- The future home of Pearl Dive Oyster Palace & BlackJack. (Photo: TBD Staff)
The fate of his liquor license applications for Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and BlackJack still up in the air, there's one thing we can say for sure about Jeff Black's plans to open a new restaurant and bar in the 14th Street corridor: He's willing to bet the bank on it. Property records show Black pulled the trigger on his $2.43 million purchase of 1612 14th Street NW a little over a month ago.
The real estate move was one Black had originally hoped to put off until his alcoholic beverage license was squared away, but he now says he's confident he'll be able to get most of what he wants, as well as being "deeply committed" to the project. Last we checked in on the plans to bring Black (BlackSalt, Black's Bar & Kitchen, et al.) to the Logan Circle area, the restaurateur was facing down a bit of community opposition. Neighbors say they're thrilled Black wants to come, but much less thrilled about his intention to stay open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays (and 2 a.m. all other days). Plans for a partially open rear smoking deck have also raised concerns about noise being a problem for the condo dwellers directly across the alley.
Negotiations between the Black Restaurant Group and ANC 2F (along with a separate collection of 33 individual protestants) are by all accounts progressing, but Black says the operating hours and rear patio issues have yet to be resolved. [FULL DISCLOSURE: TBD Editor Erik Wemple's wife is one of the protestants in this case]. So the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on Wednesday set a formal protest hearing for Jan. 19. If the various sides aren't able to meet somewhere in the middle before then, the board will have the final say.