On January 16, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board denied the liquor license application of 2101 Venture LLC to open a nightclub with an occupancy of more than 1200 at 2101 New York Avenue NE. The nightclub was to be called “Club Illusions.” The liquor license was opposed by Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5B, the Arboretum Neighborhood Association, adjacent property owners and 79 local residents. Read the complete order below.
The liquor license was denied on the grounds that the nightclub would have a “severely negative impact on pedestrian and vehicular safety.” The intersection of New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road, where the club was to be located, is one of the most dangerous intersections in the District.
In a written concurrence with the decision, ABC Board member Mike Silverstein also said the license should be denied on the grounds of overconcentration of “very large licensed establishments” in the area. The immediate vicinity is home to a number of nightclubs including the Stadium Club, the Scene, Echostage (formerly DC Star), Aqua and Club Love.
The denial of the liquor license is a victory for Walker Development, the developer of a major retail development adjacent to the proposed nightclub. The development is slated to include a Wal-Mart. Mr. Walker testified before the ABC Board that the presence of a large nightclub would put his development in jeopardy.
The denial of Club Illusions’ liquor license is also a victory for residents who have been fighting the creation of a “red light district” around New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road in Ward 5. On October 15, 2012, Taste Group Inc. withdrew an application for a 600 occupancy nightclub at 2121 New York Avenue NE in the face of opposition by Mr. McDuffie and the community.
Note: Don Padou Esq., who represented the 79 local residents before the ABC Board, is married to the editor of Ward 5 Heartbeat.