City Desk

Neighborhood Watch: 14th Street Beer Garden Fight

3797775113_9493454735

The Issue: Summertime calls for cold beers, cheap burgers, and outdoor relaxin'. In steps Thaddeus Curtz's new burger joint, Standard, which is set to open at 1801 14th St. NW, reports 14th & You (guess Crepes on the Corner won’t be moving in). As a cook at the Neapolitan pizzeria 2 Amy’s, he must know what he's doing. Burgers, fries, and everything else will run under 6 bucks. And the 15-seat restaurant will open out onto a sidewalk cafe and a summer garden with seating for 130. The "problem"? Curtz plans to serve alcohol and stay open until 1:30 a.m. on weeknights and 2:30 a.m. on weekends–leaving nearby residents and two local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions up in arms.

Recipe for a Block Party: Standard would essentially transform the former outdoor garden center into a beer garden. “It seemed that large of a crowd outside, so close to residential homes…would be inviting problems,” says local ANC 1B commissioner Eduardo Ferrer. Curtz’s liquor license proposal was met with resistance by both the local ANC and neighboring ANC 2B, with ANC 2B voting unanimously against it. The ANCs expressed concern over the late weekday hours and outdoor noise. Commissioners noted that no other business in the area had ever requested so much outdoor seating.

For the Love of Burgers: A casual, cheap-eats joint to grab a beer on any given weekday is precisely what the neighborhood needs, wrote one commenter at 14th & You. “Residents have got to realize that if they want to live the ‘New York style life’ they so desire by buying these condos in the city that they will have some noise…from time to time,” wrote another. “If you want suburbia, move out to Reston!”

What’s Next: Curtz says he isn’t worried about disputes over his liquor license. “I think that it’s just a natural part of the process. It’s nothing unusual,” he says. The local ANC may be willing to negotiate if Standard's weekday outdoor hours are scaled back. The issue isn't the burger joint, but rather the business plan, Ferrer said.

Photo by davidgsteadman, Creative Commons Attribution License

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • Joan

    the WCP's new website sucks

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    I live in ANC 2B and this place is along a commercial strip and I think it would be a good thing. The trouble is that too many of these ANC are run by a bunch of busy bodies who have no life. What I would like to know is where was Eduardo Ferrer when an illegal and dangerous business was operating at 14Th and Corcoran, NW (Men's Parties) would you like to answer that Ed!

    Mr. Curtz wants to operate a good and clean business in an up and comming area, and unfortunately he is running into the same ANC BULLSHIT!, that the owners of JR's and Hanks ran into over the years!

    Also I want to point out to City Paper's, Kim Chi Ha that the use of the words, "Beer Garden" denotes a negative and prejudical discription and image of Mr. Curtz's establishment.

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    I live in ANC 2B and this place is along a commercial strip and I think it would be a good thing. The trouble is that too many of these ANC's are run by a bunch of busy bodies who have no life. What I would like to know is where was Eduardo Ferrer when an illegal and dangerous business was operating at 14Th and Corcoran, NW (Men's Parties) would you like to answer that Ed!

    Mr. Curtz wants to operate a good and clean business in an up and comming area, and unfortunately he is running into the same ANC BULLSHIT!, that the owners of JR's and Hanks ran into over the years!

    Also I want to point out to City Paper's, Kim Chi Ha that the use of the words, "Beer Garden" denotes a negative and prejudical discription and image of Mr. Curtz's establishment.

  • Stewart

    “Residents have got to realize that if they want to live the ‘New York style life’ they so desire by buying these condos in the city that they will have some noise…from time to time,” wrote another. “If you want suburbia, move out to Reston!”

    Actually, those arguments are wholly inapplicable in this situation. This establishment will be opening in an area that has been residential for a long time. There are no new condos in the immediate vicinity and it is not a nightlife hub. The preexisting usage in that location was retail. So this is the polar opposite of someone who buys a condo in the midst of the nightlife on 18th St or U St and then complains about how noisy it is. This is someone bringing a noisy outside establishment to an established residential area. The community has every right to be concerned, particularly since the main focus will be on outside eating. (No way they sell enough $6 burgers in their 15-seat indoor space to cover the rent.) For what it's worth, I love the idea of a beer garden and I'd love to see one in DC. And I don't live anywhere near this new place so it's not like the noise would bother me. But I think the community's concerns are completely legitimate.

  • J

    The line about New York condo wannabes is an insult to the people who would be most impacted here: the Frontiers townhome condos, built as public housing, taken into ownership by the residents in the mid 90s as affordable family housing, with front doors and bedroom windows 40ft at the most from this proposed 140 outdoor Fells Point-esque beer garden. Guy works the night shift, and you want him to endure that, AND then sneer at him to "move to Reston?" And BOTH ANCs voted unanimously to protest, which is a rare occurrence on these divisive topics.

    I've seen real NIMBYs, and fought them. There's only one thing worse than being opposed by a NIMBY, and that's being played by someone with a biz idea that equates with a big douchey FU to very nearby residents.

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    Let me explain it again!, THE AREA OF THIS RESTRUANT IS ZONED COMMERCIAL!, COMMERCIAL FOR CHRIST SAKE!

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    CORRECTION: Line one #6, RESTAURANT, not RESTRUANT.

  • J

    If Rick Mangus is the strongest advocate for this place, I think we all know where it's headed.

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    No 'J' I believe that the deck is stacked against the small business owners in this town because of the busy bodies on the ANC's, I think the commissions need to go!

  • noodlez

    MANGY SPOKEN LIKE A TRUE WING NUT!

...