H Street residents debate cap of liquor licenses

Will H Street-area residents put a stop to new liquor licenses?

Some residents of the neighborhoods around H Street complain that the bustling development is impacting the quality of life in their neighborhood.

H Street is one of the fastest-growing entertainment districts in D.C., attracting thousands of people every night to bars, restaurants and theaters.

"Wherever you go you see a bar. Wherever you go you see a liquor store," complains Arthur Gregory Louallen, who lives in the neighborhood.

Over the past ten years, H Street has seen a renaissance. Some residents, like Louallen, see the new businesses as are part of a gentrification of the historically black neighborhood. The majority of new businesses owners are white.

"These people come from all over to open these businesses but the people who have been here don't have any opportunity," Louallen says.

ANC commissioner Adam Healy says many are upset about the noise and other quality-of-life issues, such as parking, that come with the nightlife. He's holding a series of public hearings on whether to cap the number of new liquor licenses along this street.

"Our challenge is to make sure redevelopment happens in a smart way," Healy said.

"I don't think H Street has developed enough to try and stop building anything,” counters neighborhood resident Ferry Foster.

"I'm just happy to see the street getting back together it's been down for so long,” said merchant Eddie “Smokey” Maye.