Walter Johnson’s Liquors


As you know, I have been involved with a protest of the renewal of the Alcoholic Beverage Control license of Walter Johnson’s Liquors for the past number of months. In this regard, I have been to several status hearings regarding the protest and, in recent months, to two sessions that were formally mediated by a representative from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. The owner of this establishment has been in attendance at the last couple of meetings of the Bates Area Civic Association, Inc, where we have discussed a number of the concerns about the operations of the business. Indeed, I hope these meetings have helped this business owner to understand how strongly we object from some of he practices that emanate from his business and, of equal importance, some of the improvements that need to be made to its physical structure and “feel, ” if it is to attract a clientele beyond those who support the business via their serial purchases of half-pints of Odessa Vodka, as an example, throughout the course of each business day. I also circulated a copy of the existing Cooperative Agreement for this establishment, soliciting your feedback.

The current owner of the store is in the process of selling it to a new owner. It seems that the current owner is recuperating from heart by-pass surgery and he has decided that he no longer has the physical stamina to operate the business. The new owner appears interested in and serious about the goal of working with the community to make certain recommended improvements to the store and we are in touch with the owner of the building (a different person than the operator of the business) to encourage him to do the same to the facade of the premises. As you know, I will be retiring from ANC 5C in another month, so I will no longer have the formal standing the be a lead person on the continued protest of this license, moving forward. Given this reality, I have gotten the owner to agree to work with a “committee” of the ANC throughout the current renewal term in order that the improvements agreed to at this time as well as those that might be recommended by the ANC “committee” in the future will be tied to the legal force of the instant agreement.

I attach a copy of the agreement that I am proposing for adoption by ANC 5C at our meeting tomorrow for your information. If we, residents of the community, help my successors on ANC 5C to hold the new owner and operator of Walter Johnson’s Liquors accountable for its terms, I am inclined to believe that the community will derive significant benefit from the agreement and, to a major extent, we will be able to exercise some measure of control over its existing negative impact upon our general quality of life. At some point in the future, it is my prayer that we will see a desired alternative to a liquor store in operation at this prime location. However, for now, the following is the best that I am able to commend to you.


Jim Berry





TELEPHONE: (202) 832-1965/1966 – FAX: (202) 832-1969

Cooperative Agreement

Walter Johnson Liquors and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C

(ANC 5C)

WHEREAS, C& B Incorporated., (“Licensee”) has applied to renew an Alcoholic Beverage Control Retail Class A license for the business trading as Walter Johnson Liquors, located at 1542 North Capitol Street, N.W.; Ret. –Renewal Application No.: 1711-03/032P; and

WHEREAS, the Licensee and ANC 5C have discussed the concerns of the neighborhood and have reached an understanding relating to the operation of the Licensee’s business, as well as the level of cooperation that shall exist between the Licensee and ANC 5C;

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the Licensee’s commitment to fully comply with the terms of this Cooperative Agreement, as set forth herein, ANC 5C agrees to withdraw its protest of the renewal of its license. Specifically, the Licensee agrees to the following:

1. That the Licensee will comply with all laws and regulations governing the operations of the establishment at 1542 North Capitol Street, N.W., within the District of Columbia, including the laws and regulations governing the Class A (Retail) license to which this Cooperative Agreement applies, as applied for and previously approved by the District of Columbia in the name of the Licensee;

2. That the Licensee and its officers and employees will cooperate with Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C (“ANC”) to address any alleged violation of the laws and regulations referred to in Item One (1), and in any request by the ANC that the appropriate enforcement agency investigate any alleged violation.

3. That the Licensee will not sell alcohol before or after ABC regulated hours.

4. That the Licensee will keep the public space surrounding its business free of debris and trash.

5. That the Licensee will take reasonable measures to ensure that the immediate

environs of the location are kept free of litter and debris. The “immediate environs” is defined in Section 720.2 of the ABC regulations as including “all property on which the premises are located; all property used by the licensee to conduct business, whether part of the premises or not; including parking lots and portions of alleys, sidewalks, or other public property immediately adjacent to the premises or adjacent to the property used by the licensee to conduct business.”

6. That the Licensee will prohibit loitering in front of the business and that they take whatever actions are necessary to enforce such a prohibition and will post No Loitering signs in a prominent place on the exterior of its establishment.

7. That the Licensee will not provide “go cups” to customers. A “go-cup” is defined in Section 709.7 of the ABC regulations as a “drinking utensil provided at no charge or a nominal charge to customers for the purpose of consuming (alcoholic) beverages.”

8. That the Licensee will not sell or provide miniature bags of ice to customers. The Licensee will use clear plastic bags when making single sales of beer, malt or fortified wines and other alcoholic beverages.

9. That the Licensee will not sell single cigarettes; nor rolling paper, crack bags, or other drug paraphernalia to customers.

10. That the Licensee will not advertise alcoholic beverages on the exterior walls of the property used by the licensee to conduct business.

11. That the Licensee will promptly remove or paint over any graffiti written on the exterior walls of the property used by the licensee to conduct business.

12. That the Licensee will post signs in English, advising its customers that the licensee will not sell alcohol to intoxicated persons.

13. That the Licensee, in consultation with a committee to be formed by the protestant, shall make improvements regarding the appearance of the business. Appended, hereto, as “Attachment” is a preliminary list of suggested improvements. Such improvements shall be completed no later than May 1, 2007. Lastly the committee will remain in place to work on recommended improvements to the appearance of the business with the Licensee and the owner of the building throughout this renewal period.

14. That the Licensee will not sell or deliver alcohol in any form to any intoxicated person, any person who appears to be intoxicated, or to any person whom the Licensee knows to be an abuser of alcohol.

15. That the Licensee will not sell of deliver alcohol in any form to any person under 21 years of age.

16. That the Licensee will take all precautions to avoid the sale of alcohol in any form to anyone accompanying a person who has been denied service, if it appears that an attempt is being made to buy alcohol for the person who has been denied service.

17. That the Licensee agrees to work with the ANC 5C to resolve problems that the commission brings to its attention. Specifically, the Licensee agrees to respond within seven (7) business days to any written complaint that it receives from ANC 5C and further agrees to document its efforts to respond to such complaints.

18. That the Licensee will provide the community (via ANC 5C) at least ninety (90) days notice of any intention to place the business on the market, i.e., should the Licensee make a decision to sell or transfer its business.

19. That the Licensee agrees to post this Cooperative Agreement, alongside his ABC license.

20. That the Licensee give their assurance that all of its employees will adhere to the provisions of this agreement, particularly with respect to the sale of alcohol in any form.

The provisions of this Cooperative Agreement shall become part of the conditions of the ABC license and shall remain in force upon renewal or transfer of the liquor license. Violations of this Cooperative Agreement by the Licensee, or the Licensee’s failure to implement measures called for in this Cooperative Agreement, shall be considered just cause for the ABC Board to immediately suspend or revoke the ABC license granted to its establishment.


For the Licensees:

_____________________________________ Date: _________________________



For Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C:

_____________________________________ Date: _________________________





1. Replace flooring with new floor tiles.

2. Improve lighting inside and outside of the establishment.

3. Paint interior walls and counter faces with a light attractive color.

4. Improve retail display areas so that they are more inviting to customers..

5. Make certain that exterior glass is clean and free from obstructions at all times.

6. Erect security cameras on the exterior of the facility that would provide a view of loiterers and vagrants who might be inclined to congregate outside of the establishment.