Updated: Aug 27
Good Guys, a strip club at 2311 Wisconsin Avenue which has been in business since the 1960’s, is in hot water again with Glover Park’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC3B), the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABCA) and the DC justice system. Good Guys was sold in 2018 to a national strip club operator “P&C Properties” run by Mahesh Patel (see prior article). Both prior and current management have been well aware that they need to remain in the good graces of the ANC if they wish to continue to operate in the neighborhood. ANC3B has significant influence with ABCA regarding new alcoholic beverage licenses as well as renewals of existing licenses. ANC3B has used this influence in the past to protest the club’s license renewals, removing the protest in exchange for a “settlement agreement” in which the club is required to take additional specific measures (beyond existing city rules) to ensure safety and neighborhood peace and quiet.
There have been a number of incidents over the decades involving alcohol, fights, weapons, etc… and each time it brings complaints from neighbors and further scrutiny from the ANC. As you can imagine, Good Guys would prefer to avoid these situations as well, and they have been proactive in attempting to be a good neighbor by volunteering in the neighborhood, such as at Glover Park Day, and in donating money.
Back in October of 2022, after more disturbances and the brandishing of a weapon in the establishment, the ANC invited management to the monthly meeting listen to measure that were being taken to prevent this from happening again. At the end, ANC3B voted to protest the upcoming renewal of the liquor license in order to renegotiate and strengthen the existing settlement agreement.
Prior to this incident, a patron filed a criminal complaint against Good Guys in February of 2022. A year-and-a-half later the case is ongoing and messy. The patron, who shall go unnamed, sued Good Guys for fraud and theft, alleging that he was plied with alcohol, got quite intoxicated, and then his credit card was charged repeatedly for “services” eventually totaling $28,179, of which he was unaware due to his intoxicated state. He further claims that 41 charges to the card were attempted (but not all processed), totaling $106,372. The plaintiff seeks the recovery of the $28K, plus $100K for pain and suffering damages. It is unclear why the filings of this case have not been sealed as the details are rather lurid. The cross examinations would be very uncomfortable for anyone called to the stand, though the trial has not even started yet and it appears to be stalled in mediation. It seems strange that the parties have not settled this unpleasant case long ago and does not appear to be in anyone’s interest to keep it going. It certainly will not help their case with the ANC. As with any criminal charges, defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Back to the settlement agreement. In January of this year the ANC negotiated amendments to the existing 2018 settlement agreement with Good Guys in exchange for removing their protest of the liquor license renewal. The ANC3B voted unanimously and submitted the resolution to ABCA. The following provisions were added: 1) establish a dress code in conformity with the DC Human Rights Act, 2) post signs that no weapons are allowed (does that really require a sign?) and that there is a dress code, 3) prohibit anyone from entering who has been officially barred, 4) conduct visual or pat-down screening of patrons and bags, with additional magnetometer wanding if deemed necessary, 5) onsite managers shall be properly licensed alcohol managers with ABCA and managers and bartenders shall complete alcohol awareness training to include awareness of security procedures and the settlement agreement, 6) managers shall take prompt action regarding any noise complaints so that noise cannot be heard outside the immediate vicinity of the front door, 7) employees shall be present outside during closing time (which is often when and where things get rowdy), and 8) ANC3B officials shall have the cell phone number of the manager on duty.
A month after the signing of the amended settlement agreement, in February of this year, ABCA scheduled a “show cause” hearing for Good Guys. ABCA issues a show cause order when they believe the accused has violated ABCA rules or a settlement agreement and must appear before the Board within 30 days of the order to “show cause” why their license should not be suspended or revoked. The accusation was that Good Guys “Allowed the establishment to be used for an unlawful or disorderly purpose, failed to follow security plan.” The case got continued month after month until July 26th, upon which Good Guys submitted an Offer in Compromise (OIC) to ABCA. The OIC contained two provisions: 1) admitting the establishment had been used for unlawful purposes and agreeing to pay a $1,000 fine, and 2) admitting they failed to follow the security plan, for which no fine was imposed. An OIC is significant because it is both an admission of guilt and a waiver of the right to due process regarding the accusations. The ABCA Board accepted the OIC, canceled the show cause hearing, and the case is closed, but probably this is not the end of the story….