We've Lived in Bars and Danced on Tables


This story might not have much resonance unless you, like many Reasonoids, live in Washington, DC. The names won't be familiar. But the jist will be: the city is aiming to reverse the gentrification-fed trend of bars by requiring all but a few establishments in the hopping Adams Morgan neighborhood to become restaurants.

The council measure, called the Adams Morgan Moratorium Zone, would limit the number of tavern licenses in the area to 10. The city would allow the number of taverns to drop to 10 through attrition, rather than by revoking licenses already issued.

Patrick's association, which represents most of the restaurants, wants the council to reject the moratorium and to rethink the food sales law. Otherwise, he said, many restaurants will close. "If they enforce everything, you are going to have 60 vacancies," Patrick said.

Some restaurant owners say their businesses can survive only as taverns because Adams Morgan does not attract the daytime crowds that could help them sell more food.

Under District law, restaurants serving alcohol must get $2,000 a seat or 45 percent of their annual revenues from food sales.

The Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration is conducting an audit of restaurants to see whether they comply with the law. Adams Morgan restaurant owners say they suspect that smaller restaurants throughout the city will fail, crippling other neighborhood commercial strips such as the H Street and U Street districts.

Does anyone live in a town or city that's passed some similar edict?