The Bohemian Caverns, a popular jazz club on the U Street corridor, has been ordered closed until at least Wednesday night after police said a patron let in after closing was sexually assaulted on a bar.
Owners of the club, along with a bar on the same property and under the same ownership, The Tap & Parlour, are scheduled to appear before the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration on Wednesday.
ABRA spokesman William Hager said the administration could allow the 96-hour closure imposed by D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier to expire or issue other sanctions, such as a further suspension or conditions for reopening.
“It seems pretty serious,” Hager said of the allegation that includes after-hours drinking early Saturday and an assault that Lanier, in her “Notice of Closure” letter, described as a violent crime.
The owner of Bohemian Caverns, Omrao Brown, did not return phone calls seeking comment made over the past two days. E-mail requests for interviews were not acknowledged.
The club’s Twitter feed noted the cancellation of a Monday jazz show ”due to unforseen circumstances.” A Tuesday concert by artist-in-residence Herb Scott was “postponed until further notice,” according to the web site.
Lanier is allowed to close a bar for up to 96 hours under a law passed in 2005. Earlier this month, Lanier invoked the law to shutter Indulj, a block from Bohemian Caverns, after three men were shot outside the restaurant. It reopened Dec. 7.
In her letters to the alcohol beverage board, Lanier said the attack occurred Dec. 8 about 3:20 a.m., nearly 90 minutes after it was supposed to have bene closed. Lanier said in the letters that a friend of the victim knew the manager and that he “allowed them inside the club after hours to have several alcoholic beverages.”
Police said the group was drinking downstairs but that the victim got tired and came up to the Tap & Parlour, where she fell asleep on the bar ”and was awakened by an unknown male sexually assaulting her.”
D.C police said the woman called police from the 700 block of Harvard St., NW, about a mile north, about 3:40 a.m. Police said no arrest has been made.