Friday, September 21, 2007

Queen of Sheba Gets a Decision...No, Wait...

The longer this drags on, the more ridiculous the District's alcohol licensing process looks. As many of you may (or may not) know, the Queen of Sheba restaurant had their ABRA hearing yesterday, which apparently went on and on and on and on. Campbell Johnson and Mary Sutherland and their henchmen, er, fellow protestants were there. 5th and Oh graciously showed up to support the Queen (thanks!), but aside from him and Alex Padro (who, apparently, also gave very supportive and positive testimony) it was simply the Mr. Misgina and his lawyers versus the muckrakers.

Fine, whatever. This decision should be a no-brainer anyway, because the issues the protestants are hanging their hats on are so absurd that you'd think the hearing would have been over before it began. Not so. The hearing went on until almost 5 PM, at which point ABRA declared the hearing over and notified all parties that a decision would be rendered...in two months. Which is patently ridiculous. Two months may seem to be a reasonable time frame for the ABRA folks, but it's two more months of the Queen hemmoraghing money due to their lack of a liquor license. It really gives one pause to think why *any* restaurant owner would want to come into a neighborhood such as Shaw and deal with the grief that has been flung towards Mr. Misgina et al.

Personally, I support continuing the eat-ins to support the Queen until this issue is finally, and mercifully, put to bed. If the various Shaw bloggers could propose a recurring weekly/bi-weekly time to go, I'm sure we could get people to clear their schedules, go enjoy a wonderful meal, and show Mr. Misgina and everyone at the Queen how much the neighborhood *truly* supports him.

6 comments:

OffSeventh said...

Hold on...sorry but I must take issue on you making it like the only people who have come out in support of Mr. Misgina have been Daddy 5-Oh and Alex...

This has been the rally cry for the Shaw bloggers for over a year and a half...and I welcome you to come take a look at my blog and about 6 others in Shaw to see that this is the case. Having hearings during the work day makes it impossible for the folks who actually WANT the liquor license to attend...

Sorry to jump but I just read your post and took MAJOR issue because if you had taken the time to speak to Mr. Misgina or Daddy 5-Oh you would know that in fact he has recieved pretty amazing community support.

Other than that you nailed it...I cannot wait to see if Jack Evans will support reform of the process when it is brought up next month.

Mr. 14th & You said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
14th & You said...

I think you may have misread Mr. 14th & You's message. He meant to convey that there were only two supporters able to be present on that particular day of the hearing.

Indeed, it was the Shaw blogs, particularly yours, that turned us on to this issue. In fact, the postings have encouraged us to eat there more often, including at the eat in.

From what I gather, the moral support and patronage of residents has been very helpful to Mr. Misgina.

J said...

An earlier attempt at commenting appears not to have taken. I feel residents and community leaders should email/write to ABRA, seeking an expedited and positive decision for Queen of Sheba. There is no knowing if it would work, but ABRA should understand clearly the immense pressure that this business has been put under, the clarity of the logic in support of the application, and the widespread belief that eight weeks aren't necessary to weigh that clear logic.

Mr. 14th & You said...

J -

I really like the idea, but is there precedence for it? I honestly don't know. Then again, I've never seen a decision that appears so clear-cut be drug out for so long. There's something fundamentally flawed with the ABRA protest process if such a ragtag group can be permitted to hold up a process for so long.

J said...

I do not know if ABRA has accelerated its deliberations before, as the result of resident concern.

However, ABRA needs to hear from residents on this. Whether it's asking for a rapid and common-sense decision in support of Queen of Sheba, and/or simply another opportunity for even more residents to weigh in on the overall issue, firing up the emails wouldn't hurt.

The next time a church or bigot (and in recent cases, they have been one in the same) tries to block a reasonable liquor license application, residents would have greater numbers with which to fight back.