City Desk

ABC Board Rejects Compromise Offer on Muse Lounge Violations

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Muse Nightclub and Lounge, at 717 6th Street NW, is facing a slew of violations from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). Just this past May, MPD Chief Cathy Lanier shut down Muse for 96 hours, over a box-cutter slashing incident. On Wednesday, Wei Zhou, co-owner of the establishment, sat before the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board at a status hearing regarding four separate charges dating back to 2009. And the club's future still looks up in the air.

On April 26, 2009, ABRA investigators found Club Muse “allowed the establishment to be used for an unlawful or disorderly purpose and failed to cooperate with investigators,” according to ABRA records. The alleged incident involved an altercation between patrons, and an altercation between a patron and security personnel. Investigators also cited the club for sale of alcohol to intoxicated persons and a violation of its security plan in failing to document the altercation; failing to log a stolen purse; and the “Unhappy Guests” clause, “sending a guest away unhappy and failing to find out why” after the altercation.

The fourth charge was for failure to comply with their Voluntary Agreement. On Friday, March 12, 2010, ABRA General Counsel Martha Jenkins had advised the club to provide an MPD reimbursable detail by the next weekend. According to an ABRA investigator, the establishment failed to provide one. The detail was in place by the following weekend.

The District and the bar worked together on an offer-in-compromise, which would have included a total fine of $6,000, to be paid within 30 days, a temporarily suspension of the liquor license on Monday, July 26, and two additional suspensions that could be triggered by additional violations.

“We… worked very very hard to put together an OIC, on a very complex case, where the establishment has…worked very hard to take care of the issues that we have in front of us,” said Louise Phillips, an assistant attorney general.

But the ABC Board rejected the OIC, setting up another hearing on Wednesday, Aug. 18. The parties are expected to call a total of at least 13 witnesses—might need some alcohol to get through that one.

Photo by StuartWebster. Creative Commons Attribution License.

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