The D.C. Court of Appeals has reversed a decision by the city's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to renew a liquor license for a Georgia Avenue restaurant that features performances by live, nude go-go dancers.
In a suit brought by a citizens group, the court ruled that the ABC board had erroneously failed to make a finding that the Shepherd Park Restaurant's "chief source of revenue" was the sale of meals and not beverages. It remanded the case to the ABC board for appropriate action.
The Upper Georgia Avenue Planning Committee (UGAPC) had argued that 93 percent of the Shepherd Park's business came from liquor sales and therefore the business did not qualify for a restaurant liquor license.
"The Court of Appeals decision has set right a matter that's been incorrectly decided by the ABC board," said James Robertson, an attorney for the citizens group.
Robertson said the Court of Appeals in its Nov. 15 ruling "made it very clear that the D.C. law means what it says, mainly that the chief source of revenue for an establishment having a restaurant license must be food and not booze."
The attorney for K.G.S. Inc., which owns the Shepherd Park, could not be reached for comment.
The ruling comes three years after a group of residents and business owners in Shepherd Park formed the UGAPC in an effort to close down four neighborhood restaurants that feature nude go-go dancers.
Three of the restaurants are closed. The Shepherd Park remains open.
For the past four years the planning committee, with the support of the Shepherd Park Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC), has filed protests with the ABC board each time the restaurant's liquor license has come up for its annual renewal application.