Welcome to the D.C. Restaurant Scene, Cap City Diner!
"They're now issuing a parking ticket for the goddamn diner!"
Those were practically the first words out of Matt Ashburn's mouth when I called him a little while ago. He's on location at what's supposed to be the Trinidad home of Capital City Diner, but the city won't let him park his vintage 1947 dining car on the property, where a used-car lot squatted for years until the mayor shut it down in November.
At issue is the foundation that Ashburn and his business partner, Patrick Carl, poured at 1050 Bladensburg Rd NE. It apparently hasn't been blessed by the holy water of the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs. Ashburn swears that he followed the procedures that some lower-level DCRA flunkie told him to follow, but he learned today — as the 40-foot diner was sitting on Bladensburg Road after its long trip from New York — that the city doesn't have ample proof that Ashburn and Carl poured the foundation to code. Or some such shit.
DCRA has issued a stop-work order until the mess gets sorted out.
A clearly frustrated Ashburn doesn't know what's next for him and DCRA. "This is my first time to do it," says Ashburn, a former FBI analyst turned restaurateur.
Y&H has a call into DCRA for more information. In the meantime, after the jump, you can read some of the Tweets from the Capital City gang today as they got their first taste of gummit bureaucracy.
- First truck arrived, carrying I-beams to use to lift diner from truck to foundation. Hopefully @dcra inspectors will come soon. about 5 hours ago from web
- It has arrived and @dcra inspector left w/out approving foundation. Said if we place diner it is illegal. about 4 hours ago from mobile web
- After days of no return calls, and us following previous guidance, @DCRA just issued stop work order. Diner in middle of Bladensburg Rd NE. about 2 hours ago from web
- @hb123 He said there's no proof we built it to plans. Many photos of the construction are not good enough. DCRA rep told us it'd be fine. about 2 hours ago from web in reply to hb123
- @dcra Please help. about 2 hours ago from web
- @dcra We followed guidance given by DCRA reps. about 2 hours ago from web in reply to dcra
- @hb123 No...we have photos during construction but that's not good enough. about 2 hours ago from web in reply to hb123
- @dcra Just checked e-mail. There were some inaccuracies there. Replied. Also, we have a PE certification from architect now. about 2 hours ago from web in reply to dcra
- city is giving us a parking ticket. about 1 hour ago from mobile web