Agreement in works to reopen popular night spot

WASHINGTON – The owners of a popular Adams Morgan bar and the District have agreed to a compromise that could allow the hot spot to reopen.

In a hearing with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Friday morning, the owners of The Reef and the attorney general’s office agreed to the tentative deal, which details the steps the bar will have to take to improve the safety and security before it would be allowed to reopen.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier ordered the bar closed for 96 hours after a stabbing was reported inside the bar in the early morning hours of Aug. 10. But the bar’s liquor license was also suspended, a decision owner Brian Harrison is appealing.

If the ABC board approves the deal, The Reef would be required to re-train all of its security staff and to provide bi-annual training for security officers. That training would include how to check identification cards, how to handle violent altercations, how to detain aggressive patrons, how to maintain incident logs and how to respond to medical emergencies.

The bar would also have to draft and file a detailed security plan outlining the number and placement of security cameras, how long camera video will be available, procedures to identify drunk or underage patrons and safety protocols.

The bar would also agree to electronically scan all IDs to check for fake cards and that security cameras will cover all levels of the bar including stairways.

The bar must perform criminal background checks for all current and future employees.

According to the agreement, the bar has until Tuesday afternoon to file its security plan with the board and a followup hearing is set for August 22. The board could reject agreement.

The bar remains closed in the meantime.

Read the full details of the tentative deal here.

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