Street Push-Up Contest Costly to Adams Morgan Establishment

Napoleon Bistro & Lounge (credit: Melbourne Coffee Review

Napoleon Bistro & Lounge, the French restaurant/hotspot on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan, recently had its liquor license renewed, but with a huge catch-it is only permitted to accommodate 145 folks in the whole spot (274 is the legal occupancy)-including 55 in its popular basement Metropolitan champagne bar-and is not allowed to have a dance floor or a DJ/other entertainment on the first floor. (Read the ABC decision here)

These restrictions are primarily because the owner did not comply with many key provisions of the settlement agreement (such as keeping the front door closed), even admitting that he did not know there was such agreement in place when he bought the place last decade and could not affirm on the record that they complied with its provisions. Most entertainingly is a reference to an impromptu push-up contest on May 4, 2013 (apparently there’s video too):

[A neighbor] also discussed a specific incident involving Napoleon’s patrons on May 4, 2013. On the night of May 4, 2013, around 3:00 a.m., [a neighbor and his wife], as well as their house guests, were awoken by noise outside their home. Outside Napoleon, a large crowd of rowdy and boisterous patrons had gathered outside the establishment.  A number of patrons conducted a pushup contest in the middle of the street and a large number of patrons entered the street to cheer on the participants. After the push-up contest, patrons continued to linger in the street. Vehicles attempted to maneuver around the crowd, which could be observed obstructing traffic. Finally,two male patrons attempted to lift a young man in the air in the middle of the street and almost [accidentally] threw the young man into a passing vehicle.

Hilarious-good to know the Adams Morgan shitshow doesn’t always involve Jumbo Slice and 18th Street. In the end, although the Board ruled that the pushup contest was “a one-time, isolated incident” with respect to pedestrian/vehicular impacts, it held that this example in part “demonstrated that crowd control is a problem at the establishment, and that Napoleon is “having a negative impact on the neighborhood’s peace, order, and quiet based on its demonstrated failure to properly superintend the establishment and comply with the law.” The Board imposed these restrictions to “curtail … [Napoleon’s] potential to become a nightclub.”

Barred in DC will update you in the likely event Napoleon seeks further review of this decision.


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