Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B discussed neighbor concerns around a new application for a restaurant liquor license for I Egg You (517 Eighth St. SE) at their July meeting.
In May, the ANC voted to protest the license in pursuit of a Settlement Agreement (SA). I Egg You is a new breakfast restaurant in the works from the owners of CHIKO (423 Eighth St. SE).
Residents say they are worried about trash and garbage management on the property. Residents told commissioners that trash from restaurants, including CHIKO, currently takes up about half of the narrow alley, blocking roadways already sometimes clogged on both ends with delivery trucks.
Trash also attracts rats, which dine on the garbage in the alley and then retreat to the residential yards lining the opposite sides. One resident who faces the rear of CHIKO said she has spent more than $10,000 trying to keep rats out of her yard. She feels trepidation about the new business, she said. “I just wonder how much I can trust them, given what they have done with CHIKO.”
Residents are also concerned about smells from the kitchen. That is especially important at this location, they say, because the restaurant is a one-story building primarily serving fried food. Fumes will be exhausted at a 1-story height, meaning all the odors will settle in backyards.
For I Egg You, the SA is the same as CHIKO. But the ANC also suggests a pollution control unit. Alternatively, it includes provisions for redirecting exhaust vents towards Eighth Street, rather than the alley, to eliminate the odor problem for residents. It calls for trash to be kept inside overnight and to be put out in the front of the building at the time of trash collection, like what is written in the SA with CHIKO.
At the meeting, both commissioners and residents said the applicant is unwilling to sign the SA and has been unwilling to have discussions with neighbors. The ANC requested a meeting with the owners would be requested to address the issues raised by neighbors. Residents said they requested a meeting with Andrew Klein, the counsel for the applicant, and were “summarily declined.”
Alcoholic Beverage Committee (ABC) Chair Chander Jayaraman said commissioners invited the applicants and Klein, their council, to the meeting. But, he said, ANC 6B got a “tough response” indicating that they would not attend.
The protest has been lodged with the Alcohol Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABCA) board, which rules on the license. Jayaraman has already sent the applicant a SA which he said is like the one between the ANC and CHIKO and in line with SAs signed with other Barracks Row eateries. Jayaraman said that those are being violated, showing photos he said were taken of the alley behind Barracks Row on July 4th.
There was no vote at the July meeting. Mediation is underway between the ANC and the owners. They have mutually agreed to change the hearing date for the license to July 26, to allow for discussion.
Read more about ANC 6B at ANC6B.org