Shaw and Mt. Vernon Triangle area residents may see an increase in restaurants expanding outdoors this summer. Four establishments were on the May meeting agenda of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E to discuss this topic. Commissioners Alex Padro (6E01, chair), Anthony Brown (6E02), Frank Wiggins (6E03, vice chair), Lily Roberts (6E04, secretary), Alex Marriott (6E05, treasurer), Alvin Judd (6E06), and Kevin Rogers (6E07) made up a full quorum.
Support for Rito Loco Rooftop Summer Garden
A representative of Rito Loco, located at 606 T St. NW, requested support for a substantial change to the rooftop that will give the option to apply for an alcohol license through the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). The representative said that the 49-seat addition will offer music and entertainment but noted that it will not resemble a night club. He said that sound engineers are being used to construct eight-foot-tall walls with insulation and plywood. Entertainment will be kept at a reasonable noise level and monitored by a decibel meter. The rooftop deck will be open until 1:30 a.m. on weekends and 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday. The representative anticipates the rooftop garden will hold its grand opening during the first week of June.
The commissioners motioned to support the change contingent on signing an agreement that will ensure the entertainment doesn’t negatively impact the neighborhood. Should that happen, the commissioners will communicate their concerns to ABRA.
Commissioners Protest Temporary Outdoor Cafe Enclosure
A representative of Chaplin’s, located at 1501 Ninth St. NW, was scheduled to discuss plans to build a temporary enclosure for an outdoor cafe, but was not present. The establishment’s owners would like the commission’s support of the enclosure before they meet with the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB). HPRB support would allow them to enclose the cafe and raise the hours of drinking. Outdoor drinking hours are currently limited until an enclosure is constructed. They would like a temporary enclosure in place now before they can build a permanent one.
The Historical Society of Washington, DC, and HPRB have always required applicants to apply for a permanent structure, so the commissioners motioned to protest the application to the District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) Public Space Committee due to non-compliance. “We support the ultimate goal between the establishment and HPRB to comply and build a permanent structure,” said Chair Padro.
Oyster Bar Receives Support for Outdoor Cafe
A representative of French Quarter Brasserie & Oyster Bar, located at 1544 Ninth St. NW, requested the commission’s support to build an unenclosed outdoor cafe. The representative said that it will be traditional outdoor seating with a black metal fence to mirror other restaurants in the neighborhood. He said that there will be a one-foot landscape buffer on the north and east sides, and a three-foot raised bed on the west side.
The commissioners motioned to communicate support to DDOT’s Public Space Committee.
Outdoor Smoothie Cafe Supported
A representative of Tropical Smoothie, located at 425 I St. NW, requested the commission’s support for an unenclosed outdoor cafe that will feature European-style furniture. He noted that the addition will not intrude on sidewalk space. Commissioner Brown said that he reviewed the outdoor blueprint and believes that it will make a great addition to the neighborhood.
The commission motioned to communicate support to DDOT’s Public Space Committee.
6E Summer Crime Watch
Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Officer Gerry Scott began the meeting with a monthly crime report and what to expect during the upcoming months. In April, no homicides were committed but there were two robberies involving a gun, and 28 total property crimes (home and auto) were reported.
Meeting attendees shared concerns of problems associated with public intoxication during grillouts at neighborhood parks and block parties, which happen frequently during the summer. One attendee noted that someone was shot and killed at a gathering last year.
Officer Scott said that winter and summer policing are much different and that they are being more proactive in their patrols. He also said that there is a younger generation of officers getting up to speed with the area.
Officer Scott urged everyone to call and report suspicious activity. He said that it is more difficult when officers act without a citizen complaint because the perpetrators will say the police are harassing them for no reason. Officer Scott also noted that they are partnering with private security companies to monitor properties of businesses. He provided his email address with encouragement to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org with tips or concerns.
Church Requests Support for Parade Permit
Bible Way Church Associate Pastor James Jenkins requested the commission’s support for a permit application for a parade to be held on June 3 around noon. It will start at the church, located at 1100 New Jersey Ave. NW. The parade will make its way down N, R, and K streets before arriving back at the church, where food and festivities will be available for kids and adults. The parade will last up to an hour, and a maximum of 120 people are expected to participate. Pastor Jenkins would also like to cross over and reach out to New York Avenue residents, but MPD has traffic concerns and has notified the church that it may have to modify the route.
The commissioners motioned to communicate support to MPD.
Back Deck Adjustment Supported
At the April meeting, a resident of 1529 Eighth St. NW requested support for a Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) application to enclose and raise his deck 12 feet. The deck faces Jefferson Apartments with an alley between the two properties. The alley has gotten busier, and people can peer down on his grade-level deck. He is looking for more privacy, and his neighbors support the plan.
The commissioners motioned to communicate support to BZA.
Support for Traffic Safety Study
The commissioners motioned to communicate support to DDOT to take traffic safety studies at the intersection of M Street and New York Avenue NW. The intersection is known for accidents between motorists and pedestrians. The commissioners would like to see more measures taken to protect those who traverse that intersection.
ANC 6E will meet again at 6:30 p.m. on June 6 at the Shaw/Watha T. Daniel Library, 1630 Seventh St. NW. Steve Holton can be contacted at email@example.com.