City Desk

Neighborhood Watch: Disc Jockeys Irk Desk Jockeys in Dupont Circle

turntableThe Issue: The "thumping music" scene at Current Sushi, located at 1215 Connecticut Ave. NW,  might impress WaPo's "Going Out Guru" Fritz Hahn. But the desk jockeys next door are nonplussed.

The Feedback:  On Wednesday, the District's Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) board took the Dupont Circle sushi joint's owners to task for violating a voluntary agreement prohibiting "live entertainment, disc jockey, karaoke or otherwise loud performances in the outdoor area," after the manager of a neighboring office building complained about "extremely loud levels of music beginning sometimes as early as 4 p.m."

An undercover agent from the city's Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) dropped by the sushi spot twice to check out the allegedly noisy rooftop, both times observing "several large speakers" and a DJ spinning tunes. When the agent confronted management about the violation one night last October, according to an ABRA report, "the music was playing at such a loud level that conversation was very difficult."

The Technical Difficulties: Current Sushi's attorney, Makan Shirafkan, says the owners thought they were in compliance because the DJ typically resides on the opposite side of a clear wall separating the turntables from the outdoor deck. But during recent renovations on the rooftop, the clear wall was taken down, he explains.

What's next? The restaurant has rebuilt the wall in question and is currently working with the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission to try to modify the voluntary agreement, which the sushi spot inherited from Dragonfly, the previous occupant. ABRA fined the owners $250 for the violation.

Photo by Chris Shott

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