The D.C. Court of Appeals yesterday upheld a decision to revoke the liquor license of Shepherd Park Restaurant, a nude-dancing bar in upper Northwest that prompted revisions in the city's liquor licensing laws.
A unanimous three-judge panel ruled that the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board acted lawfully last December when it refused to renew the liquor license of the Georgia Avenue restaurant, after finding that it was not "appropriate" for its neighborhood, one of the standards required for licensing.
Shepherd Park owners temporarily closed the restaurant last week, an attorney said yesterday.
Neighborhood complaints about the bar, one of the few nude-dancing establishments in the city, led to the approval of legislation last year by the D.C. Council giving nearby residents a much greater voice in determining what establishments get liquor licenses or are granted renewals. Neighbors protested that they had complained about the restaurant for years before any action was taken by the ABC.
Judge James A. Belson, writing for the panel, said that although the restaurant had taken steps to reduce problems in the neighborhood, the revocation was justified because evidence at the board hearing demonstrated that the restaurant continued to have a "negative and destructive impact on the community."
In appealing the ABC revocation, lawyers for the restaurant argued that the agency's decision was "unsupported by substantial evidence."
John R. Risher Jr., attorney for the restaurant, said yesterday he had not yet had time to decide whether to appeal the ruling to the full court.