Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Residents force McFadden’s to close earlier

Owners of McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon, a popular destination among of-age students, have agreed to shorten their hours in response to complaints from community leaders who cited the bar for neighborhood disturbances.

McFadden’s will now close one hour earlier on Friday and Saturday nights, and two hours earlier during the week, among a variety of other changes.

The Advisory Neighborhood Commission, a community group that makes zoning recommendations to the city, announced at its meeting last week that after about a year of discussion between the restaurant and the community, the two parties finally came to the agreement.

Starting in about a month, the bar will also no longer be permitted to discount alcohol more than 50 percent during happy hour or hold happy hour past 8 p.m. McFadden’s will also be required to hire a private security guard to patrol outside the restaurant on weekends. McFadden’s currently closes at 3 a.m. on the weekends and 2 a.m. on weekdays.

Under the agreement, however, the restaurant will still be able to remain open on Tuesdays until 2 a.m. because it is a promotional night for the bar.

The D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Association arranged the compromise process, which consisted of a community representative and McFadden’s owners coming up with their own solution to the problem instead of forcing the agency to take action. Community members consistently complained to the ABRA about drunken patrons in the early morning hours.

“Getting an hour’s reduction is extremely significant,” said Vince Micone, ANC chair, at last week’s meeting.

Price said he hopes that the changes, specifically the happy hour restrictions, will curtail “the drunken behavior of their patrons who are over served liquor.”

Despite the changes, Price expressed some disappointment that the compromise did not do more to stop the bar from being a community disturbance. He criticized District agencies for not taking away the saloon’s liquor license.

McFadden’s employees said they were unaware of the agreement, and messages left with manager Brian Westlye were not returned. But a year ago Westlye told The Hatchet it was “pointless” to engage in debate with the ANC.

“We have residents above us that don’t have problems with us, but people five or six blocks away who do,” he said in September 2004.

The changes to the business will take effect as soon as the agreement is signed by Price and approved by the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Commission Board. Jeff Coudriet, director of operations at ABRA, said the process would take no more than a month.

Once imposed, the agreement will be in place for one year. If McFadden’s is found in violation of any terms of the agreement, it will have 10 days to rectify the situation, or it will face a hearing in front of the ABC Board.

“It is basically like a trial, and the Office of the Attorney General brings the case,” Coudriet said. He added that the board would act as jury in such a trial, and penalties could range from a fine to revoking McFadden’s liquor license, which would essentially close down the business.

Some GW bar-hoppers said they are angry about the changes, but some students said that that the shortened hours or more expensive drinks may not discourage students from excessive drinking. The bar has a reputation for being vigilant in weeding out would-be patrons with fake IDs.

“Now people will just have to drink more in a shorter period of time,” senior Ravi Alfreds said. “We all know that’s not a good idea.”

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