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. 
video
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.
Jack” (Evans)




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.








6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Closing this Lounge will take the due process of law to be fair to all of those businesses that obey the law. With the way things are going it does not look good for the future of this business.

Anonymous said...

How is it that this business can get away with operating illegally and horribly disrupting the neighborhood without any effective sanctions? When any of us try to replace an old door or put in new windows, we are heavily fined if "the government" doesn't approve. Stop work orders appear instantly in this neighborhood yet the MOOD continues. It looks like 9th Street is well on its way to becoming the new Adams Morgan of the Convention Center and City Center district. Nice tourist attraction! Nice job "regulators"! People are talking about bribes and corruption in government as one explanation why this nightclub is still functioning! The other explanation circulating is incompetence. Perhaps its both?

Alley Cat said...

Obviously, there are some politicians and functionaires -small time and not so much- protecting the Mood Lounge. The churches that so adamantly opposed the gay bars, now seem to be placated, and this establishment works as it works.
ABRA conducts noise surveys and inspections out of the hours of operation of the Mood Lounge, but would not launch a surprise sting to nab them when the noise surpasses the 90 dB limit and the bass line vibrations takes your fillings out your molars.
The elected officials are all talk and no walk.
The DCRA gives the Mood Lounge a permit to operate as a restaurant. The Manager of the Mood Lounge, Mr. Henry says that it was all the result of a "mistake" when publicly confronted about this, but the DCRA doesn't move to remove a permit given under false premises. The Voluntary Agreement with the community is violated. The ANC does nothing about it.
Good thing there are elections, scheduled sometimes not far into the future!

Anonymous said...

Are members of the "alphabet groups" (ABC, ANC, HPO, BZA, HPRB, DCRA, ABRA etc.) proud of what they have encouraged to evolve in Adams Morgan - and now along the "U Street corridor"? It that now "the new plan" for 9th Street since Adams Morgan' boozing boundaries are bulging and no more tax revenues can be squeezed? Does anyone at OP ever review past decisions in the light of current truths to see if they were right in their original decisions? Must Shaw residents now learn to accept problems with parking, puking, pissing, pugilism, procreation, pickpocketing, prostitution, panhandling, pill pushing etc as a way of life inflicted by people like the owners of The MOOD Lounge? No neighborhood should. Not even an industrial park! Wake up everyone. No ... that's OK ... we're already awake because we can no longer sleep b/c of this business!!!

Anonymous said...

http://www.change.org/petitions/dc-alcoholic-beverage-control-board-revoke-mood-lounges-alcohol-beverage-license

With the approval of the Blagden Alley-Naylor Court Association at their meeting last week, a petition has been circulated to support the closure of the MOOD Lounge because of not only noise violations but also a number of other serious allegations. They have brazenly broken their voluntary agreement with the community. If you support the idea that it is appropriate to force the MOOD Lounge to close, you can help by signing the petition through the link above. There is an ABRA hearing through the Attorney General's Office in a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

According to the Washington DC Real Property Assessment Database, the property is listed as being owned by 1318 9th Street LLC with a 2012 total assessment of $2,094,150. (Use code = 45, sub-neighborhood = C, Square/Suffix/lot 0367 0058) An Internet search of this LLC (http://www.powerprofiles.com/profile/00005160119744/1318+9TH+STREET+LLC-WASHINGTON-DC ) revealed that the address for 1318 9th Street LLC is 1831 6th Street NW with 4 employees and is classified as “other gasoline stations”. Another Internet source (http://www.manta.com/c/mttgq4b/13189th-street-llc ) alleges that 1318 9th Street LLC is “a private company categorized under Churches.” Phone # (202) 232-7450. Previous ownership was through Workspaces LLC (workspcaesllc.com) Phone # (202) 232-7460

The “status hearing” will be held at the Reeves Center, 2000 14th Street NW, Suite 400 on September 21st at 9:30 a.m. and a “show cause” hearing is scheduled for October 19th at 11:00 a.m. in the same location.

The material below is excerpted from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration Alcoholic Beverage Control Board notice of status and show cause hearings in the matter of Mimi&D LLC t/a MOOD case No. 11.CMP-00175, License No. 86037, Retailer’s Class CT.

The Status Hearing is a non-adversarial proceeding where the Board will ask whether the licensed establishment is contesting the charges. If (they) are not contesting the charges (they) will have the opportunity to present to the Board at the status hearing, any offer in compromise reached with the Office of the Attorney General, pursuant to Title 23 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations Section 1604.5. The offer in compromise well be based upon the statutory fine range for the specific violation(s) pursuant to 23 DCMR Section 800 through Section 802.

If (they) choose to contest the charge(s) at the status hearing, the matter will be continued until (their) Show Cause Hearing date to show cause why their license should not be fined, suspended or revoked pursuant to D.C. Official Code 25-823 and 830 (2001) and 23 DCMR 1604. The District of Columbia is represented by the Office of the Attorney General in these proceedings. A copy of any pleading or any other written communication addressed to the Board should also be delivered to Amy Caspari, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Civil Enforcement Section, 441 4th Street NW, Suite 650 North, Washington DC 20001. This attorney can be reached at (202) 727-2429 to discuss any potential offer in compromise to be considered by the Board at the Status Hearing.