The Reef can reopen after it beefs up security

August 16, 2013

The Reef, the Adams Morgan bar that has been closed since police say a patron was stabbed there in the early hours of Aug. 10, can reopen once it files a comprehensive security plan to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Administration (ABRA), according to the results of a hearing about the bar's suspended liquor license.

The ABRA Board accepted an "offer in compromise" between Reef owner Brian Harrison and the city's assistant attorney general that requires the bar to provide detailed security plans covering a wide variety of topics, including the number of security staff on duty and the use and placement of security cameras. Security staff must undergo specific training, including how to deal with drunk and aggressive patrons; what to do in the event of fights and emergencies; and "the procedure for preserving a crime scene." They also must pass criminal background checks.

The Reef has until 4 p.m. Tuesday to submit its plans to ABRA. Once ABRA approves the plans, the suspension can be lifted, though there's no timetable for that decision to take place. If the board doesn't approve the plans, there's another hearing Thursday to review its decision.

Of course, the Reef is not out of the woods yet. The bar still faces a hearing over a simple assault that occurred at the bar in June, and this settlement includes the provision that there will also be a hearing about the Aug. 10 incident. If the bar is judged to be at fault in either case, the ABRA Board could take additional action. Dates for the hearings have not been determined.

You can read the full settlement below.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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