ANC 6C Report

TruOrleans Update

In May, Commissioners and residents alike aired their grievances against TruOrleans, a restaurant that has violated their voluntary agreement multiple times by operating more like a nightclub than a restaurant. TruOrleans played loud music, operated past closing time, and refused to enclose the second-floor open-air deck. As a result, the Commission voted six-zero to protest its liquor license renewal application. Commissioner Mark Kazmierczak reported that the roll call hearing regarding the application on June 3 went on as planned, with both parties attending. The next step is the mediation hearing on July 12; if the Commission is unsuccessful in pleading its case, then there will be a status hearing on July 24 and a protest hearing on September 18. 

The Commission plans to meet with TruOrleans' owners ahead of the mediation and hopes to solve their issues then. However, investigators from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) proved that TruOrleans is still violating the voluntary agreement after shutting down the restaurant's open-deck second floor and outdoor patio during a recent live-music event. Commissioner Kazmierczak moved to allocate funds up to $5,000 for an attorney, if needed; the Commission approved the motion with a vote of five-zero (Commissioner Scott Price was not in attendance). 

Union Kitchen

Jonas Singer and Cullen Gilchrist, co-owners of Union Kitchen, presented an application for a Class A liquor license with an entertainment aspect. Union Kitchen, a well-known establishment in the area, is a food incubator, where food truck owners and other restauranteurs can cook their food while growing and sustaining their businesses. They plan to turn the parking lot located on Third and L Streets into an open-air establishment where residents can enjoy food, drink, and live acoustic music close to their neighborhood. Union Kitchen has already held events on the lot, including free movie screenings, usually with little to no protests. 

While the Commission and residents consider Union Kitchen as a good neighbor, the Alcoholic Beverage Committee (ABC) recommended protesting the organization's license application until they enter into a voluntary agreement. ABC Chairperson and former Commissioner Tony Richardson explained that the protest gives the Commission to have participate during ABRA deliberations. Commissioner Tony Goodman noted that while Union Kitchen is located in an industrial zone, it is close to a residential neighborhood; as a result, some people voiced concerns regarding potential noise and customer behavioral issues. However, thanks to Union Kitchen's reputation and the owners' presentation, those neighbors left the monthly ABC meeting feeling more confident. He, along with Drew Courtney will represent the ANC during the licensing process, with Richardson serving as the alternate. The Commission voted five-zero to protest Union Kitchen's application. 

Third and L Streets and Union Place

During the Planning, Zoning, and Environment (PZE) Committee report, vice-chair Ryan McGinness presented a Planned Unit Development (PUD) application modification from K Street Developers, LLC. The applicant wanted to include about 5,000 square feet located on the corner of Third and L Streets for a project which includes the Loree Grand at Union Place, an apartment building that opened three years ago; the space was not included in the original PUD application, as the applicant bought the land in recent years. 

The main complaint from PZE was the lack of parking. While the applicant originally said that there will be available residential parking spaces at Loree Grand, those spaces are not available to the community.  Naomi Mitchell, community liaison for Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, stated that he introduced new legislation that would allow ANCs to develop an agreement with developers to lease and/or sell property without residential street parking. While Mitchell believes the legislation could be considered by September, Commissioner Mark Eckenwiler noted that the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) will not allow such a request under certain circumstances. Commissioner Goodman believed that the applicant might have misled the PZE Committee regarding available residential parking; however, proposed amenities, including a child care facility and a public plaza, made the project more attractive. Commission Chair Karen Wirt motioned to keep the matter open until the July 10 meeting; the Commission agreed, voting five-zero approving the motion. 

Other Business

  • Calvin Smith of the Specialty Hospital of Washington (SHW) introduced himself to the Commission as part of an ongoing outreach campaign. SHW has two locations: the Hadley Campus in Ward 8 and Capitol Hill Campus in Ward 6. Smith can be reached at 202-574-5705 or csmith@shwdc.com. 
  • Commissioner Goodman nominated Wilina Robsen to replace Fred Irby on the ABC Committee.  If approved, Robsen will serve as the 6C06 representative. 
  • The Commission voted five-zero to support the Union Station Le Pain Quotidien's new Class D liquor license application and West Wing Cafe's license renewal application. 
  • The Commission voted five-zero to approve and sign a resolution supporting efforts to rebuild Frager's Hardware after the June 5 fire. The store currently runs a pop-up shop at Eastern Market.