The Sexist

Madams Organ Could Lose License Over Touchy Customer

Today is the day of reckoning for notorious Adams Morgan blues bar Madams Organ and its equally notorious owner, Bill Duggan. As Marc Fisher reports, D.C.'s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will meet today to decide the fate of the bar's liquor license, a ruling that will rest upon the story of a couple wandering hands.

According to Fisher:

The story began late one night in June of 2007, when an Arlington woman was sitting at the Madam's bar with her boyfriend. Suddenly, she felt someone reach over and grab her side near her waist.

"Stop that," the woman said, "you can't touch me." She told her boyfriend what had happened, and before she knew it, the unknown man had touched her again.

According to testimony in the Superior Court case that grew out of the incident, the woman asked a bartender to intercede and was told that "they did not see anything happen and they were not going to kick him out and that we should all make friends." The woman and her boyfriend didn't like that solution, so they left. Outside, they found a D.C. police officer, who then accompanied the couple back inside the bar so they could point out the man who had committed the improper touching.

That's when the bar staff allegedly involved itself in some improper behavior of its own. When D.C. police arrested the patron, they noted that the "bar's bouncer claimed that the offending patron had already been kicked out of the premises, which he had not." Today, the ABC board will decide whether that amounts to "willful deception," or the bar being used for "an unlawful or disorderly purpose"—and whether that means Madams should be stripped of its license.

Duggan, of course, is calling the whole thing "totally absurd"—"A guy touching a woman on her thigh or hip in a bar–somehow, I don't think that's the first time that's happened in a bar," he told Fisher. But will the ABC board agree that one grabby bar patron isn't enough to sink the estimable Organ?

  • mdesus

    incredibly ridiculous sounds about right. Also that place sucks.

  • WhySoSerious

    Wait, this is the most absurd thing I've read in awhile. The whole thing reads like a joke. The scripted reply "Stop that, you can't touch me" sounds like its from a suburban empowerment class. She told the boyfriend and...? So he's a punk. They told the bartender, not the bouncer? Everything about this is wrong. Fights are common in come places. Patrons have been shot and stabbed in bars that did not have their licenses revoked. If Madam's loses their license over this crap its an outrage.

  • Amanda Hess

    I know. The dude touched her waist! She's in a crowded bar. Something isn't right here.

  • Pingback: Bill Duggan to ABC Board: “This Is Fucking Ridiculous.” - City Desk - Washington City Paper

  • Debbie

    justice will be served, about time he got his dues!

  • Bill Duggan

    boy, couple of haters here, huh????
    As Steve Martin used to say well excuuuuuuuse me!!!
    By the way, Debbie, that saying is "got his due", not "dues"
    But, other than that, how'd you like the play, Mrs Lincoln?

  • Amanda Hess

    it will take more than this to sink the Organ!

  • hula hoop

    madam's organ is THE most eclectic den of inequity I've ever had the pleasure of discovering in my travels,that being said...Bill may not be everybodies cup of tea,and he might not like this secret getting out,as it were,but he's got a huge heart and does a lot of good for the community,from raising money for ms research,as well as being a major force behind the east coast's MOST legendary block party;adam's morgan if that's not enough,he helps some of the most ignored resident,s of the community,from children in need,to disabled,semi homeless musician of astonishing skill,sadly the only place a body would be lucky enough to see him make a guitar cry the blues is when he might do the rare song or two and sit in with whatever killer band is playing that night at where?oh yeah,at madam's,that place some few cold hearted reptilian "politicians",and apparently bored wanna be debutantes want to shut down.the gods will surely smite such ignorant scum.If they should succeed in their ill concieved quest they will be among the reviled of this twisted town,so CHILL OUT!!!Besides no matter that,in this economy you want to take away all the jobs created and taxes generated,not to mention the trickle down economics e.g. the diner after hours fewer customers so maybe more jobs lost,or cigarettes,and cheeseburgers no longer bought by people that didn't come to adam's morgan for cigarettes,gasoline etc.they came for big daddy's love loung and the free pool,great music,great vibes,and an all around excellent time.

  • Mikael

    Worst part about this story is that Madam's Organ is a shithole filled with suburban rednecks and fratboys.

  • a.c.a.s.e.

    this is stale but bill gave me an apartment room after i got drunk an threatened him. do you know anyone this forgiving??? i doubt it. bill, if u ever read this...thanks....a. case long live madams