Philly Pizza & Grill, a popular late-night stop for Georgetown students, has quickly become an unwelcome presence at its [new Potomac Street location](https://www.thehoya.com/news/philly-pizza-to-move-two-blocks/). Commissioners and residents voiced concerns about noise and rowdy behavior near the establishment at an Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E meeting on Tuesday.
Residents on Potomac Street complained about noise levels at the locale on weekend nights, saying they are unable to sleep, there is too much garbage and the area’s quiet, residential atmosphere is being destroyed. According to ANC2E Vice Chairman Bill Starrels, who visited the restaurant last Saturday night and took photographs, the atmosphere there is similar to that of a nightclub.
“Folks living on the street don’t have a bedtime anymore. This is not the proper spot for this restaurant,” Starrels said at the meeting.
While there are other restaurants on the block, none have caused the frustration Philly Pizza & Grill, has since moving from its former 34th Street location this year. According to Starrels, this is largely because of the owners’ attitude.
“Our beef with them is that they have been less than forthright. The city has spent a lot of time trying to get them to comply,” Starrels said. “We do not object to the business as a whole; we object to them not abiding by the rules. They just set up shop, and have previously illegally parked their delivery cart on the middle of M Street during rush hour.”
The ANC2E, which represents Burleith, Georgetown and Hillandale, said it has no plans to attempt to close the establishment, but instead will force it to comply with rules and respect the rights of residents.
“Our aim is not to put anyone out of business, but to ensure compatibility,” said Tom Birch, an ANC2E commissioner.
The ANC2E, Metropolitan Police Department, D.C. Councilman Jack Evans office and Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia will have a meeting in the next week to discuss the future of the establishment, according to Starrels.
Despite the complaints presented to the ANC2E, Philly Pizza & Grill claims to have received no complaints, and said that it is working independently to solve the problem.
“We have never had any complaints, and the ANC2E has not contacted us. We are trying to solve the problem,” said Ray Eker, manager of Philly Pizza & Grill. “We are cleaning all of the street and telling people to stay under control. Officers are always present. We are really trying to solve the problem ourselves.”
Eker did acknowledge that the establishment, as it currently operates, might be a problem for residents. According to Eker, there has been an increase in the number of customers since the move to Potomac Street, and approximately 70 percent of customers are students. The company is currently setting up a meeting with John Wiebenson, deputy executive director of operations for the Georgetown Business Improvement District, to discuss how they can improve both the business and resident satisfaction.
Despite the differences in the stance of the company and the ANC2E regarding Philadelphia Pizza Co.’s operations, they do agree that the situation needs to be resolved to make the establishment more amenable to residents.
“People need to coexist peacefully. The residents need peace and quiet. We have our hands full in this regard, but we are dealing with it,” Starrels said.