Georgetown students’ popular late night eatery, Philly Pizza & Grill, may be making a comeback in a different form.
Over the summer, Philly Pizza’s owner Mehmet Kocak filed an application for a new certificate of occupancy with the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
The application is a request for a prepared food and sandwich shop at the now-shuttered, student-favorite Potomac Avenue location. It may also include more controversial requests such as a high-temperature pizza oven, however, according to the Georgetown Dish.
According to Marty Sullivan, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E’s attorney, Kocak and his lawyer presented their case requesting permission to occupy the Potomac Street location at a meeting in June.
“The [fact that there was a] meeting was extraordinary,” Sullivan said. “Normally the DCRA just decides these matters without holding a meeting devoted to them.”
Also in attendance at the meeting were the director of the DCRA, the zoning administrator, representatives from the mayor’s office, and ANC2E Vice Chairman Bill Starrels.
Neither Sullivan nor Starrels know of any plans to move the application toward a vote in the near future.
“It’s out there in limbo,” Sullivan said.
Philly Pizza and its owner first came under fire last October when their certificate of occupancy was revoked for zoning code violations. The restaurant, deemed a fast food establishment by the DCRA, was not permitted to remain open on Potomac Avenue, which is zoned as a residential street. Only sit-down restaurants can be situated on residential streets.
Hearings lasting throughout the fall and winter finally culminated in a decision in March, when the Board of Zoning Adjustment decided to close Philly Pizza for good. The restaurant had remained open without its occupancy certificate during the months of the hearings, but closed its doors for the last time in early March, following a court order from the D.C. Superior Court.
News that Kocak has requested the same Potomac Street location were met with criticism from Starrels, who is opposed to another Georgetown location for the establishment.
“The bottom line is we hope Mr. Kocak finds a more appropriate place for his business,” Starrels said.
Kocak and the DCRA were unable to be reached for comment.
Leave a Reply