Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Pretzel Bakery Provides More Details about Plans to Serve Beer

The Pretzel Bakery (Credit - Facebook)

The Pretzel Bakery (Credit – Facebook)

Tonight, the Pretzel Bakery in Hill East provided additional details to its neighbors about its plan to serve beer  with its pretzels. According to owner Sean Haney and manager Alan Chargin, who hosted the meeting at the shop along with ANC 6B commissioner Chander Jayraman (a neighboring ANC commissioner, Daniel Ridge also attended to express his support), the Pretzel Bakery hopes to offer six varieties of craft canned beer at around $5 each. Although kegs were first considered, logistical issues (e.g. storage) as well as the inability to offer more than two beers led to the switch to cans. Wine may be offered in the future if customers demand it (no liquor would be allowed under the license if it gets it). The liquor license application seeks permission to offer alcohol from 11a-9p.

The 10 or so neighbors who attended the meeting appeared to unanimously support the concept for serving beer alongside pretzels. A number of neighbors who live directly above Pretzel Bakery (it is located on the ground floor of a condo building) did express concerns that the proposed 9p closing time for the outdoor patio might be problematic due to noise issues; Barred in DC expects the ANC and Pretzel Bakery to enter into a settlement agreement to resolve these issues.

One impetus to get the liquor license is to drive more business later in the day; currently around 2/3 of sales comes in the morning and the shop recently clawed back its hours from 8p to 7p most days of the week. Sean said that he hoped to offer a handful of sandwiches as well to further the same end.

The ANC 6B alcohol subcommittee will take the license application up at its next meeting Thursday, February 9th at 7p at the Hill Center, with the full ANC to consider it on Tuesday, February 14th. The deadline for the ANC (and any neighbors to protest) is February 20th.

[Full Disclosure-I’m on the ANC 6B alcohol subcommittee and live on the same block as Pretzel Bakery. I also talked a lot at the meeting and provided suggestions to Pretzel Bakery. Sorry-I’m a fake journalist.]

Ben’s Upstairs Hosts Inauguration Day & Women’s March Events

Ben's Upstairs (Credit: Facebook)

Ben’s Upstairs (Credit: Facebook)

Ben’s Upstairs, the recently-renamed restaurant/bar above the H Street Ben’s Chili Bowl (at 10th and H NE) hosts events on both Friday, January 20th for Inauguration Day and Saturday the 21st before the Women’s March on Washington.

The all-day Friday event (starts at 11a), styled as an “Inauguration Day Rooftop Retreat” features:

  • a Noon moment of silence when Trump’s oath is given;
  • Brunch, then dinner;
  • Oldies playing on the record player (BYOR as well);
  • Southern tea party from 3-6p w/ finger sandwiches & community cake; and
  • community toast (Councilmember Charles Allen is invited but he is likely out of town) at 6p.

The next morning, a $10 community breakfast buffet is served from 8a-10a before the Women’s March; includes: scrambled eggs, grits, sauteed peppers/onions, Belgian waffles, half-smokes, bacon, fresh fruit, and yogurt.

The Pretzel Bakery Applies for Liquor License

The Pretzel Bakery (Credit - Facebook)

The Pretzel Bakery (Credit – Facebook)

The Pretzel Bakery, the beloved Hill East shop, has applied for a liquor license to serve beer (and possibly wine) alongside its eponymous pretzels. The bakery moved down the street-it’s now at the corner of 15th and C SE a few blocks from Potomac Avenue Metro- in early 2016 and promised it would apply for a license as part of that move. It is seeking a DR liquor license, for up to 38 people inside (18 seated) and 18 on its corner patio, meaning it would only be permitted to serve beer and wine (no hard liquor) and at least 45% of its sales would have to be for food. Permission is being sought to serve drinks 11a-9p every day.

The local ANC 6B alcohol subcommittee considers the liquor license on Thursday, January 4th, with a roll call hearing and protest hearing scheduled on February 27th and April 26th, respectively. If no protests are received by February 13th, you may be enjoying pretzels and beer in no time.

You might think this is uncontroversial, but liquor licenses are never easy, particularly when the location was previously occupied by the notorious New Dragon Carryout. The carryout was the site of an open air drug market and many shootings and had a liquor license before ABRA stripped it in the early 2000s. Some neighbors are still wary of letting booze flow on the corner when so much time and effort (and more) was expended to rid the corner of problems.

[Full Disclosure-I’m on the ANC 6B alcohol subcommittee and live on the same block as Pretzel Bakery.]