M Street’s Rhino Bar Forced to Close For 5 Days

Rhino Bar and Pumphouse, Georgetown’s unofficial college football bar, will shut down this week after having its liquor license suspended for selling beer to an underage student in February 2013.

The acclaimed Philadelphia Eagles and Boston Red Sox bar, located at 3295 M St., NW, will be closed Tuesday, July 8, through Saturday, July 12, as mandated by D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

According to the ABC Board, an officer from the Metropolitan Police Department was stationed at the bar’s entrance to assist in identifying fake IDs on the night of the incident in February 2013. Two women walked past the line of patrons waiting to enter the establishment and went straight to the bouncer. After speaking with him, the two women hurried down M Street and were followed by the same police officer who was stationed at the entrance. They then admitted to the police officer that the bouncer alerted them of the cop’s presence and warned them not to enter, despite the fact that Rhino Bar had let them, and many other underage individuals, inside the establishment on previous occasions.

Upon returning to the bar, the officer approached two other women drinking inside. One of them was a 19-year-old Georgetown lacrosse player holding a Bud Light. Rhino Bar owner Charles Britton Swann, of the recently closed M Street hamburger and ice cream shop, Serendipity 3, claimed that the establishment was not serving Bud Light at the time and that the lacrosse player must have entered through the back door and brought her own alcohol with her.

Rhino Bar argued that there was insufficient evidence to prove that it served the underage lacrosse player because they did not serve that brand of beer on the night of the incident. The D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board stated that the lacrosse player had no other source of alcohol other than the bar since Rhino Bar does not allow customers to enter with their own containers of alcohol.

Since this was the second incidence of underage alcohol consumption at Rhino Bar within two years, the Board suspended its liquor license for five days and fined the business $3,000.

For details on the court’s ruling, [click here](http://abra.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/abra/publication/attachments/RhinoBarandPumphouse-13-CMP-161-6182014.pdf).

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