The District of Columbia's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has denied the license renewal application of Paragon Too, a Wisconsin Avenue nightclub that was the object of dozens of complaints at a public hearing last November.
The ABC board said in a formal order this week that the disco club's owner had failed to control the noise and disturbances in the area that has been associated with the club at 2233 Wisconsin Ave. NW and had violated ABC regulations that require clubs to have food service available.
"There was no evidence of any effort, other than one meeting with the community, to cooperate with area residents, property owners and business persons," wrote ABC board chairman Peter Ridley and member Frank Zampatori.
The rejection was only the third in 31 cases in which licenses for restaurants and beer and wine stores have been contested since the annual renewal period began last September.
Representatives of Paragon Too could not be reached for comment.
"We're pleased with the decision," said attorney Robert K. Stumberg, who represented Wisconsin Neighbors, a group that brought about three-dozen residents to a public hearing last Nov. 11 to oppose the license renewal.
Stumberg said that the decision is important to other residential neighborhoods near commercial areas because it indicates that the board may be more willing to listen to complaints of residents.
"In the past, the board did not look beyond the walls of the establishment," said Stumberg, who said he had researched decisions of the ABC board over the past several years. "This board is apparently willing" to hold the licenses' holders more responsible for conduct adjacent to their clubs, Stumberg said.
Last fall, Nassar Zolfaghari, the owner of the club, blamed the complaints about the club on racism and said that area residents began to object when more black patrons attended the club. Stumberg and other residents denied this allegation.
Residents were especially angered last October, when a 21-year-old man was shot and killed outside the club after a dispute at around 2 a.m.