[This post has been updated]
Barred in DC has learned that the ABRA Board has denied in full a liquor license for Bardo Big River, the riverfront beer garden across from Nationals Park. The Bardo folks already had started construction and hiring – hoping to start in April or May for the baseball season. Bardo can file a motion for the Board to reconsider (it decides very quickly) and a judicial appeal may follow, but there’s no chance this will be open anytime soon.
A copy of ABRA’s unanimous decision an be found here. In its decision, the Board relied on issues related to noise, parking, pedestrian safety, and egress from Nats games discussed in the February hearing Barred in DC wrote about earlier.Specifically, the board said it was “still not convinced” that
- Bardo is capable of preventing noise disturbances to nearby residents (who don’t yet exist)
- the neighborhood has a sufficient parking;
- Bardo can coexist or be included in the neighborhood’s official traffic plan;
- encouraging stadium attendees to across Potomac Ave. is safe; and
- that Bardo can exist without delaying or interfering with people and cars leaving Nats Park after games.
The fact that Bullpen exists a few blocks away was not considered by the Board, since no one ever protested it and as a result it had no findings about it (“the Bullpen’s appropriateness is deemed presumed as a matter of law”). The importance of not disrupting the Nationals logistics was clearly an important part of the decision, though the parking concerns are to me ridiculous as I wouldn’t expect many people to drive to Bardo specifically.