Georgetown’s most famous late-night pizza establishment is coming under increased pressure from the Advisory Neighborhood Commission.
During a meeting last Tuesday where residents on Potomac Street shared eyewitness accounts of “intoxicated teenagers” and ANC Commissioner Bill Starrels provided photos of a typical weekend “mob scene” at Philly Pizza and Grill, the ANC announced plans of an upcoming meeting with the Metropolitan Police Department, Councilman Evans’ (D-Ward 2) office, and the President’s office at Georgetown.
The concern over Philly P stems from numerous complaints—including noise levels, large crowds, and the trash and debris scattered on the street from the previous night.
Although not present at the ANC’s last meeting, Potomac Street residents Jorge Gomez-Muller (COL ’10) and Nikhail Chanrai (MSB ’10) affirmed their increasing frustration with the situation.
After Philly P moved to its Potomac Street location, Gomez-Muller noticed the increased presence of rats, which forced him to contact an exterminator. He also recounted horror stories involving intoxicated girls urinating on his front-door stoop, and students harassing elderly neighbors.
“I’ve had belligerent people not let me out of my own house,” Gomez-Muller said.
Although the meeting with the Citizens Association of Georgetown, MPD, Georgetown University’s Office of the President and Councilman Evans’ office has not yet been scheduled, the ANC is weighing its legal options. The Commission is currently waiting for information regarding the pizza establishment’s permits and more zoning information from the Department of Consumer Regulation, according to ANC Vice-Chairman Bill Starrels.
Because Philly P does not have a liquor license, neither the ANC nor the CAG is able to dictate the establishment’s business hours. Without a zoning issue, the ANC has no real jurisdiction in the matter.
Philly P owner Matt Kocak claims that his business is properly registered with the Health Department, Fire Marshall and the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs. Due to recent complaints from the Georgetown historic district, Kocak said that he is attempting to change his exhaust fan.
Kocak alleges that his business is being treated unfairly, noting that Subway and Quick Pita are both open late as well. In order to combat the noise problem, Kocak said that he would like to see Georgetown University get more involved.
“The problem is Georgetown kids. It’s not a business problem. They make noise. We don’t make noise,” Kocak said.
Kocak argued that because students are breaking University codes when they consume alcohol, the University should consider dispatching more Department of Public Safety cars to the Potomac Street location of the restaurant.
Despite complaints and escalating tension, Kocak said he has no plans to move, highlighting his restaurant’s popularity within the Georgetown student body.
“We have a connection to the community,” Kocak said.