Cookie Case Closed: The Dirty Goose freed from his $ 1,000 fine
Almost a year ago, the District imposed a fine The dirty goose $ 1,000 on a half-baked rule that licensed liquor businesses must “offer a food menu with at least three ready-made meals” in order to seat customers during the DC’s initial reopening process. Do you remember this confusing phase of the pandemic?
When gay bar U Street NW learned of the rule, they immediately worked to comply by securing a toaster oven and launching a five-cookie menu hugely popular with patrons. Heavenly smells wafted throughout the establishment and even waved passers-by who entered and ordered them to leave.
Five is even better than three, co-owner Justin parker and his team’s smart cookies were featured. But an Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Administration inspector did not see it that way when she visited The Dirty Goose on November 27, 2020. After a three day delay, ABRA slapped the bar with a fine. of $ 1,000. According to Parker, the inspector informed Dirty Goose that several varieties of cookies did not count as separate prepared foods, so they would have to figure out how to popcorn and bake brownies.
(The inspector gave The Dirty Goose no credit for its partnership with Al Crostino to serve Italian dishes during dinner hours. Bars and restaurants worked together in the first few months of the pandemic to cross a finish line that has yet to materialize.)
City paper unboxed the whole saga last year, but the bottom line is this: Several inspectors visited The Dirty Goose and found their food offerings to be compliant by November 27.
Lawyer Richard Bianco find the idea that a snickerdoodle is the same as a fortune cookie so ridiculous it took the matter free of charge. He was ready to fight in an ABC Board show cause hearing today, but didn’t have to. The city immediately proposed reducing the fine from $ 1,000 to a written warning because the attorney general’s office found the rule confusing.
“It wasn’t a situation where they had an effort of tongue and cheek to conform to a mayonnaise sandwich,” Bianco says. “Their cookie program was no joke. They sold 5,000 cookies in 2020. ”
While he says he’s “a little disappointed that he wasn’t able to engage in an existential debate about whether five cookies are five prepared foods,” he is happy with the outcome. “The board of directors and the agency have been fortunate not to evict an establishment when the whole industry is down,” he says. “Based on what happened today, it happened. “
The offer is important not only because The Dirty Goose keeps their checkbook safe, but because they also avoid what is known as a Primary Level Breach. “The way the fine system and the disciplinary system work for receiving institutions is that it is progressive,” says Bianco. “As you rack up different infractions the fines increase and things like suspensions and revocations come into play. The warning does not count as a main level violation. You only get four in four years.
Parker is happy that there was an admission that the regulations on what constituted a separate food were as opaque as the chocolate chunks in their best-selling cookie. “It was our point of view from the start,” he says. “We weren’t trying to get away with anything.”
The Dirty Goose has something to drink tonight. The rest of us, not so much. Parker regrets to inform the public that they no longer sell their addicting cookies. “When we came back to full capacity, the quality was unlikely to stay the same,” he says. “When it gets colder, we could talk about it again. We still have the toaster oven. Never say never.”