Neighbors Dispute Avery Hotel Liquor License


In response to a complaint filed with the District’s Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) on July 18 by some 30 neighbors on 27th and P St. — whose properties abut the back garden of the Avery Hotel — ABRA requested by phone today, Aug. 8, that protesters’ register their names in protest.  

“It’s the next step that could lead to mediation between the hotel owner, David Duber, and the neighbors regarding his request for an outdoor liquor license,” Connie Zimmer a neighbor, told The Georgetowner.

The neighbors are adamant they don’t want the hotel at 2616 P St. NW to have the new Class C Bed and Breakfast license that would allow alcohol to be served to up to 30 people in both the front and back patios of the hotel, as well as the possibility of some patio construction, Zimmer explained. Several are long-time owners of their properties, and some are in their 80s and 90s.

“The reasons for the protest are numerous,” the letter to the ABRA states. “The rodent population would definitely increase.  Having the noise of 30 people drinking and the additional outdoor lighting directly adjacent to our property would be unacceptable.” The letter also expresses a major concern about a “dry well” drainage system being installed in the back garden without a proper permit. “The flooding and standing water on the new impervious surface is significantly increasing the mosquito population,” the letter continues. A “stop work” order was also quickly removed physically from the building, the complaint adds.

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Gwen Lohse (2E06) and Citizens Association of Georgetown permit experts are involved in trying to set up a mediation between the neighbors and the new hotel owners.  It has been suggested that the number of people to be served alcohol be limited to 12, up until 8 p.m. outdoors, with no events involving music, bright lights or the like permitted. 

“We have been reminded that the D.C. administration is very pro-business and has been giving out liquor licenses more frequently than in the past,” Zimmer said. “Lohse has said we must seek compromise. But some of the neighbors aren’t there yet.”

A virtual hearing has been scheduled with the ABRA on Sept. 7 with a potential decision due around the middle of October. Georgetown-Burleith ANC 2E has acknowledged the protest and it may be on the agenda for the September meeting.

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