Epicurean and Company is formally applying for a license to remain open 24 hours Monday through Saturday, although the restaurant extended its hours without a license in August 2013.
The restaurant was officially approved by the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in February of this year to remain open 24 hours. To finalize the licensing process, a hearing for the public on May 18, advertised by signs currently posted on the exterior of the restaurant, will allow anyone to lodge complaints, after which the license will become official.
The delay occurred because the owners of Epicurean did not realize that the restaurant had to apply for a change in its operating license because of the change in hours. The confusion stemmed from the fact that Epicurean’s alcohol license requires it to stop serving alcoholic beverages at 2 a.m.
“No establishment in the District is permitted to sell and serve alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. The law only provides for establishments to sell and serve alcoholic beverages until 2 a.m., Monday to Friday and 3 a.m., Saturday and Sunday,” Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration Public Affairs Specialist Jessie Cornelius wrote in an email.
The owners assumed that the 2 a.m. restriction on the license applied only to the sale of alcohol when it actually applied to the general operating hours of the restaurant. Deeming the confusion understandable, there will not be a penalty placed on the restaurant for the delay in changing the license.
The restaurant currently only closes Sunday night and remains open the rest of the days of the week, which Epicurean owner Chang Wook Chon said was a result of a neighborhood agreement to build on-campus student life and entice students to stay out of the neighborhood at late hours of the night.
“Georgetown and ANC try to contain the students in the university and their late night noise so we cooperated when they approached us and asked, ‘Can you open 24 hours?’” Chon said. “Then I realized my license is up to 2 o’clock.”