Wednesday, November 02, 2011

ABRA rules against Shaw`s Tavern retail Class CT license

See this post from the Washington City Paper

Shaw`s Tavern `Unfit For Licensure,` Liquor Board Rules
Posted by Chris Shott on Nov. 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Beleaguered would-be boƮte Shaw`s Tavern has suffered yet another setback. The District`s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has deemed owner Abbas Fathi ``unfit for licensure,`` citing the venue`s prior history of serving alcohol without the proper permits.

In rendering its decision, the board also points to mismanagement by former tavern keeper Steven May, who is accused of altering official documents with ``correction fluid`` in order to improperly obtain booze from distributors.

The board`s decision comes despite some community support for Fathi`s application, including that of local Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2C.

According to the official ruling: ``The Board understands ANC 2C`s disappointment; however, the Board cannot turn a blind eye to the Applicant`s violations in the name of economic development.``

The tavern shuttered back in August ( after struggling for weeks to stay afloat without the financial benefit of alcohol sales. Read more here (


Raymond said...

It is unfortunate and quite surprising to read ABRA's ruling regarding Shaw`s Tavern. It is even more surprising that ABRA calls "unfit" an individual who has re-constructed many DC neighborhoods in recent years with rigor and passion. Abbas Fathi has been an honest and forwarding individual who overcame many obstacles to extend and translate his extraordinary visions for the re-vitalization of a number of DC neigborhoods including the Bloomingdale neighborhood, inspite of the many risks associated with the required investment.

This also demonstrates the inability of ABRA's organizational body to properly assess an unintentional mistake, as well as its development, by the hard working manager of Shaw's Tavern (Steven May), and then label Mr. Abbas Fathi's impressive and outstanding background as such.

This is truly a loss for the neigborhood and city. It will not only have economic repercussions, but will also dampen and undermine the efforts to intiate development projects that are critical for neighborhoods in dire need for both social and capital investment. This is not just an economical loss, it will also have social as well as psychological impacts in the sense that ABRA's narrow and limited perspective will have a devastating consequence on neighborhoods in vital need of reconstructing their confidence.

Bloomingdale Resident said...

Raymond -
I think ABRA's use of the term unfit applies to obtaining a liquor license and not any other aspect of his background, just as a skilled architect would not be granted a license to practice medicine. If Mr. Fahti did not have the previous knowledge, or the time to acquire the required knowledge, to run a restaurant requiring a liquor license, then he should have hired someone who did.

Hopefully, Mr. Fahti can continue to push Shaw's, EC12, and any other restaurants into successful businesses with the participation of partner(s) who can obtain a liquor license.

Could you provide more background - I am curious as to what other neighborhoods Mr. Fathi has worked to revitalize?