ANC 5C Votes Against Big Bear Cafe Liquor License
Well, this may be the last update on this for a while: At its general public meeting this evening, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C unanimously voted to oppose a liquor license for the Big Bear Cafe in Bloomingdale. As noted last week, a group of nearby residents had organized in outright opposition to the license, forgoing the voluntary agreement process. This week, those in opposition presented the ANC with a resolution declining to support Big Bear owner Stu Davenport's application, with a list of whereases based around the unholy trinity of parking, trash, and noise (plus zoning).
The commission took one last lightning round of comments from audience members before another lengthy procedural debate, in which commissioner Gigi Ransom took Davenport to task for failing to engage the community and provide requested information. When the vote was finally called, no one voted in his favor (commissioner John Salatti, the Big Bear's biggest supporter, was not able to attend). It's still technically possible for the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration to approve the license, but such an unequivocal thumbs down from the ANC could be the end.
It probably didn't help matters for Davenport that he was preceeded by Brian Brown, who came asking for support at the ANC's September meeting for a liquor license at his new restaurant/event space/lounge at the firehouse on North Capitol and Quincy. The bank is much more comfortable under writing construction, he explained, if the community gives its support–which it had, as former commissioner Robert Vinson Brannum pointed out, four years ago when the restaurant was first proposed. Some neighbors opposing Big Bear's license gave the arrival of Brown's spot as an additional reason why more nightlife could overwhelm their peace and quiet.