D.C.

Brookland neighbors battle over proposed new restaurant

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A small group of D.C. residents is trying to keep a new restaurant and bar from opening in their Brookland neighborhood.

But other residents disagree, saying the group doesn't speak for the whole community.

Doris Johnson runs a store designed to help her clients relax. Called Total Relaxation, it specializes in making your day a little better.

It sits right next to the property, which if granted a liquor license, would become Brookland's finest bar and kitchen. Because her business is all about relaxation, she worries about the potential noise from the proposed restaurant and bar.

"I'm concerned on many levels," Johnson says. "I would like to also continue to have my customers come in and be able to park without having to battle for parking spaces."

Apparently, she is not alone. Two days ago, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission passed a resolution against the opening of Brookland's.

In addition to parking and noise, neighbors worry about proximity to schools and churches.

"A bar from eight in the morning to two in the morning," Johnson says. "That's 24 hours. I mean, give or take it's 24 hours."

But other residents in the Brookland neighborhood say the resolution isn't representative of overall feelings towards the restaurant. They say most neighbors are in favor of the restaurant/bar.

Instead of an empty building, some say a working restaurant would bring up property values and create a safer atmosphere.

"Look at Bloomingdale," says Larry Mosley, one of the neighbors. "Look what's going on with H Street. Look what's going on in NOMA. Having new vibrant businesses show up in the those neighborhoods actually turned those neighborhoods."

Over the phone, the owner tells ABC7 he knows there is strong support from the community, but he is willing to listen to the concerns of others.

"There has to be a middle ground and compromise, I think from both sides," Mosley says.

And the fight is just beginning. There are hearings scheduled for June and August where both sides will be able to air their concerns.

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