Losing Its Irish Charm? ABC Suspends Ri Ra Pub

Ri Ra Irish Pub at 3123 M St. NW has been shut down by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Jan. 4 through Jan. 12 for “Sale to Minor Violation, Failed to Take Steps Necessary to Ascertain Legal Drinking Age.”

During the Nov. 18 hearing that meted out the punishment, the ABC Board “accepted an Offer In Compromise: $4,000 fine to be paid within 30 days. Charge I-$4,000 and Charge II -dismissed. Suspension of the license for 15 days, 9 days served and 6 days stayed. The suspension days are January 4-12, 2016. Indefinite suspension of the license if the fine is not paid by December 18, 2015, 5-0.”

Aside from the obligatory ABC placard taped to the Ri Ra window this week, the Ri Ra management also offered its own apology letter on its front door window—promising its customers and the community that such a violation would never happen again.

Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Bill Starrels, who heads the group’s alcoholic beverage committee and in whose single-member district Ri Ra operates, commented on the restaurant’s temporary closure: “According to my constituents that usually frequent the pub, it seems to have changed since its first year and has a different clientele. On its opening day, the Ri Ra owners appeared to be a first-class act.”

The ABC Board is part of D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. Board members are Donovan Anderson (chair), Nick Alberti, Mike Silverstein, Ruthanne Miller and James Short.


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