A look at what's going on in Trinidad, on H Street, and in the larger area north of Capitol Hill.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

That Patio at Sahra? It Lacks a Permit

IMG_20120708_183901
Sahra is located on the northeast corner of 12th & H 

A somewhat bizarre bit of news went out on Twitter today. Apparently, local hookah lounge Sahra, doesn't have a permit for their outdoor patio. The outdoor space is very popular, particularly on weekends. I must admit to feeling a bit of shock at this news. I had simply assumed that they had a public space permit. As a result of of this issue, the patio closed immediately, and cannot be used again until they secure a permit.

17 Comments:

Blogger Tom A. said...

Hey inked,

I'm thinking the title of this post is referencing something, and I'm sure it's hysterical, but what's the reference?

Aug 25, 2013, 8:39:00 AM

 
Blogger inked said...

No special reference. Just my brain on allergy meds (I got into something my body didn't like while doing yard work).

Aug 25, 2013, 9:44:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the neighborhood gossip I get here!

Aug 26, 2013, 8:06:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was troublesome to me that it took over a week for the ANC commissioner to find out if this place had a permit. This stuff should be available in a public online database.

Wonder how many other places lack permits for their patios, portico, ect;in public space. No doubt, it wouldn't occur to DDOT to check for compliance.

Does Gallery O have a permit from DCRA? Nothing is posted.

Aug 26, 2013, 9:19:00 AM

 
Anonymous jiminy cricket said...

How were they able to build a patio on a very public corner without such a permit? Shouldn't the whole business be investigated at this point? If they're willing to do that, what other laws and regulations have they flouted? Maybe DCRA should check all the establishments in the 1200 block for these type of DCRA licenses? It seems like businesses up and down the street open roof decks, etc, willy nilly and now I wonder if any of them got permits.

Aug 26, 2013, 11:13:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Shouldn't the whole business be investigated at this point?"

Hah, we're talking about DCRA here, not the FBI. Take a look at the new structure at what was formerly 915 3rd Street NE and you will see how a builder can get away illegal construction. This city government is worthless.

Aug 26, 2013, 12:44:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Maybe DCRA should check all the establishments in the 1200 block for these type of DCRA licenses?"

One of Marion Barry's lasting legacies was treating the DC government as an "employer of last resort", a place where everyone could get a job and a paycheck, regardless of their work habits. If you have ever had to deal with a city service issue, you know how true this is.

Aug 26, 2013, 12:53:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgetting about whether Sahra or DCRA is at fault, what's the big deal anyway? Why is a "stop work" order needed? It's been just a bunch of tables with a fence. If DC wants to permit you to use public space without actually doing construction to change the actual space, why can't it be something easy like a public space permit? Can't we have something done easily in this town?

Aug 26, 2013, 1:44:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there seemed to be some cheering of this shutdown on twitter and a one sided story about an over zealous security guard and signature collecting.

anyway, chalk up a victory for rules. yay. why do we have so many empty store fronts again?

maybe this only stands out to me because i just got back from europe where there appear to be no rules regarding anything. you can drink anywhere you want...swim anywhere you want..stand on really high things without safety fences or rails. nobody wears bike helmets either. que horror! i dont know how europeans arent extinct yet.

Aug 26, 2013, 4:22:00 PM

 
Anonymous 4th and G said...

As someone who recently opened a small business in the District, I can tell you from personal experience that compliance is not easy. DCRA and the Office of Tax & Revenue simply do not post rules in a ways that make compliance easy.

As one brief example, it took me 3 working days (over 5 total days) to register for sales tax, employer tax withholdings, and unemployment tax. Waiting rooms, offices in two different parts of the city, and multiple forms (that all required the same information) were necessary in order for me to legally pay money to the District. The entire set-up was simply a city jobs program that relies on government bureaucracy and creates barriers to entry for new private businesses.

Aug 27, 2013, 9:19:00 AM

 
Blogger heyktb said...

never got the concept of that place anyway. I mean, how often did you actually SEE people there with hookas. it was mostly people sitting with their foam containers from the fish fry joint.

Aug 27, 2013, 11:06:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"why do we have so many empty store fronts again?"

It's a matter of dollars and cents more than red tape. Taking a look at some of the more seriously destroyed properties, owners face minimally $250k+ in rebuild/renovation. It would take 5 years to recoup that money if the owner can get $5000/rent. Far easier to pay that $25000/year tax bill.

Aug 27, 2013, 1:36:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one ever goes there. Not enough to make it viable anyway. Methinks it a front. Maybe the FBI raids them next now that Marvelous Pizza got van'd.

Aug 27, 2013, 5:21:00 PM

 
Blogger Tom A. said...

I went there once, and sat on the patio, tried GRAPE flavored tobacco. (my friends' choice) I had one or two puffs and let my friend have the rest. I was told that a hookah tobacco isn't even as strong as a cigar. I drank my over-priced beer and left.

Aug 27, 2013, 7:35:00 PM

 
Blogger inked said...

5:21,
That patio is pretty packed on weekends.

Aug 27, 2013, 8:23:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop work order or not, it the patio was in use Saturday night. A cop stopped by, hung around awhile, then left. There were people on the patio with a big hookah smoking...

Aug 28, 2013, 5:50:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@jiminy cricket and @ anon 08/26 1.44pm. The guys who run that place also run souk and the former Philly water ice apparently. All have had stop work orders or been shut down for other "mysterious" reasons. Majority of bars and restaurants on h have brought something positive to the community, these guys just seem to bring never ending construction sites and empty store fronts. DC permits are a bitch but if all the other honest businesses put the time and money into getting them why should they be exempt? Not a fan....

Aug 29, 2013, 9:53:00 PM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home