After complaints of inescapable barking creeping into the neighborhood, Brewski’s Barkhaus might not go ahead with its special use permit (SUP) request to expand outdoor seating.
Barkhaus (529 E. Howell Avenue), the D.C. Metro area’s first-ever dog-friendly bar and restaurant with an off-leash indoor and outdoor dog park, opened two years ago. The business wants to add 20 seats to the outdoor seating area, which already has 20 outdoor seats.
The SUP states that the daily number of guests (around 150 people) won’t change because of the new seats, although business owners are wary of what they see as potentially restrictive restrictions by city staff.
Barkhaus co-founder Alex Benbassat said that the company is closing an hour earlier throughout the week and opening later due to neighbor complaints. He also says that the business has not received a single noise citation from the city.
“We reduced our operations by eight hours a week,” Benbassat said. “All we want is 20 seats. Retracting the SUP would just take away from the customer’s experience. Customers just be wouldn’t be hanging out as long, it wouldn’t be as comfortable.”
Barkhaus is located at the busy corner of E. Howell Avenue and Richmond Highway, and across the street from the full-service dog daycare Your Dog’s Best Friends.
John Kit Wannen lives across the street from the business, and says that his family can’t escape the noise of dogs barking at all hours of the day. Warren has sent letters to city staff, and testified before City Council at last Saturday’s (October 15) meeting.
“It penetrates our home, with all the doors and windows closed,” Wannen said. “They have a right to operate their property as they see fit, but that right ends when they penetrate our homes, and we can not escape that noise.”