* Both ANC 4B and ANC 4A protested in August 2008 when the restaurant operating as “Salmeron’s,” 7331 Georgia Avenue, applied to extend its hours from 11 am to midnight (7 days a week) to 11 am to 2:30 am (on weekends), and to offer live entertainment.
ANC 4B and ANC 4A opposed because Salmeron's was cited twice by ABRA inspectors for violating its license. They stayed open as late as 2 am, with live bands performing. Neither the 2 am closing nor the music were permitted. The music was heard several blocks away. Police were called.
* ANC 4B and the community offered a compromise and tried to negotiate a voluntary agreement, but Salmeron's attended only two meetings. In December 2008, the ABC Board held the first of two days of hearings.
However, despite the violations and the fact that Salmeron’s put up no case, the Board awarded Salmeron’s everything it asked for.
* ABRA Mistake #1 - The ABC Order Violated DC Law - The Board's June 2009 Order gave Salmeron's live entertainment and a 2:30 am closing (weekends). The regulations say applicants must show that their request benefits the community. The Salmeron's representative presented no case and barely spoke during the two-day hearing. DC law also requires that the Board detail why it isn't following ANC recommendations. The order never mentioned ANC 4B or ANC 4A.
Attorney and Neighbor Sam Sharpe appealed to the DC Court of Appeals. In an October 2009, order, the Court agreed with Sharpe. It tells the Board to issue a new order. The Board should have acted to return Salmeron's license conditions to 11 am to midnight with no live entertainment.
* ABRA Mistake #2 - ABRA does not issue a new order. It only does so in June 2010 -- eight months later -- after residents notice the problem.
This mistake had significant consequences. During the eight-months that the Board waited to issue a corrected license, Salmeron’s was sold to a new owner who did not research the history of the license. The new owner said she purchased the business thinking could operate until 2:30 am. After all, this what the license posted on the wall said. She said that she paid $75,000 to the previous owners to buy the business.
* ABRA Mistake #3 - ABRA's April 30, 2010 renewal notice said the business is located in ANC 4A03, not ANC 4B01. ANC 4B is not notified. ABRA posts a new placard. It extends the comment deadline from June 14 to August 2, 2010. But, the posted placard and the posted license have the still state the wrong conditions, 2:30 am, not midnight as the license dictates, and no live entertainment permitted.
* ABRA Mistake #4 - Sharpe, Andre Carley, of Concerned Neighbors, Inc., and Commissioner Green meet with ABRA on July 15. ABRA agrees to post a third placard with the correct hours -- a midnight closing. NO live entertainment permitted. They extend the license renewal comment period to September 7, 2010.