D.C. alcohol board suspends caterer after five people were shot at night spot party

January 31, 2013

The agency that regulates the sale of alcohol in the District on Thursday suspended the liquor license of a caterer that ran events at DC Soundstage, a Northeast Washington night spot where five people were shot early Saturday.

Operators of Roadside Cafe have 72 hours to request a public hearing before the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to appeal the decision. None had been requested by Thursday afternoon.

The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration determined that the catering company had violated several regulations, including storing liquor at the night spot and failing to have “a clear catering event contract,” according to its report.

Authorities took action against both the caterer and the owners of the club, in the 2400 block of Benning Road NE, after a fight broke out early Saturday during a birthday party at the club. D.C. police said one man had stood in the doorway and fired randomly into the crowd. No arrests have been made.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier used her emergency powers to order both DC Soundstage and Roadside Cafe closed for 96 hours. The decision issued Thursday keeps the catering company closed.

But the status of DC Soundstage remains unclear. It does not have a liquor license and doesn’t fall under the agency's regulations. But city officials said in the investigatory report issued Thursday that it appears DC Soundstage was operating as a bar and restaurant with daily hours, rather than a hall used for catered events.

The board said that “further investigation revealed that the event site is the licensed caterer’s sole client.”

The manager of DC Soundstage, Rodney Manley, declined to comment Thursday afternoon.

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