Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Support neighborhood effort to engage proposed XClusive lounge in negotiations to mediate impact on nearby homes

Apparently, the owners of the new proposed Xclusive Lounge (707 H St) have been unwilling to negotiate an agreement to mitigate their impact on their nearby residential neighbors.  Every other liquor license holder on H Street has a voluntary agreement of some sort, so this is of some understandable concern to the nearby neighbors.  Read the neighbors updates below and consider signing their petition.

URGENT Update and Call to Action - Xclusive Hearing scheduled for March 28!

Dear Neighbor,

First, thank you so much for joining more than 65 concerned residents who signed the petition protesting the liquor license application by Xclusive, a proposed live music venue with hours extending until 3AM at 707 H St NE. I wanted to give you a quick update on where things stand and ask you to help us one more time to ensure our concerns are addressed.

We submitted a protest and were granted standing by ABRA in January. We engaged in a mediation session on January 31 and a protest status hearing on February 1, both at ABRA. Two things became clear in those proceedings:

Xclusive is envisioned as a live music venue, with bands, DJs and bars serving drinks on three levels, hours that extend until until 3AM, private parties, promoted events, a daily cover charge and an outdoor "smoking" area. All of these will serve to create noise that will keep us from getting our sleep, generate crowds, parking and litter problems that will disturb the "peace and order" of our residential neighborhood. In short, the plans for Xclusive are entirely out of character with the neighborhood and would cause serious problems without an agreement to address our concerns.

The applicant has no interest in entering into a voluntary agreement of the kind neighbors recently reached with Po Boys Kitchen, which started out applying for a license with many of the same issues. In the ANC agreement with Po Boys, the owner agreed to withdraw their request for live music, restrict the hours of operation and take other steps to mitigate the impact on the neighborhood. The applicant for Xclusive has declined to consider any of the standard language that is the basis for every other voluntary agreement in our ANC single member district.

The bottom line is that we are now headed to a full protest hearing before the ABRA Board on March 28 and 1:30pm (details below) and we need your support to make a strong case that this application should be denied unless and until the applicant is willing to enter into the voluntary agreement we have been seeking since we launched this protest in December. In order to make this effort a success, please take as many of the following actions as you can:

1. Send an email to Georgina Ardalan ( and Seth Johnson ( detailing your personal concerns about the license and asking ABRA to deny the license application, we will present these emails to the Board at the hearing.

2. Email or call Tommy Wells ( or 202-724-8072) to express those same concerns and ask our representative on the City Council to weigh in with ABRA to urge them to deny the application for Xclusive.

3. Join us at the hearing before the Board on Wednesday, March 28, at 1:30pm at the Reeves Center, 2000 14TH ST NW, Suite 400S to show your support.

Thank you so much for your hard work to ensure that our neighborhood grows in a healthy and positive way!
All the best,
Seth and Georgina


  1. Thank you for organizing this!

  2. @ HSGS - do you have information on what the VA for PoBoys entails? Shame they can't have live music now.

  3. Why are you singling out Xclusive? Where did this sudden NIMBYism come from?

    Also, live music is reaalllly not a big deal. You can't hear in residential neighborhoods.

    1. Anon. 9:29,

      Did you read any of the above post? Every other bar/restaurant in that area has agreed to a VA -- Xclusive is the only one that flat out refused to even consider a VA.

      They're advertised business plan calls for live music till 3 AM. Despite your assertion to the contrary, I live three blocks down from H St. and I can guarantee you that you can hear music coming from those places. Imagine how it feels for those people who live closer, or even right off of H St. Its not Nimbyism to expect to be able to sleep at night in your own home.

      No one is singling out Xclusive. They are doing a fine job doing that all by themselves.

    2. Great post 9:29.

      Other nearby bars and clubs (Big Board, Little Miss Whiskeys etc) are open that late and have djs etc. This is unfair and I support Xclusive having only the same restrictions as the above mentioned places.

  4. My friend lives on 4th between H and I, and you can hear the crowd after midnight coming from the top floor of Trueorleans. We don't need to replicate that to be "fair". What about people who live very close to these establishments? A VA is a good half way solution and a fair one.

  5. It's a voluntary agreement...voluntary. Xclusive does not have to enter into its terms - which seem to be a bit burdensome for many of the businesses we hope to see succeed. As a new business owner, once you open yourself up to the terms of these VA's you lose b/c you have no negotiating power. Perhaps Xclusive has smartened up by refusing to play. It may lose this gamble if the community can coalesce to prevent its operation. But it may also win and break the communities hold on obligatory yet voluntary agreements for future business owners.

    Personally, I bought a block of H so i wouldn't have to worry about such annoyances...but if you didn't make that same calculation, well...good luck. Just like Xclusive, you also gambled the enjoyment of your investment.

  6. When is ANC 6C going to get a standard voluntary agreement? Has anyone heard from Tony Richardson -- he is the ANC commissioner for Xclusive?

  7. not the crowd you want to be bringing to the area... plenty of other places that could fill the space with less negative externalities