest anyways, not because the ANC necessarily disagreed with the request. According to O’Connor, the ANC “thought it best to be at the table” and that Bar Charley’s “owners welcomed the idea.”

Bar Charley is requesting permission to be open two three hours later each night, until 2am on weekdays and 3am on weekends. Currently, the affordable cocktail bar next to Lauriol Plaza in Dupont has been operating under the closing hours of the previous establishment in the space (The Cajun Experience)-11pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends (Bar Charley is not requesting to extend its hours on its back patio (11pm/midnight)). Despite claims by some neighbors, these hours are not unprecedented for the restaurants and bars on that stretch of 18th Street in Dupont, as noted below. The ABRA status hearing to formally lodge protests will be held December 9th; expect a settlement agreement to be reached between Bar Charley and one of the protestants to be reached before any actual protest hearing takes place.

Closing Hours for Restaurants/Bars between S and Willard on 18th Street (Source: ABRA)

  • Plum Blossom – Sun-Thurs: 11pm / Fri-Sat: midnight
  • The Regent Thai – midnight
  • Larry’s Lounge – Sun-Thurs: 2am / Fri-Sat: 3am
  • Mum Mum – Sun-Thurs: 2am / Fri-Sat: 3am
  • Lauriol Plaza – Sun-Thurs: 1am / Fri-Sat: 2am
  • Bar Charley – Sun-Thurs: 11pm / Fri-Sat: midnight
  • Mandu – midnight
  • Rosemary Thyme’s – Sun-Mon: 10pm / Tues-Thurs: 11pm / Fri-Sat: midnight
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8 responses to “ANC 2B Votes to Protest Bar Charley’s Request for Later Operating Hours

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  2. Wouldn’t the ANC be acting in bad faith if it ‘settled’ with BC before the protest hearing. I normally admire Will but his actions in this case were inappropriate to say to say the least. Will coming out in favor of the variance before his ANC’s constituents could present their case, cast a long shadow on the ANC’s legally mandated responsibility to represent the constituents’ interests vs. the businesses. With some 100 neighbors protesting this case (and not just 5) let’s hope he realizes he’d committing political suicide for future office if he puts the interests of a non-voting business over the interests of his voting constituents.

    • I doubt he is committing political suicide. I live on Willard Street and am one of many hoping that Bar Charley gets permission to extend their hours. The spot is great and very respectful. The more thriving businesses on 18th St, the better

    • Your concerns are well-taken, but, as someone very well acquainted with the protest process in DC, in most situations the ANC would be acting in bad faith if it did not settle BEFORE the protest hearings. Liquor license applications/renewals/substantial changes are routinely protested all across the city; protest hearings themselves are actually incredibly rare (I would be surprised if there were more than 10 in any year). ANCs know that it is probable, and often likely, that whatever they are protesting will still be granted by the ABRA; it is actually smart to enter into agreements with the establishments about noise, trash, deliveries, signage posting, notifications, etc. while they still have the leverage of going through the protest hearing or not. I can only prognosticate here, but my reading of the situation is that there is very little chance that the protestants could actually get what they want here (even if the ANC continued its protest and refused to negotiate in good faith) at a protest hearing, so if you want any concessions at all, you better hope the ANC settles before the protest hearing.

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