October 19, 2017

Bars & Restaurants

ABC lawyer providing business and regulatory assistance for your bar, restaurant, liquor store or other licensed establishment

The Restaurant and Bar Business, in general, is tough, in D.C. it’s near impossible.  Owners need to keep track of so many things that vacation, family time, and work-life balance are barely considerations.  Just keeping your place afloat is a 24/7/365 job.  You have enough to worry about, you need an experienced ABC lawyer to handle the regulation.

Representing yourself at the ABC Board can be bad for business

Every time I have a case before the ABC Board, it is inevitable that I see at least one fledgling owner, by himself, confusedly trying to explain something to ABRA staff.  The Licensing Specialist on the other side of the conversation is just looking at the owner, head cocked to the side, mouth open, and I think, “there is no way this guy is getting whatever it is he is asking for.” Sometimes, I see an owner, sitting alone, in a hearing, while an experienced Assistant Attorney General, hand-walks her witness through some well-choreographed testimony that hangs the owner ‘out-to-dry’ on a violation.  I know exactly what is happening, and its just painful to watch.

I provide a full complement of licensing and adjudication services for my clients.

As an ABC Lawyer, I handle all aspects of legal and regulatory compliance for my clients.  My services include applications, whether they are for new licenses, transfer of an existing license (either to a new owner or a new location), change of officer or director, or for a substantial change to your business.  Since I prepare applications for my clients for a flat-fee, you know the exact at the beginning of the representation.  For more information about flat-fee services for your ABC Licensed Establishment, visit our Fees Page. If you know that you want me to handle your application, please schedule the service on our Book Appointment Page.


Additionally, if you have already applied for your new license, transfer, renewal, or substantial change,   I represent establishments in all stages of the protest process. I handle initial, informal, negotiations with the Protestants and advise owners on the possibility and cost/benefit of a Settlement Agreement.  Thereafter, if the parties don’t resolve the matter informally, I will represent you in the Roll-Call Hearing, the mandatory Mediation session, Status Hearing, and if necessary, at the formal Protest Hearing.


If you have been cited for a violation or received a Show Cause Notice, I can help. I represent licensees in both trying to negotiate an appropriate Offer-in-Compromise with the Prosecutor and if settlement fails, I will defend you at the Show Cause Hearing. I even represent establishments in more serious cases involving summary suspension and closure by the MPD.

Fact Finding and Fitness Hearings

In some cases, the Board wants to gather additional information before it takes action and may require a Fact-Finding Hearing.  Additionally, where the Board has concerns about an applicant’s fitness to hold a license, it may convene a hearing to make a determination.  Notwithstanding the informality of these proceedings, they are very serious.  Your license (or application) may be at risk.  You should have experienced and professional guidance to shepherd you through the process.

Getting started…

Whether you have licensing issues, such as applications and connected hearings; or if you have been accused of violating the law in the running of your business, I can help.   If you want to hire me to represent your business or if you have additional questions about the process, schedule an initial case evaluation using our online scheduling tool, fill out a Contact Form, or simply give me a call.