Arlington restaurant loses liquor license again after drug arrests

An Ethiopian restaurant and lounge in Arlington County, Virginia, had its alcohol license temporarily suspended after police discovered restriction violations during a pair of drug arrests in its parking lot.

Purple Lounge, located on 3111 Columbia Pike, lost its alcohol license on Oct. 10, and the suspension will last at least 10 days.

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (Virginia ABC) said it is the second time the establishment’s alcohol license has been suspended in two months.

Arlington County Police said during routine surveillance, an officer saw “suspicious activity consistent with narcotics use” inside a parked vehicle at Purple Lounge’s parking lot at approximately 10:51 p.m. on Oct. 8.

Once police approached the car, they said they found two people intoxicated and using controlled substances. While investigating the scene, officers said they recovered unused drugs and a loaded gun.

Police arrested Dasia Spivey, 25, of Alexandria, and charged her with multiple charges, including driving under the influence and possession of controlled substance I/II. She was held on bond.

Moulayali Halhoul, 25, of D.C., was also arrested. He received multiple charges, including two felonies for possession of a firearm and ammunition. He was held without bond, according to a news release.

Police notified Virginia ABC of the arrests while also stating that the restaurant had no security personnel patrolling the parking lot at the time of the incident.

Virginia ABC said the restaurant’s owners agreed to have at least four certified security guards on duty every day between 9 p.m. to closing time.

One guard must be assigned to monitor the parking lot until cleared or at least 30 minutes after closing, depending on what took the longest.

The restrictions were put into place at Purple Lounge after two men were wounded during a shooting on its property on Aug. 30.

In 2019, the Arlington County Board moved to revoke Purple Lounge’s live entertainment permit after a shooting on the property.

“Arlington County is committed to maintaining public health and safety in our community and remains concerned about the number and frequency of serious criminal offenses associated with the Purple Lounge,” the news release said.

“Arlington County will continue to work closely with Virginia ABC and ensure the establishment remains in compliance with the terms of the Notice of Surrender.”

A map of the area is below.

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