Liquor violation keeps Shaw’s Tavern dry
The much-anticipated Shaw’s Tavern at Florida Avenue and 6th Street finally opened on Friday, July 29. The restaurant, whose food neighbors have praised, is not serving alcohol, due to the fact they likely violated the District liquor laws before they even opened.
The City Paper reports that the restaurant, before it opened, hosted a private fundraiser for a local charity. The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), which enforces the city’s liquor laws, accuses the restaurant of serving alcohol without a license during the event. Restaurants, bars, and other places of public accommodations, must have licenses to serve alcohol.
The restaurant contends that because it had not yet opened to the public, it was not “operating” and thus logically could not operate without a license.
Whatever the case, we hope Shaw’s will obtain its license soon. The culinary photos they post on Facebook would look even more delicious if paired with wine or beer.
While we welcome new restaurants to the area and appreciate the owners’ pricey investment renovating the property, it is important to uphold the rule of law and not excuse violations. Certainly any punishment should fit the severity of the crime, but to excuse some businesses while punishing others for the same violation is unfair.