Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Bertha Holliday requests reinstatement for Aroi Thai and Red Hen protests

See this item from the Ward 5 Heartbeat:

On Wednesday, February 6 at 1pm, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will review the following letters:

Review of letter, dated January 22, 2013, from Bertha Holliday requesting reinstatement for the Group of Five or More that was dismissed at the January 7, 2013 Roll Call Hearing. Board Order No. 2013-021 was sent to the parties on January 10,2013. Aroi Thai Cuisine, 1832 1st Street NW Retailer CR01, Lic.#: 90174.
Review of letter, dated January 22, 2013, from Bertha Holliday requesting reinstatement for the Group of Five or More that was dismissed at the January 7, 2013 Roll Call Hearing. Board Order No. 2013-020 was sent to the parties on January 10,2013. Red Hen, 1822 1st Street NW Retailer CR01, Lic.#: 90832. 

Wednesday morning, 02-06-2013 update to this post:

Dr. Holliday sent a response last night, advising that the Ward 5 Heartbeat story was in error. So her statement has been added to this post.


  1. Replies
    1. I'm sure it all comes down to people running up and down the streets, naked. That was her initial complaint all those years ago...

  2. if im understanding things correctly... the group of 5 had 10 days to appeal that decision made on Jan 7th. If they got their appeal in on Jan 22nd... thats after the 10 day appeal process allows. Not sure what standing she has (or the group of 5 for that matter). Seems like they have missed their opportunity twice now. I'm not even sure what their basis is for their protest. can anyone fill in more?

  3. I'm one of the people that signed the initial protest for both. Basically it's not a protest against the restaurants or their liquor license applications. It is simply a medium for requesting that each business sign a basic voluntary agreement (same as Rustik and the tapas place opening next door have already signed) to ensure that businesses commit to basic standards.

    I can see about having someone send the voluntary agreement to Scott if people are interested to see what it entails.

    1. It also entails limiting the business hours. Five people who know nothing about the business plan of a new venture should have no say over this aspect, nor should they be able to delay a business' opening if the owner does not sign (A common reason why they sign)
      It's an absolute shame that Rustik is not allowed to have hours that are within their right as a business in DC.
      What will begin to happen is that these local bars and restaurants owned by neighbors of the Bloomingdale community will be forced to shut down and hand over their leases to corporations who don't care about what the neighbors think, and have plenty of legal fees to fight the neighborhood agreement actions.
      This post takes place after the hearing, yet it is equally important for readers to know the other side of the protest.

  4. It would be great to see the voluntary agreement.

    With the caveat that I don't know anything about this agreement, I would like to suggest adding provisions in support of fair treatment of workers. For instance, Busboys and Poets has paid sick leave for its staff. This is a not only good for the employee, it keeps illnesses from spreading to customers.

  5. Tula -- generally, voluntary/settlement agreements do not include provisions regarding employee compensation and benefits.

  6. Thanks, Scott. Would like to learn exactly what they include.

  7. Tula -- the new name is Settlement Agreement, but it will take some time for this new name to stick. The old name is Voluntary Agreement. So you will see references to both names.

    Voluntary agreements FAQ from the DC ABRA website:


    Here is a sample voluntary agreement:


    Topics addressed include: hours of operation and sales, consumption and service: floors utilized and occupancy; parking/valet arrangements, noise and privacy, public space & trash, rats/vermin control, security, liquor license ownership & compliance with ABRA regulations, etc.

    You can Google around and find more Voluntary Agreement documents from establishments around the District.

  8. Appreciate this info, Scott. Thanks again.

  9. Am I correct in reading comments that imply that one of Big Bertha's co-blockers of progress in the Bloomingdale neighborhood lives on North Capitol? Or just has the name North Capitol Home Owner above... Isn't there a new rule that these groups of 5 must live within a certain distance from the establishment?

    Other than living on North Capitol and being one of Bertha's gang of 5 (here powers are clearly weakening if all she can scratch up is 5 or less these days), what would someone on North Capitol care about 1st Street NW?

    Unless the complainer on North Capitol might be none other than an ANC rep who owns space on North Capitol who has plans to open her own little wine bar, restaurant?

    Did Bertha round up her group to protest the Howard Theater? Will she protest the wine bar on North Capitol planned by her friend on the ANC board? Hmm, it will be interesting to see.

    1. I just want to say that posts such as this one are the reason that I typically don't respond on the message board. I responded just to try and offer a little help.

      Having said that, I am not in fact an ANC rep and live one in from the corner of N Capitol and T streets NW. I can't speak for Bertha or others who signed the petition, but I personally signed based on the arguments that I heard in our meetings from neighbors that actually live on 1st street.

      Tula, I followed up about posting the voluntary (now settlement?) agreement but it sounds as if you may need to contact Bertha directly.

      Jennifer, I am sorry that you feel that way but I think reasonable people can disagree. There are always two sides and you need to keep in mind the neighbors that live near these establishments and are impacted more directly by noise, trash, etc.

    2. So, you admit that you don't even live near the planned establishments. yet, you signed up because you heard others thinking that they might not like it and they might live near the place? You thought that they could not sign on their own? Did you hear others saying that they did not mind living near the planned restaurant? Did you sign up for them as well?

      Very interesting. Are you close friends with Bertha or just good neighbors? Do you know if she has the agreement? It would be nice for one of you who signed it to show some transparency and share with the other neighbors what exactly you are protesting and what you are requesting in your protest. just asking for some transparency.

      Thanks for sharing your views. I am not trying to antagonize you, I am only trying to understand why someone who doesn't live near a place is so interested in trying to block it from doing business. I think that Hanks Oyster Bar in dupont went through this experience at one time as well... I would love to discuss it with you and even with Bertha to better understand your views.


    3. I wouldn't say that living within a block isn't near, but I get your point. To clarify one thing, the initial protest had more than 5 persons on it (I don't remember specifically how many but I believe it was around 15).

      As for transparency, I completely agree and I'm all for it. However, I believe there are legal restrictions surrounding a Voluntary Agreement that preclude it from being posted publicly. That's why I'd suggest just going to Bertha directly. The one thing I would clarify is that, again, this is not an attempt to block people from doing business. In my opinion it's just a question of requesting that businesses coming in respect the neighborhood.

      As Scott has since posted, the request to refile the protest was denied so this is ultimately a moot point. However, going forward if similar voluntary agreements are filed I will do my best to push for as much transparency as possible.