Purple Lounge is resuming operations after reaching a settlement with Virginia ABC for the restoration of its liquor license.
Six people have been shot in violence linked to the business at 3111 Columbia Pike since last September, including a double shooting late last month and a triple shooting, in which one person was killed, in June. The continued violence, complaints from neighbors, and repeated code violations led Virginia ABC to suspend Purple Lounge’s license to serve alcohol earlier this month.
As a result of a settlement this week the business can resume serving alcohol — but with a number of restrictions.
The restrictions include “stopping all sales and consumption of alcohol at 12:45 a.m.,” “closure of the business no later than 1:00 a.m. and no reopening sooner than 8:00 a.m.,” and keeping four certified security guards on duty — including in the violence-prone parking lot — when the lounge is open at night.
In a press release Wednesday night, Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said the county would have preferred the business been fully closed by Virginia ABC. She noted that further violations, however, could result in a permanent loss of Purple Lounge’s ABC license.
More from the county press release:
Today, Arlington County officials were informed of a settlement agreement reached between the management of the Purple Restaurant and Lounge and the Virginia ABC. Arlington County is not a party to this settlement.
“We are very disappointed that ABC did not fully close or revoke the liquor license for The Purple Lounge. We view the result in this matter as only a partial step towards ensuring our community’s safety, which is our primary concern,” Libby Garvey, Chair of the Arlington County Board noted. “The restrictions now in place, if followed, at least offer a path forward. The penalties for failure to adhere to the restrictions include permanent loss of licensure. Our police and public health officials will work closely with Virginia ABC to ensure that this settlement is strictly followed. Our staff will be conducting regular visits and monitoring activity inside and outside of the Purple Lounge to ensure full compliance.” Community members who observe behaviors believed to be outside of the negotiated agreement are urged to contact Virginia ABC or the Arlington County Police Department.
On September 1, following a series of disturbing events at the Purple Ethiopian Restaurant and Lounge (Purple Lounge), the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (“ABC”) issued an Order of Summary Suspension, temporarily suspending its alcohol licenses.
After an investigation, Virginia ABC cited two violations against the Purple Lounge relating to its failure to take reasonable measures to prevent violence on the property, and the Purple Lounge’s adverse effects on neighboring properties. A formal hearing was scheduled to occur on September 16-17th regarding the status of the Purple Lounge’s liquor license as a result of these charges. Possible outcomes ranged from full reinstatement of the Purple Lounge’s ABC licenses, partial reinstatement of the Purple Lounge’s ABC licenses with restricted hours, or full revocation of the Purple Lounge’s ABC licenses.
Holding the Purple Lounge Accountable
The terms of the settlement agreement amount to a partial revocation, with conditions to prevent further disturbances at the property. These conditions include:
- Stopping all sales and consumption of alcohol at 12:45 a.m.
- Closure of the business no later than 1:00 a.m. and no reopening sooner than 8:00 a.m.
- Required staffing of at least four clearly identified Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) certified security personnel on duty every day of operation between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and closing with at least one guard assigned to patrol and monitor the parking lot. Parking lot monitoring will begin no later than 8:30 p.m. and will continue until the parking lot has been cleared or until at least 30 minutes after closing (whichever is longer). The security company must be registered with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
- Prohibition of loitering, loud music, or drinking in the parking lot at any time.
- Commitment to supply hand-held metal detectors to security personnel to be used every day of operation between 9:00 p.m. and closing to wand all patrons prior to entry or reentry into the establishment.
- Commitment to search all bags before entry and reentry from 9:00 p.m. to closing every day of operation.
- Commitment to create and maintain a “trespass book” to include the name and a photograph of those persons banned from the premises. All persons banned shall be served with a trespass notice by the Arlington County Police Department. Arlington County Police Department and Virginia ABC agents will have full access to this book at all times.
Finally, and most importantly, the Purple Lounge has agreed to surrender its mixed beverage license if it violates any of the above conditions, or if another incident of gun violence happens on the property regardless of whether it is at fault.
Furthermore, any incidence of non-compliance with any of the conditions or restrictions in the settlement agreement, even if not found to rise to the level of a violation of the agreement, will result in a surrender of the Purple Lounge’s liquor license of at least 10 days, or until the Purple Lounge gets back into full compliance, whichever is longer. The Purple Lounge has also agreed to not open for business until all provisions of the settlement agreement have been fully implemented, including submission of evidence of certifications and training for management and staff at the Purple Lounge.
Maintaining Public Health and Safety
Arlington County continues to be committed to maintaining public health and safety in our community. Staff from the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) will be meeting with the business leadership to collaborate on means to ensure compliance with the agreement. Officers working the evening and over-night shifts at the police department will be made aware of all of the requirements to allow for closer monitoring of compliance through regular spot checks at the establishment at different times of day. ACPD will also coordinate with the business to assist with banning individuals as needed and to ensure the parking lot is cleared in a timely manner after closing. Throughout the coming weeks and months, ACPD will coordinate closely with Virginia ABC to ensure the requirements of the agreement continue to be met. Public Health also will be visiting the Purple Lounge to ensure compliance with the Governor’s Order for face coverings and social distancing during COVID and as well as compliance with all of their food-safety requirements.
Building a new home should be a rewarding and memorable experience. That’s why a custom-built home requires personalized service! Here’s your chance to learn everything you need to know about…
An 18-year-old Arlington man is behind bars after police say he snuck into Wakefield High School yesterday to confront a student, triggering a lockdown. Kenan Owens was arrested around 1…
The Arlington branch of the NAACP — previously a champion of Arlington’s Missing Middle housing proposal — is claiming the proposal now being deliberated is in danger of violating federal…
Many drivers have circled around blocks in Arlington, looking for a quick parking spot to slide into and pick up a mobile food order. Or they may have skirted around…
The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.
Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.
About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.
The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village