Friday, August 12, 2011
Is the MOOD right?
The MOOD Lounge is pissing
on/off the neighborhood
The building that houses the MOOD Lounge at 1318 9th Street NW in Washington (formerly the EFN Lounge and Motley Bar and formerly the Be-Bar and formerly the Salvation Army) was built in 1926 for the owner (D.D. Condon) as a “heating store”. His name as can be seen on the original signage in the photo as the far right building. (permit # 5767 – from the Kraft Database photo courtesy of http://www.shorpy.com).
An older structure on this site including a rear stable in the alley would have been torn down to make way for the heating store. Neighboring buildings (such as the adjacent historically protected buildings that were aggressively torn down a couple of years ago by a developer to create The Nine Condo at 1316 9th Street) date back to the Civil War years.
These days, the heat is being turned up in the old heating store! After many months of illegal behavior fueled by the MOOD Lounge owners and committed by its patrons, the community is no longer into the MOOD. You might even say, that with a pending legal case against them in the Attorney General’s office, investigations through Council Member Evans’ Office (see below), ABRA, the DC police force and sanctions by the neighborhood associations, the MOOD is becoming ugly.
Horses used to urinate in this alley, but they couldn’t help it and we forgave them.
People know better and it’s unforgivable. (Courtesy ODC)
There is now even a new sign in the Naylor Court alley posted by the MOOD Lounge requesting that people not urinate in the alley. And this was necessary … why? The presence of the management’s sign clearly signals the management’s implicit acknowledgment that public urination (and of course the inescapable accompanying public indecent exposure delinquency) is a serious problem for them. Signs like this are ironically appropriate for the exterior of a business that claims it’s not responsible for the behavior of its patrons and that any “disruption” in the community is not their fault. Yet through their signage they readily admit to trying to “police” this activity even as they swear repeatedly at public meetings that they are not responsible. The owners of The MOOD Lounge unhesitatingly accepted the previous owners’ voluntary agreement in which they vowed to in essence “be good and responsible neighbors”. To date, they have dishonored this agreement. They have also dishonored the alley that has been recognized on the National Register of Historic Places - a designation that demands respect.
Now, curious minds in the community are waiting to see companion signs posted alongside the MOOD Lounge no urination sign that say: - PLEASE DO NOT FORNICATE IN THE ALLEY. PLEASE DO NOT DISCARD USED CONDOMS IN THE ALLEY. PLEASE DO NOT VIOLATE THE CITY NOISE ORDINANCE IN THE ALLEY. PLEASE DO NOT SELL OR BUY DRUGS IN THE ALLEY. PLEASE DO NOT DESTROY PROPERTY IN THE ALLEY. PLEASE DO NOT FIGHT IN THE ALLEY. PLEASE DO NOT SOLICT OR PURCHASE SEX IN THE ALLEY. PLEASE DO NOT BREAK INTO CARS IN THE ALLEY. PLEASE DO NOT DISCHARGE FIREARMS IN THE ALLEY.
Maybe the MOOD Lounge owners are having their new companion signs custom made (since the need to exhort civilized behavior in public is pretty uncommon and these signs are in low demand). Maybe the signs just haven’t arrived yet to be posted.
Actual decibel reading on June 27th 2011 at 2:00 a.m. outside the MOOD - courtesy ODC
More important signs that are allegedly absent on the inside of this business are permits that allow the MOOD Lounge to operate as a nightclub. If there is any question in anyone’s mind about what sort of business is being run in this former heating store just check out the video. If a picture paints a thousand words then a video is an art gallery.
There is no food advertised on the web site menu (the author couldn’t find a beer menu either) but you can always buy a $5,000 bottle of booze should you somehow feel the urge!
(from the office of Ward 2 City Council Member Mr. Jack Evans)
“I will continue to stay on top of this, and do whatever we can, legally, to see that this business operates within the law, or is closed.
With that, I ask Fred Moosally: why has this license, which was issued for a bar, located in a neighborhood, been permitted to turn into a nightclub? They do not have the license to operate as a nightclub, which clearly they are—that is evident to anyone, and therefore, they should be closed immediately.
The Prince of Petworth recently ran a blog article titled: - “Neighbors having serious problems with MOOD Lounge in Shaw Prince of Petworth article
(Photo from Prince of Petworth Article referenced above)
While the community leadership enthusiastically encourages responsible business development along 9th Street and throughout the Shaw, they are universally (publically and privately) condemning the behavior of MOOD Lounge whose past and current behavior makes its future existence questionable. Stay tuned. The MOOD may change.