Neighbors concerned about proposed beer garden on 14th Street

A Shaw neighborhood is at odds with a local restaurant.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - It seemed like the perfect spot for Dacha owners to expand to their second location, right on the corner of 14th and S streets in Northwest.

They would transform the public parking lot into a second beer garden location, nearly three times the size of their location on 7th St. 

Neighbors who live just feet from the proposed site fought against the owners. They were concerned about noise and capacity. 

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"We listened to what neighbors have to say and would like to work with them," said one of Dacha's owners, Dmitri Chekaldin. 

Many of the neighbors on the street have yellow signs in their yard that read "No Dacha on S Street." 

"We already have a problem with people vomiting in our front yard at night. We're worried about more trash and disorderly drunks," said neighbor David Conklin. 

The proposed location, according to the application, would have room for 600 people. Chekaldin says it's common to ask for the maximum, but the reality is they will probably be approved for a much lower capacity.

After the complaints, they went back to the drawing board. They came up with a new rendering that would have two-thirds of the location indoors to try to curb the noise. It comes with a $3 million price tag. 

Conklin and others, however still aren't convinced. 

"I'm concerned it will be close enough that we'll hear it from indoors and that the noise will be inescapable," he said. 

Other neighbors who live further away from the proposed location are happy about the expansion. 

Mark Lee lives a block away and is also a small-business advocate. 

"It's good for the city, it's good for the neighborhood, and I think most of the neighborhood is actually looking forward to it," said Lee. 

Dacha received a hefty fine back in 2015 from the liquor board for having too many people inside its 7th street location. 

"We've learned from our mistakes here and would like to be good neighbors. That's our primary goal," said Chekaldin. 

On Dacha's website, the owners are asking for the community's support with the expansion project. You can write a comment that will go directly to city leaders. 

City Council member Jack Evans however still opposes the revised plans. In a letter to the board, he asked them to deny Dacha's application. 

He wrote: "This establishment will not only impact these residents negatively, it will profoundly change the nature of historic 14th street and the Arts Overlay District." 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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