September 17, 2014 at 9:13 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Liquor board rules against company opposing DC Eagle license

D.C. Eagle, gay news, Washington Blade

The DC Eagle plans to relocate to Benning Road, N.E. (Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

The D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on Sept. 10 once again denied a request to reopen the protest period for opposing an application by the DC Eagle for a liquor license at its new location at 3701 Benning Road, N.E.

Celia Properties Limited Partnership, a company that owns a shopping center adjacent to the Eagle’s property, petitioned the ABC Board to reconsider the earlier denial on grounds that the Eagle failed to post in a visible and conspicuous location a required placard announcing its license application and the option of nearby residents and businesses to oppose it within a certain period of time.

In a 5-1 decision with one abstention, the liquor board reiterated its earlier ruling that the Eagle met all of its legal requirements for posting the placards on the side of its building.

“In this case, the petitioner, as the abutting property owner, could have or should have been able to observe the placards during the protest period itself or through its employee-agents,” the ABC Board said in its ruling. “It is not the fault of DC Eagle that the petitioner chose not to explore the portion of its property near DC Eagle’s placards during the protest period,” the ruling says.

Roderic Woodson, the attorney representing Celia Properties, told the Washington Blade earlier this month that Celia planned to appeal an unfavorable decision by the liquor board to the D.C. Court of Appeals. Woodson couldn’t immediately be reached to determine when or whether his client still plans to file such an appeal.

The Eagle’s owners began construction earlier this year to convert its warehouse building on Benning Road into a bar, restaurant and dance club with a roof deck and sidewalk café, among other features.

The owners have also applied for a separate liquor license for a cigar bar that would operate within the building in an enclosed space. Celia Properties has filed within the deadline period a petition opposing that license. The ABC Board has scheduled a hearing for Oct. 8 to hear arguments on that matter.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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