The District of Columbia's Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) has levied a $500 fine against Madam's Organ Blue Bar over a briefly open window. Last June, a musician playing at the venue "opened the window to let a fart out. He cracked it open for five minutes—and the inspector showed up," according to owner Bill Duggan.
In an ABRA letter, the agency states that Madam's Organ's front window was cracked open between 1:30 and 1:33 a.m. A passing enforcement officer noticed it and wrote up the bar for violating a 2008 agreement with the city in which it promised to keep all doors and windows closed after 12:30 a.m. when live music was playing.
Duggan told the blog Borderstan he's gone "20 fucking years with not one violation … People get stabbed and shot in other establishments. In ours, someone farts, cracks a window, and they spend a year on it." He's considering an appeal.
To put the situation in a little context, Madam's Organ is located in several-block stretch of D.C.'s Adams Morgan neighborhood that is filled with bars, restaurants, and people pouring up and down the street at night. A few minutes of music emanating from the bar would hardly be a pox on an otherwise sleepy situation.
"In case you hadn't heard, we were recently fined $500 over a fart back in June 2014," the Madam's Organ Facebook page posted this week. "It took a long time for that gas to clear the air, but the current situation smells even worse."