Ben’s Upstairs Gets Approval to Host Entertainment on Roof Deck

Ben’s Upstairs (10th/H) on H Street has received permission to have entertainment, both inside and on its roof deck. Its settlement agreement with the local ANC has some interesting provisions.According to the agreement, Ben’s can only have unamplified music and spoken word performances on the roof; no amplified music or DJs are allowed. The agreement gives details about what’s allowed-

  • Unamplified music
    • acoustic guitar
    • wind ensemble
    • a capella music
    • muted trumpet
    • saxophone
    • string (harp)
    • electric piano
    • flute
    • upright bass
    • (my favorite) drum instruments with brushes
  • Spoken word performances utilizing a small PA
    • comedy show
    • poetry readings

The rooftop is currently allowed to be open until midnight on weekends and 11p the rest of the week. Interestingly, the settlement agreement says that the ANC can restrict hours of entertainment to end as early as 8p if there are 2 valid noise complaints in a 6 month period; after 6 months without a noise complaint then the hours would revert back.

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