What do you think about Bloomingdale's Big Bear Cafe pursuing a liquor license -- specifically, a restaurant-class (and not a tavern-class) liquor license?
Keep in mind that Aleks Duni, owner of the not-yet-opened Baraki pizza tavern at 1st & T Street NW, went through a community process -- leading to a voluntary agreement -- for a tavern-class liquor license. So Bloomingdale has already survived the voluntary agreement process for a restaurant-/tavern-class liquor license.
See this slightly edited copy of a recent post at Mari's InShaw blog regarding Big Bear Cafe at the 3/1/2010 Bates Area Civic Association (BACA) meeting.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Big Bear Beer II
Sometime after all the youth/school related stuff at the BACA meeting, about an hour into it, we finally got to Big Bear and their general ideas of pursuing an ABC liquor license. There were two persons from Bog Bear, one being Matt Sellers, the other guy a blond barista.
Big Bear is aiming for a CR license. For those of you unfamiliar with the wonderful world of ABC licenses, a class C Restaurant license is one for places where at least 45% of revenues come from food sales. It is different from the class of licenses for bars or corner markets. There was one objection mentioned, coming from a Baptist minister, presenting his concerns about people getting drunk and hanging out in the park. This was countered by the Episcopalian church secretary reminding him of Jesus' first miracle at the wedding at Cana, turning water into wine.
There were questions about Big Bear expanding and the space they have. The bear is kind of landlocked and the space above is leased to tenants, so in the near future, nope. Maybe, years down the road. Another question was the issue of vagrants/ neighbor characters. Characters do drop by to get a glass of water and to use the
bathroom and for the most part they don't cause a problem.
The idea is Big Bear has a vibe as a cafe, hang out and they have no intention of becoming a bar, they just want to expand their food service options. I asked the barista (m) if the idea is to offer something like Teaism, and he answered in the affirmative. As far as I can tell despite having a small park area and a restaurant/bar across the street, the Penn Quarter Teaism fails to produce drunkards rolling out of its doors.
Some additional info supplied by your moderator:
Here is the definition of a Class C license from the DCRA ABRA ABC Licensee Handbookhttp://abra.dc.gov/abra/frames.asp?doc=/abra/lib/abra/licensee_booklet_052609.pdf
Retailer – on-premises
(restaurant, tavern, nightclub, hotel, multipurpose facility, common carrier)
Class C: may serve beer, wine, and spirits
Annual food sales requirements §23-2101; 25-101(43)(A); 25-101(43)(A); 25-113(b). Food sales for both class C and D restaurants must meet 45 percent of gross annual revenue or a particular dollar amount per seat: $2,000 per seat for class C restaurants and $1,500 per seat for class D restaurants.