|(image credit: City Paper)|
Evans is quoted as saying "People cannot leave these establishments at 3 a.m. and be loud and getting into fights. That’s not tolerable behavior". This is completely accurate, as many residents in Shaw can attest through experiences with the MOOD Lounge on 9th Street. In fact, it's likely from his extensive work with the Shaw community to resolve problems with that bar that he understands just how problematic these patrons can be. The question for the entire Council is, why wasn't something like this introduced before somebody died? The Washington Examiner reports five different violent crimes the bar has been cited for in the past year, including at least one with a gun and one with hospitalizations, on top of a number of administrative problems.
Certainly having more security at these places is a brilliant idea. The only fault I can find with it is that it doesn't quite go far enough - even stronger restrictions are needed to be sure that those who are at establishments operating as nightclubs late at night are safe, that those who live nearby are safe, and that those who break the law are dealt with. But the bigger question isn't handled here - when the Heritage India space was given a liquor license, nobody wanted, or expected, that it would operate as a nightclub, ever. It was supposed to be a restaurant (and from what I've read, it was one during the daytime). Yet the owners utilized poorly-written ABRA legislation to open a dangerous nightclub in the same space, using the same license.