Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Ranch Runs Dry

The message to Philly Pizza & Grill was clear: Lose its signature late-night, ranch-drenched treats or have its permit to reopen rejected. Every distinguishable characteristic of students’ former favorite pizza place has been forced to change; not even its name has been spared.

Go Fresh, Philly Pizza’s new moniker, will not be allowed to cook any raw ingredients on its premises, limiting its menu to only reheated pre-made food. Additionally, a specific clause of the certificate of occupancy states that Go Fresh “shall not serve and/or sell pizza,” even if that pizza is prepared off the premises.

At this point, the treatment of Philly Pizza can no longer be considered fair. What began as a reasonable effort to reconcile the rights of neighbors with the restaurant owner’s became little more than a vengeful campaign to punish Philly Pizza’s owner, Mehmet Kocak.

D.C. Councilman Jack Evans, who represents Ward 2, was quoted telling Georgetown neighbors last week that he was “going to put [Philly Pizza] out of business. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but it’s going to happen.”

Someone should remind Evans that, thanks to him and his recertification conditions, Philly Pizza, as he described it, doesn’t exist anymore. The certificate of occupancy prevents Go Fresh from operating past 1 a.m. and from serving pizza. The new agreement effectively (if unfairly) addresses the concerns of the neighbors about the late-night noise caused by students. As such, Evans has no just cause to prompt a shutdown of the establishment.

Unfortunately, for the most part, reason no longer characterizes neighbors’ interactions with Georgetown student interests.

As this board has lamented previously, discussions about the 2010 Campus Plan and the Philly Pizza conflict have turned into screaming matches between neighbors and students. We acknowledge that neighbors should not have to endure drunken students keeping them up until 4 a.m. We have also written that Philly Pizza has the right to operate under reasonable regulations. Councilman Evans, on the other hand, is still on a crusade to put Philly Pizza-turned-Go Fresh out of business.

The problem is that for the most vocal Georgetown residents and politicians like Evans, it’s personal. These community members will not be satisfied until Georgetown students stop holding parties and no longer choose to purchase late-night pizza. Both sides should acknowledge that neither of these pipe dreams is likely to become a reality.

Thanks to Evans and some of his allies’ attitudes, many students have lost hope that neighbors will make any concessions in the remaining town-gown fights. Is there any reasonable campus plan that will satisfy them? The vindictive manner in which the owners of Philly Pizza were treated during their application for a new certificate of occupancy is hardly encouraging.

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