Dawson and partners John Xereas and Marjorie Heiss have leased 13,000 square feet in a building managed by Mort Zuckerman's Boston Properties.
“This allows me to do something more challenging,” said Dawson, a Washington native and graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School. “It's way out of my comfort zone and it's a huge investment. But there isn't a person on earth who doesn't like to laugh at themselves or at someone else.”
Dawson said he placed the club in the middle of the burgeoning Penn Quarter, filled with restaurants and a healthy residential population.
The club plans to be open six or seven days a week with major headliners, an open microphone, theme nights and a school of comedy. Riot Act's state-of-the-art showroom will also feature a movie screen, digital recording and broadcast capabilities.
“I'm the local guy who did what every entrepreneur should do -- pursued something he knew and loved, which is bars.”
Charging your car while you shop
MOM's Organic Market has installed two electric car charging units for plug-in automobiles at the company's College Park store, with more to follow at stores in Jessup, Timonium and Merrifield, according to MOM's chief executive Scott Nash.
The installation costs vary, but the College Park bill came in at $8,160.
The units run around $6,000 each, not including shipping, but MOM's received three free units from the Charge Point America Program. The units are made by California-based Coulomb Technologies Inc.
Nash said plug-in drivers can get a 12 to 15 percent charge during an hour-long shopping trip at MOM's.
“We had a Tesla come in a couple weeks ago to use the charger in College Park,” Nash said. “The customer said he was excited. It's the first time he's ever charged anywhere aside from his home.”
The Buzz hears . . .
Latham & Watkins Managing Partner Eric Bernthal stepped down earlier this month after helming the firm's D.C. office for 11 years.
“We have a policy that encourages turnover in management,” said Bernthal, 64, who oversaw expansion of the D.C. office from 125 to nearly 300 attorneys. “I've been doing it longer than anybody, and it's time to give it up to some younger blood.”
He is being succeeded by Alice Fisher, who served as assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division of the Justice Department from 2005 to 2008.
Bernthal will continue to practice corporate and communications law, as well as work on special projects such as overseeing Latham's new Boston office.
D.C.-based ACON Investments private equity firm last week bought out Refac Optical Group, including its U.S. Vision subsidiary, from an affiliate of Palisade Capital Management. U.S. Vision, founded in 1967, operates more 700 full-service retail vision centers under a variety of brands including J.C. Penney, BJ's, Sears, Macy's and Kmart.