Housing Complex

ANC 5C Votes Against Big Bear Cafe Liquor License

bbc-logo1Well, 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.

  • Mr Sad Head

    I am a super huge fan and would love to hear more about your time spent with Gary Coleman. Let's meet up at Big Bear Cafe for a Different Strokes viewing. I'll bring a big jug of wine and we can get all messed up, dancing through Bloomingdale at 2 AM screaming the Strokes theme song at the top of our lungs. That would be so much fun.

  • Jason

    @TheCommish: You're really going to refer to the events in someone's personal life as an excuse? Your vendetta against Stu is clearly personal. You're an embarrassment, you're disgraceful, and you are scum.

  • Jason

    @TheCommish: And since you've started crossing personal boundaries, maybe the fact that you only missed four meetings after your significant other died in a tragic accident isn't something you should brag about. If nothing else, it shows that being on the ANC is probably the only thing in your life that validates your petty little ego.

  • Skipper

    Has anyone compared The Commish to Hitler yet?

  • cj2001

    @The Commish: I appreciate you pointing out above that you are neither a priest nor a minister. However, your behavior on this blog still continues to be unprofessional and falls short of the apology I suggested was owed. That tells me a lot.

  • 2 bit

    a community representative is not a professional position.its not even a position that garners any respect. its a volunteer job that demands people listen to and humor ignorant citizens, waste a lot of time, just to ease the burden on council people. all for no thanks whatsoever.

    sometimes they run uncontested and the number of people voting is often less than the number of facebook friends they have.

    and you all expect "professionalism"?

    double ha!

  • sps


    I hate to skip all the nonsense of these comments, but have you spent 2 seconds reading any of the legit responses to your rants? Big Bear has not been operating illegally, and if it had been then you picked an interesting (i.e., convenient to your views) time to make an stink of it. You have been posting on just about every blog that has highlighted this issue and you have been spouting the nonsense that Stu Davenport is somehow a criminal. These words of mine are basically wasted breath...er, well typing...but I've spent more than half my life dealing with online forums, so I know you're kind. You have been called out again and again about your claim of the Cafe's illegal business, but you stick to it despite the facts. Zoning laws, history, building use...I realize you aren't paid for your position but do not, for one moment, claim you know what you are talking about without addressing ACTUAL statutes.

    @Glennete: I will simply echo the words of other commentors - if you are so concerned about your children, then perhaps you should make a concerted effort to deal with the businesses that ARE allowed to operate in Bloomingdale. Ya know, the ones that specialize in malt liquor and other habits of the perpetually drunk. While you're at it, perhaps you can complain about the ongoing drug trade my friend who lives at W and 2nd witnesses on a daily basis.

  • New Bloomingdale resident

    I'm depressed by this rancor, and especially at the spectacle of an ANC official lashing out in such a hostile manner. It really convinces me that there is a personality issue involved here. At the next election, let us all support someone who is interested in bridging differences rather than picking petty fights.

  • The Commish

    Thanks for all your opinions...we'll let the zoning board, DCRA, and ABRA to settle the manner. These were the facts presented to the ANC. We can only act to oppossed the application for the suptilated license. Frankly, it's a huge disappointment to many that BBC just didn't have it together that is the point. there have been times when BBC operated and was not in complance of the law, that is a fact! As far as it being personal between Stu and myself, it's not personal in any way shape or form. Stu's a nice guy and he trys, I believe that! As for the attendence issue those are his words "not mine." I feel as a commissioner you have an obligation to meet your commitments is all.

    @MrSadHead--now all we need is Tootie to do a guest star appearance to make it really fun!

    @New Bloomingdale--sorry you have come to Bloomingdale at a time when we have a very misunderstood and contentious issue. However, you must realize is issue is not the only one facing this community. I hope you become involved to learn more about them and the people who are actively working to move this community forward and to embace change.

  • Arianna

    The disgraceful conduct displayed by the ANC commissioner in this conversation is quite unbelievable. Unprovoked attacks on a fellow commissioner... ugly words about a neighborhood businessman (and in the next breath, unconvincing wishes for his success)... and many, many low blows to anonymous commenters.

    Someone remarked that the main power an ANC possesses is to say "no." Under such circumstances, isn't it essential to have ANC members who exercise restraint? Who possess an even temperament?

    The ANC commissioner posting in this conversation is anything but restrained. As for his temperament, he displays animosities toward everyone.

    To the ANC commissioner: progress in Bloomingdale is more important than you. It is more important than the owner of Big Bear, Stewart Davenport, and what you all think of each other.

    There can be no doubt that there is a strong interest in this community for a restaurant with a license to serve alcohol. If the recent denial of that license is, as you maintain above, simply a process issue of Big Bear's owner "getting his ducks in a row," then I will look forward to seeing you work diligently and amicably with everyone involved to achieve a positive outcome quickly.

    If, on the other hand, you are acting out of personal animus, then you have no place in public office.

    I look forward to meeting you soon, and I am hoping for the very best.

  • 5c resident

    Barrie Daneker is not the only intemperate person here. Each of you who have harshly criticized him and the ANC decision should ask yourselves whether the arguments and words you are using here are best calculated to achieve a good result. Even if there is racism involved, does it abate racist tension to lash out with charges? Even if you have given up on a Commissioner, does it really help to declare his or her days numbered? This is a public forum. When you vent here, it has much bigger consequences than simply permitting you to blow off steam.

    At the same time, Barrie Daneker is a public official with special responsibilities, and he's revealed some personal animosities here which should concern everyone. Petty personal difference should have no part in his remarks or actions on public business. I could not agree more than neighborhood development is much, MUCH bigger than Barrie Daneker, Stu Davenport, John Salatti, or any other individual involved here.

    The measure of character for us all should be whether we can set aside bad feeling and achieve positive results. Will critics and Commissioners confine commentary to issues at hand and use a respectful tone? Will the ANC make good on its suggestion that Big Bear will be favorably considered when it complies with narrow requirements?

    Like it or not, there are different people living in this small area, and there will be for a very long time. Our civic purpose must be to accommodate each other in our differences and work hard to discover what we can share.

  • Snickers

    How admirably antidemocratic of some of you to call to abolish the ANC, the bodies set up to ensure that communities are adequately represented in the city's business.

    As some of you point out, it is easy for anyone including "crackpots" (aka people who disagree with you) to get elected to ANCs. Which also means that some of you could have gotten off your lazy asses and been part of the ANC, rather than sitting on your couches flaming about it.

    The unpleasant fact is that there are actual people out there, your neighbors, who don't want BBC to have this license, and they appear to have a few fairly decent reasons for that. They may not be as loud as you people, or as clever at using the internet, but they organized, ran for offices, and participated.

    So the system favors people who participate, over people who sit at home and complain on the internet. (Looking at you, Mr. T in DC, who seems to spend the entire day on various blogs). And that's how it should be.

  • Mr Sad Head

    Dearest Commish, I pray you are not toying with me! Can you really get Tootie to jam with us at BBC!?!? I love you. I'm so glad I finally said it out loud. Yours diff'rently, Sad Head.

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