Chinese Carryout in Bloomingdale Wants to Add Liquor Store

Kandace Redd

A Chinese carryout in the Bloomingdale neighborhood wants to stand out from the competition by attaching a full-service liquor store to its building.

Full Yum Carryout and American Food Sub Shop, 1501 N. Capitol St. N.E., off P Street, has applied for a liquor license under the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Act. If the application is approved, Full Yum will be the third liquor store on North Capitol Street between Florida and New York Avenues.

Eric Zhu, manager of Full Yum Carryout, is excited about the possibility of adding a liquor store to the carryout business. Zhu explains that customers would be able to buy food and alcoholic beverages without having to travel to a liquor store.

“Full Yum is not going to stop selling food,” Zhu said. “We are just trying to add a liquor store to the building. This way, customers can buy food and liquor at the same time at our carryout. Then, they can take it home to eat and drink.”

Zhu said a liquor store would raise revenue, bring in new clientele and make the business “special.”

“The business is not slow, but adding a liquor store will bring more customers and help make more money,” Zhu explained. “We are trying to make the Chinese carryout special and different from other carryouts, because there are a lot of Chinese carryouts out there.”

However, some residents and customers are against the idea.

Christopher Pope, a resident of Bloomingdale, thinks the carryout should not add a liquor store. Pope explains that it is a bad idea to add another liquor store to a community that is “already over-saturated” with liquor stores.

“Standing in front of Full Yum, you can almost visibly see two other liquor stores,” Pope said. “If you walk less than five minutes, you can find two more liquor stores. I just don’t see what adding another will add to the community.”

“I just think it’s unnecessary, and it will lead to another location where alcoholics will hang on the corner creating an eyesore to a community that is trying to move forward and change its image.”

Alexandra Payne, a junior business major at Howard University and loyal customer of Full Yum, agrees and says too many liquor stores could bring down the value of the neighborhood.

“The neighborhood really doesn’t need another liquor store, because it’s just going to cause problems for the business and community,” Payne said. “Besides, why does there always have to be a liquor store on almost every corner in a black community? I just don’t agree with the idea at all.”

Sylvia Pinkney, a commissioner for Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C02, explains that all development, liquor licenses and zoning variances are referred to the area civic associations for community support or opposition.

The earliest this issue will come before the community is at a meeting of the Hanover Area Civic Association on Sept. 21. Following a community decision on the issue, ANC 5C would then vote to recommend that the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration approve or turn down Full Yum’s liquor license application.

ABRA will hold a public hearing on the application at 10 a.m. Oct. 24 at Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Adjudication Division, 2000 14th St. N.W., 400 South. Opponents must file petitions and/or requests to appear before the board by Oct. 11.

According to ABRA, all protests must be in writing and clearly state the grounds for the protest under one or more of the appropriateness standards. These standards include adverse impact on:

• the peace, order and quiet of the neighborhood

• real property values

• residential parking needs or

• vehicular and pedestrian safety.

For a protest to be valid, it must be signed by the protestors and include their full names and mailing addresses.

Cynthia Simms, ABRA’s Community Resource Officer, explains that ABRA regulates about 1,700 ABC establishments in the District of Columbia. These licenses come up for renewal every three years. Over the past two years, no more than 100 license applications or licensees have been protested.

“Most businesses such as these [Full Yum Carryout] generally do not apply for a liquor license, and every ABC establishment does not have issues or problems,” Simms said. “What may be linked to some of them are issues such as sales to minor, serving/selling to an intoxicated person, trash and noise.”

Full Yum is applying for a Retail Class “A” Liquor Store License, which allows off-premises retailers such as liquor stores, grocery stores and wholesalers to sell but not serve beer, wine and spirits, according to ABRA.

If the license is approved, Zhu hopes the liquor store could be added to the carryout within six months. Full Yum would sell alcoholic beverages from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Full Yum’s slogan is “Good Name for Great Eating.” If the carryout has its way, it would known to the public as “Good Name for Great Drinking.”