KitchenCray Discussion Halted

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Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 6A) met via Zoom on July 13. Commissioners Keya Chatterjee (6A01, vice chair), Mike Velasquez (6A02), Roberta Shapiro (6A03), Laura Gentile (6A05), Robb Dooling (6A06) and Steve Moilanen (6A07) were present. Amber Gove (6A04, chair) was absent.

UPDATE: On Aug. 3, WUSA9 reported that the H Street NE KitchenCray will close at the end of August.

At their July meeting, commissioners discussed a motion to oppose an application for substantial changes to the Class C restaurant license held by KitchenCray (1301 H St. NE). The operation of Flight Lounge, a nightclub reportedly operating out of the premises, sparked concern from neighbors and commissioners about the alleged violation of their existing restaurant license earlier this spring.

However, at the time of the latest meeting, the protest date had already passed. Commissioner Velasquez advocated that the ANC cease discussion on the matter due to the deadline and the commission’s inability to take any action on the item.

“We don’t have to agree as a community on everything, and we don’t have to agree as a commission on everything,” Velasquez said. “I just don’t see the point in taking the time if there’s nothing we’re going to do.”

ANC Alcohol Beverage Licensing (ABL) Committee Chair Erin Sullivan noted that while there has been “opposition from some neighbors and members of the community about the expansion” the restaurant has “taken some very good steps” toward addressing concerns.

Flight Lounge has been operating under a series of one-day substantial change applications and Sullivan noted that during a recent visit to the establishment during its operating hours she found no noise or other disturbance issues.

Velasquez emphasized that a myriad of concerns still remain about disturbances to nearby residences.

“There are still a lot of concerns from constituents about this establishment, and I think the principal concerns are not personal to the establishment or the owners, but are concerned with the precedent and taking the type of nightlife that is present on the H Street corridor and have it encroach on residences.”

KitchenCray representative Opal Scott attended the meeting and thanked the commissioners and community members for their feedback as they work to “be the best neighbors we can be.” Scott encouraged neighbors and commissioners to “continue to use the response line” to express concerns.

Community member Erin Blumenthal noted that several community members have filed separate protests with the establishment. Commissioners unanimously voted to not take a vote on this matter given that the protest deadline has passed. 

The Commission Voted To:

  • Oppose an applicaiton for a Class C tavern license from Providencia, LLC (1321 Linden Ct. NE) unless a SA is entered into prior to the protest date.
  • Send a letter to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) supporting Maury Elementary School’s (1250 Constitution Ave. NE) application for a school parking zone, with recommendations including: the prioritization of on-site spaces for mobility-impaired staff and staff using carpools, that staff not utilize resident only parking zones, that the school comply with the intent and spirit of the Transportation Benefits Equity Act and that school leadership not solicit Visitor Parking Permits for staff use.
  • Send a letter to DDOT reiterating ANC 6A’s support for extending the bicycle lanes on K Street NE to meet the pocket park to be installed at Eighth and K Streets NE and connect to the bicycle lane on West Virginia Ave NE.
  • Send a letter to DDOT Transportation and Public Space (TPS) Committee in support of an application for a Public Space Permit for a new unenclosed sidewalk café at Daru (1451 Maryland Ave. NE).
  • Send a letter to DDOT to urge the installation of vertical traffic calming measures, including a raised crosswalk and speed bumps near Miner Elementary School on 15th Street and Tennessee Avenue NE and at 15th at G Street NE prior to the beginning of the school year.
  • Send a letter to DDOT requesting attention to and prioritization of traffic safety input requests for the 1400 block of G Street NE.
  • Send a letter to the Zoning Commission in support of a proposed map amendment to rezone the property at 721 H St. NE from NC-16 to NC-17.
  • Send a letter of support to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) for a special exception to raze an existing structure. The project includes construction of a new, detached, six-story with below-grade parking and penthouse dwelling unit and mixed-use building at 1207 H St. NE with the stipulation that the apartment lease documents include a prohibition against amplified music on the roof deck after 11 p.m., or as dictated in DC code, whichever is earlier.
  • Send a letter of support to BZA for a special exception to construct a rear addition to an existing, attached, two-story, principal dwelling unit at 1216 Constitution Ave, NE.
  • Send a letter to the DC Council asking they commission a formal assessment and plan for systematically maintaining and replacing, if necessary, dangerous sidewalks in ANC 6A following the community survey.
  • Send a letter of support to DDOT for several traffic calming and safety measures including the installation of all-way stop at 11th and F St. NE, the installation of raised crosswalks at the north leg of 11th St. NE and E St. NE and the south leg of 11th St. NE and S St. NE and the addition of speed tables at: the 900 block 11th St. NE, the 800 block 11th St. NE, the 700 block of 11th St. NE, 600 block 11th St. NE, 400 block 11th St. NE, the 300 block of 11th St. NE, the 200 block of 11th St. NE and the 100 block of 11th St. NE.

Other Matters

  • Commissioner Gentille has resigned from the commission and a special election will be held to fill the vacancy. Commissioner Gentille is working closely with the commission to ensure a smooth transition throughout this time. Commissioners thanked her for her service and mentorship.

The next meeting of ANC 6A is at 7 p.m. September 13 via Zoom. Get details on committee meetings and how to join online at anc6a.org.

Sarah Payne is a reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com.