Monday, March 29, 2010

"Sunset Liquors destroying the park at 1st & Florida Ave NW"

Recall that CapitalSpace plan has been released. This is an effort by the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), the National Park Service and the DC Office of Planning.

Want to actually read the plan? There are references to Bloomingdale, LeDroit Park, Eckington, Truxton Circle, the McMillan Reservoir and the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) site.

Here is the link to this CapitalSpace plan document: .

A Florida Avenue NW comments:

I just reviewed the March 27 Bloomingdale e-mail regarding the CapitalSpace plan and its references to “transforming small parks.” Let's hope that Bloomingdale is not defined by the Park at First and Florida NW . I don't know what community they are talking about as using that Park, it certainly isn't the residents of Bloomingdale.

With all this talk about bringing liquor establishments into Bloomingdale, I thought I might offer a sobering thought. A couple of weeks ago we had Beautiful weather. Florida Avenue and the surrounding streets were besieged by drunks. There were no seats available in the Florida Avenue Park. The alleys were full of people urinating (and using drugs). Loiterers were on every corner. Broken bottles and empty cans littered the sidewalks and Streets. People were staggering around everywhere. Sunset liquor did a land office business in single beers, nips and ice cups.

Contrast that with noon on Sunday, there were only two people in the Park, there were no loiterers on the corners, no drunks walking up and down the sidewalk, the alleys were clear and there weren’t any cans and bottles being strewn around. It was quiet, it was clean and it was nice. Why, because Sunset Liquor was closed. No source of liquor, no drunks, no problems. I believe we should be very careful about embracing liquor establishments until the existing problems caused by liquor in our neighborhood are resolved. Until Sunset Liquor disappears, Our Park will not define the residents of Bloomingdale and will continue to be a nuisance.


bamoll said...

I completely agree with FL Ave's assessment of Sunset Liqours. That establishment does little to no good for the Bloomingdale/Truxton communities, and it, along with the 8' wraught iron fense, contribute to the FL Avenue park's negative and exclusive ambiance.

However, let's be clear about the 'liquor establishment' comment. If FL Ave is referring to adding liquor stores to the neighborhood, including those with bullet-proof glass, places to purchase and carry out single-serving liquor, beer, etc., then I agree - no more in our community, please!

If you are referring to one of the few taverns being planned/proposed for the area, I completely and wholeheartedly disagree. These tavern and typical liquor stores are apples and oranges. These taverns will promote community by adding a common gathering spot, add life to our streets and keep money within our neighborhood. There will be no bullet proof glass in these establishments. One is not be allowed to leave a tavern premise with alcohol.

I really see little connection between a liquor store and a tavern other than it being a place where you can buy alcohol.

Pat said...

Every complaint about the park would be solved, or at the very least not exacerbated, by a tavern.

1) People would be sitting in the tavern, not in the park.
2) The tavern would have bathrooms so urinating in alleys wouldn't be an issue.
3) Additional loiterers wouldn't be a problem because people would be inside the tavern. I don't want to sound too naive here, but a park is made to be occupied. It's possible people were just hanging out. It may be a rush to judge to classify these people with the pejorative "loiterers".
3) Any waste produced by the tavern would be disposed of inside the establishment.
4) A tavern has the power to regulate how much alcohol someone consumes by cutting people off. A liquor store has no way of knowing how much one person will drink when they sell them alcohol. Additionally, a beer or drink at a tavern will cost more than a beer or drink at a liquor store. It's harder to get loaded when you're paying $5.00 a drink. This doesn't solve the problem presented by Sunset Liquors but I think its reasonable to say that a tavern won't make the problem worse.

I also agree with the previous commenter about factoring in the positives of a tavern. Any place where people can gather is a plus for the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

The tavern establishments will bring a tremendous amount of pride and value to our neighborhood. They will allow people a place to consume alcohol and eat food. They will also encourage more of our residents to walk and enjoy Bloomingdale.

I agree that the liquor stores do very little to enhance our neighborhood standing. In fact, it wasn't that long ago that the Big Bear was one of these markets and 1st and R was a blighted corner.

Let's encourage investment in our community!

Anonymous said...

I am not for liquor stores but this is America and as long as this place pays it taxes and lives within the laws then we should not be harrassing them

It is shocking how many condemn a liquor store that, btw, has been here longer than they have, and at the same time promote a new tavern

This seems a bit racist and selective that white owned Big Bear gets a nod for liquor and others be damned.

Anonymous said...

Why does every post on this site end up with someone saying someone else is racist. How can a discussion between the merits of a restaurant/tavern and a liquor store be racist? It may be classist, because the street people cannot afford to pay for the cost of a drink in a nice place, and the corner stores sell a half pint of cheap vodka for less than a beer cost in a nice restaurant, but that is not racist.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to the proposed single sales ban in ward 5? Councilman Thomas was supposedly studying the issue awhile ago. Maybe this is something to ask him about at the town hall meeting tomorrow. Preventing people from buying single beers (helpfully disguised in paper bags) would prevent most of the street drinking in our neighborhood. The local liquor stores basically act as outdoor bars with patrons buying one beer at a time and then consuming them outside. Our alleys then act as restrooms.

Anonymous said...

I welcome a tavern or restaurant since we font really have any in our community. It's not about the owners of the store, no matter what race nobody should wants drunks urinating in the streets.

Anonymous said...

We should definitely be discouraging businesses that endorse public intoxication. It's clear Sunset Liquors doesn't care whether their patrons piss on the streets.

This is definitely something to remind Councilman Thomas about.

Anonymous said...

As far as our neighborhood has come, progress will continue to be slowed by public intoxication, trash strewn all about, and people urinating all over the place. I was sitting stopped at the light at First and Florida, and while I was sitting there in my car I witnessed some drunk guy walk out of Sunset Liquors and stop to urinate all over the trash can nearby - in broad daylight in full view of everyone! I'm all for the ban on the sale of singles and/or closing Sunset Liquors. But until someone accompanies me every Saturday morning while I bleach and hose off the side of my house covered with urine, then those critics of us wanting to address such nuisance behaviors please feel free to offer up some better suggestions.

Anonymous said...

Sunset Liquors and Big Ben both need to be shut down. Banning single sales will never happen. I've heard the liquor stores, particularly the two I just mentioned, have considerable political clout.

The comment in the original post seems to be written by someone from the Temperance Union. I certainly hope prudeness among a small minority of residents does not endanger our possibility of getting a tavern in the neighborhood.

DCJaded said...

I'm not a fan or corner liquor stores either, but realistically, what can be done? If they stop selling alcohol, they go out of business, period. They cant enforce "no loitering" cause dc doesnt have anti-loitering laws. And as a store owner, I wouldnt want to try to get drunk people to "move along" thats a good way to get a beat down. Calling the cops is useless. They arent going to arrest anyone, just make them move to the next block.

As for a bar.... people who hang out in the park getting drunk are certainly not going to pay $5 for a glass of beer at a bar.

Anonymous said...

I also support banning single sales, and if that causes one or more of the 50 corner beer marts to go out of business, then our community will only be better, cleaner, safer, and will probably even have some new residents or restaurants after converting the corner stores into something the BIG BEAR, or a Gourmet Pizza Place, or a Wine Bar, or Yoga Studio, or Barbershop (for all), or even another hair weaving studio, or an art studio...just imagine the possibilities. Do we really need a corner liquor store on EVERY corner? At the very least, we would be promoting exercise to walk to the next one to buy your six pack of beer, no singles, please.

Anonymous said...

r u kidding me another hair weaving SHOP???? OR YOGA STUDIO ????!!!! GAG!!!! LOL CRAP or better yet HOW ABOUT ANOTHER LAME POP UP artist GALLERY.. i mean come on take away the grit form dc and fill it with rainbows everywhere ... < being sarcastic, how bout some better bodegas that sell reasonable prices foods that are not past due that EVERYONE in the neighborhood can enjoy....most people with complaints are not from cities to begin with....i mean did you really move here to sit here complaining about where you live? those bums where here before you and will be there well after your internship is over....

Anonomous said...

This was almost two years ago, I think the bloomingdale neighborhood is getting much better an the issue of drunk people running around and this shouldn't all be blamed on Sunset Liquors! Just think about the hard working owners of Sunset Liquor, they're working there butts off to run a business and make some money in this hard time, and trying to get rid of the store will take away the income of a couple of families and might put them on the street (like we need more people on the street). I think instead of harassing Big Ben and Sunset Liquor, why dont you start a petition to pass some anti-loitering laws? talk to the people up on Capital Hill! We cant be so inconsiderate and force a business to go out of business because it will still harm people!

dr.Econ said...

I heard they are renovating Sunset and the building owner is willing to sell for 2 and half million.