ABC Board Approves Dancing Crab Settlement Agreement


The Alcohol Beverage Control Board approved the terms of a settlement agreement between The Dancing Crab and the Tenleytown Advisory Neighborhood Commission on October 22, as a major renovation of the 40-year-old restaurant continues.

The Dancing Crab is seeking an expansion of its liquor license to reflect increased seating following the addition of a summer garden on the second floor and a rooftop dining area. Total capacity for the restaurant will be 218 patrons. In exchange for the conditions laid out in the settlement agreement, which was previously approved by ANC 3E in September, the commission agreed not to oppose the requested revisions to the liquor license. 

The main intent of the agreement is to minimize any potential negative impact on the surrounding neighborhood of a larger number of diners and noise from the new open air dining area. Included in the settlement agreement is a stipulation that The Dancing Crab “design and maintain a sound system to ensure that sound projects as little as possible” from the summer garden and rooftop. Music should not be loud enough to be heard by residents at the nearby Tenley Hill condominiums, and if music extends beyond 10:00 p.m. the restaurant is responsible for hiring sufficient staff to maintain order and safety.

The summer garden and rooftop dining area will be open until 1:00 a.m. on Sundays through Thursdays, and until 2:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The glass sidewalk café – one level up from the street – will have the same hours, but The Dancing Crab is required to close the café windows at 11:00 p.m. The hours of operation outlined in the settlement agreement are consistent with neighboring restaurants Public Tenley and Bread & Salt.

While the ABC Board approved the settlement agreement, The Dancing Crab will still need to come before the board for a hearing on its request for a revised liquor license. Currently the license is in a “safekeeping” status, or temporary surrender, given that the restaurant is currently closed for renovations. To reinstate the license, The Dancing Crab will need to provide the board with its plans for post-construction operations and a concrete reopening date.

The Dancing Crab began renovations in late November 2013. Owner Carlos Horcasitas in an email late last week indicated that he and architectural firm Streetsense were hopeful that they would have their final permit from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs within a week. Once the permits are granted, Horcasitas said the restaurant build out will take approximately six months to complete. He is hopeful that The Dancing Crab will reopen in the late spring of 2015 – just in time for crab season.