June 16, 2017 at 11:50 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Uproar bar reopens
Uproar collapse, gay news, Washington Blade

A deck structure at Uproar buckled on Sunday night. (Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

City building inspectors cleared the way for Uproar gay bar and restaurant to reopen earlier this week after ordering its building at 639 Florida Ave., N.W. evacuated last Sunday night when a section of its roof deck buckled.

Matt Orlins, a spokesperson for the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, said the department lifted its evacuation order Uproar after the owner of the building, which Uproar rents, repaired the deck and roof and a structural engineer determined the building was safe.

Orlins said DCRA has so far kept the evacuation order in place for the second floor of an adjacent building owned by the same landlord because the installation of sufficient reinforcement for the roof had not been completed. Uproar has rented the second floor of the adjacent building at 641 Florida Ave., N.W. to make use of its roof for a deck that connects the roof deck on its own building.

D.C. Fire and EMS structural experts ordered both buildings evacuated about 7:40 p.m. on Sunday, June 11, after responding to a call about the roof deck buckling or “bowing,” according to a Fire and EMS spokesperson.

In a statement, Fire and EMS officials said the “incident involved floor joists compromised from excess weight causing the roof to bow.”

Ed Grandis, an attorney who represents Uproar, said structural problems that are being repaired now appear to have been caused when the landlord first renovated the two buildings prior to the time that Uproar moved into the space at 639 Florida Ave., N.W.

“A new metal beam has been installed in 641,” said Grandis. “This was a situation between the landlord and the contractors that did the work on the roof,” he said.

He said Uproar is now open for business.

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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