Thursday, February 07, 2013

Neighborhood forces in Washington DC oppose new bars and clubs in many areas

The Washington Blade reports that a gay male couple is playing a role in pressuring the Washington DC city government to restrict alcohol licenses for new bars and restaurants in the newly gentrified “U-Street corridor”. The story by Lou Chibbaro, Jr. is here

The activities include the Shaw-Dupont Citizens Alliance and he couple is former DC Advisory Commissioner Ramon Estrada and partner Elwyn Ferris.

The issue is sensitive because it could be perceived as anchoring the business of current bar owners and lessening competition.  It could also be seen as favoring businesses in other neighborhoods.  It might hamper new businesses from forming if any current businesses closed.  

There are three major gay establishments in the U-St corridor with which I am familiar:  The Town Discotheque, Nellies (a sports bar), and Mova, belonging to a Florida company.  Over the years, the supposed “gay community” has tended to shift East from the Dupont Circle area to U-Street and Shaw.  Metropolitan Community Church has been located in Shaw since the early 1990s (or even before, when it was in a row house on M Street).  There is even some movement toward NE DC and a belief that the Northeast section of the city, now plagued with crime and economic problems, is the next to be gentrified with big time real estate development and attract new clubs.  Already the H Street corridor in NE is starting to develop in a manner similar to U Street, but is not near a Metro. 
In the 1990s, one of the best discos in the City was Tracks, followed by Velvet Nations  (and Edge)– both displaced by real estate condo and office development that accompanied Nationals Park.  Ziegfelds remains in that part of the city.  

See related story Dec. 25, 2012. 

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