An application to transfer the liquor license of the posh Golden Table Restaurant, a Foggy Bottom gathering place for top State Department officials, ran into trouble yesterday when D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board members questioned the potential management role of an Iranian who was convicted last year in a heroin smuggling case.
"A red flag is up," said ABC Board member Larry C. Williams of the role to be played by Mohammed (Mike) Roshan -- that of an untitled overseer for the restaurant's new owners, his sister and brother-in-law.
"I am troubled," board chairman Robert J. Lewis observed later.
Because of his conviction of a felony count, which he is appealing, Roshan is barred from serving as the manager of an Abc-licensed establihment. SO HIS RELATIVES HIRED FOR THAT POST joan Robey, who testified that she commutes daily from Woodbridge for 10-hour workdays at a $250 weekly salary. She also serves as a member of the restaurant corporation's board of directors.
Each day, she testified, Roshan comes in for "two to 10 minutes" to bring change and sign checks. For that and a late-night visit to collect and bank the day's receipts, he is paid $400 a week, according to later testimony by his brother-in-law, Dr. Manocher Fatch, an orthopedic surgeon from the fashionable New York suburb of Short Hills, N.J.
Fateh testified that he and his wife, a gynecologist, decided last year to borrow the $80,000 in cash needed to buy the Golden Table partly as an investment and partly to give Roshan a job looking after the couple's interests. The restaurant is in Columbia Plaza, a residential and commercial development across 23rd Street NW from the State Department.
The testimony on the Fatehs' ownership differed from press accounts last Novemeber of the planned sale of the restaurant by Seymour Rich, its principal owner, reportedly to Roshan. The Fatehs' lawyer, Dmitri P. Mallios, said his clients' ownership has been verified. There was no testimony yesterday on this point as the board considered the transfer of the license from the Rich family.
Roshan, 35, formerly part owner of the West End Restaurant here, was convicted last April of distributing one-half pound of heroin brought here from Iran and was sentenced to serve two years in prison. He is free on bond pending his appeal.
The mustachioed Roshan, wearing a conservative gray suit and a black turtleneck shirt, testified that he is maintaining a low profile because of concern over unfavorable publicity. He said he lives in Columbia Plaza, two minutes' walk from the restaurant.
When board member Dwight S. Cropp posed the question, "If any emergency should arise --," Roshan interrupted to finish the sentence: "-- they call me."
The board took the matter under advisement for a later decision.