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More Live Entertainment Coming to Clarendon?

by ARLnow.com November 15, 2011 at 12:15 pm 3,179 31 Comments

Bands, karaoke, DJs and other forms of live entertainment may soon be coming to two Clarendon restaurants.

Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd) and Mexicali Blues (2933 Wilson Blvd) both have live entertainment permit applications that are scheduled to be considered by the County Board this weekend. County staff has recommended that both applications be approved.

Mad Rose Tavern is asking for permission to host bands and karaoke between 9:00 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday and between 9:00 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday. The restaurant is also asking for permission to erect an additional street-facing sign — but the Board is expected to defer that request until its December meeting.

Mexicali Blue is similarly asking for permission to host bands, karaoke and DJs. Since the restaurant is located on the corner of a residential street, however, its managers have agreed to additional time restrictions. Mexicali is asking for amplified music between 10:00 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturday, and acoustic music from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. seven days a week.

While staff is recommending that Mexicali’s request be approved, it’s not without a bit of controversy. The Clarendon-Courthouse Civic Association complained in an email to the county that representatives from the restaurant declined to meet with the civic association. CCCA also expressed concern about the proposed live entertainment hours — ultimately expressing opposition to the permit request.

Numerous Garfield Street neighbors, however, signed on to a petition in support of the request.

Mexicali Blues held a live entertainment permit from 2003 to 2010, but it was discontinued due to lack of use. The permit restricted live entertainment to three nights per week, for no more than two hours at a time, and limited it to “primarily acoustic” music.

“The applicant’s current request would expand the intensity of live entertainment at the site by allowing acoustic music during ‘happy hour’ on weekdays, and by allowing amplified music on weekends for slightly longer than two hours,” county staff noted. “Staff believes that with the proposed conditions, there will be no undue impact to adjacent neighborhoods. Staff is recommending a short adadministrative review to monitor the operation of live entertainment.”

  • YTK

    Clarendon IS Live Entertainment.

  • Thes

    This article makes it sound like the Clarendon-Courthouse Civic Association is being harder on Mexicali Blues than were the immediate neighbors are. However (as the staff report indicates) before the Garfield Street neighbors signed on, Mexicali Blues changed their proposal — shortening their hours of live music and agreeing to numerous other restrictions. It is possible that the CCCA will also support the application once it sees the new, more restricted, request.

  • Larchmont

    Go For It!

  • clarendude

    I used to like it when Mexicali had the Mariachi band playing outside. Probably didn’t have a permit for outdoor, but it was cool.

    I hope Mad Rose does something interesting with their permit. There was such a big deal made when Sobe wanted an outdoor music and dancing permit (I think they got it) but I don’t ever see them using it.

  • Edjey

    If I recall my Virginia liquor laws correctly, a bar can have a little greater liquor sales relative to food sales if they have live music. Maybe these places are bumping up against liquor sales limits.

    • Transplanted Nutmegger

      No amount of liquor can make Mexicali’s crappy food non-crappy. Yo quiero Taco Bell.

      • Clarendouche

        Taco Bell isn’t food

  • outoftowner

    In before some angry Clarendon resident misuses the term ‘hipster’

    • Thes

      I made that joke before it was popular.

    • drax

      No need, we have “clarendouche” now.

  • Clarendon Dweller

    Bring it on. Hopefully the whiny Lyon Villagers don’t try to block this like everthing else.

  • LuvDusty

    I’m all for expanding the possibility of live music venues..etc…but I have a problem with the hours Mad Rose Tavern is requesting.

    I’m fine if they want to have music playing until 1:30am on weekend nights (last I checked those were Fri and Sat). But Thurs is a weeknight people–I am getting a bit upset at how crazy Thursday night is becoming in Clarendon.

    I think Sun-Thur nights, all live music should end by midnight at the very latest (unless the location has enough sound proofing to guarantee no noise will spill out and be heard in nearby residences.

    I work on Friday. Most people work on Friday—it’s ridiculous to treat Thursday like a weekend night.

    • Hattie McDaniel

      Is someone forcing you to go out on Thursday? If you have to work the next day, stay home.

      • drax

        Maybe he lives nearby and has to put up with the noise.

    • North A-Town Snob

      Thursday night has been “crazy” in Clarendon for quite some time. When I graduated college in ’97 and the “big” bars were Clarendon Grill and Whitlows, they were fairly packed on Thursday nights until last call. Pretty much closed down the Grill each Thursday. So while there may be more bars now than back then and far more residents in the surrounding buildings to go out and also to be “bothered”, I don’t think it is any different. If you choose to live in that location then what do you expect…it’s an urban area with a bunch of bars and as has been the case for decades, 20-somethings (and some older) start their weekends on Thursday night. Get over it or move elsewhere.

      • drax

        No, it hasn’t been the case for decades, son.

        • er . . .

          “So while there may be more bars now than back then and far more residents in the surrounding buildings to go out and also to be “bothered”, I don’t think it is any different.”

          More bars and more residents are exactly what makes it different.

    • South Arlington

      What houses/residences are that nearby Mad Rose? It doesn’t even have residential above it. It seems to be one of the better buffered bars in the area.

  • Vinh An Nguyen

    I guess Mexicali Blues needs something to bring people in since their food sucks.

    • J

      agreed. Plus where in the world would they put a full band? That place is tiny.

  • With this news, I am on the way to a personal decay!

  • Michelle

    Mad Rose… STOP. Just, stop. You are biting off more than you can chew. I used to love you and support you, but you are just all over the place. You are the occupy wall street of the orange line. Make up your mind on what you want and go from there.

    Are you a tavern? restaurant? Lounge? Dance club (your crappy set up moving all the tables to the side is ridiculous)? Or now live band venue? Get it together. Right now, the only thing I like about your is the fact that you don’t seem to have many 21 year old idiots puking in the bathroom. Other than that, you got nothing.

    • drax

      If they don’t find something that works, they’ll be closed, so get over it.

      • GJ

        I agree. They have to find something that works. They have a huge space, it looks nice, outdoor seating, pretty good location. When I went a while ago, their food was just “ok” and was a bit pricey. Is that the problem?

        • Rosslynite

          They have the stench of doom on them. I do not know why. All I know is that once you get it, it is next to impossible to scrub off. Most attempts are futile, and the failing about trying just makes you look desperate and pathetic.

  • charlie

    glad i don’t live anywhere near clarendon because i wouldn’t be able to tread water and would just drown in the self-indulgence of the communities desire to control everything. oh i had no idea there were bars here when i bought my house and even if i did, i thought only people who live here and were like me actually went to them. oh my.

    • South Arlington

      “But I’ll happily take my increased property values and convenience that proximity to Clarendon brings with it”

    • why so cranky?

      From your numerous earlier posts I thought that you lived in Ballston, which isn’t so far from Clarendon . . . so see South Arlington’s comment above.

  • Sue

    the article says the neighbors support it. So you can use your anti-LV/ n.arl cliché posts on the next article.

  • KARLington

    re: Drax/A-town snob…I have to agree with Snob that the Thursday nigh phenomenon is indeed decades old, considering that I engaged in the practice around here in the 80s and 90s. But now that my age starts with a 4 and not a 2 or a 3, however, I go out Monday nights for half-price burgers and beers and go to bed early on weekends.

  • YTK

    Nice idea, as long as it does not increase the drunken entertainment (fights, etc) that has been part and parcel of Clarendon ever since it got “Gentrified”.


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