Mood Lounge, owned and operated by Ababa Beyene (Mimi), is located in the socially rejuvenated Shaw section of Washington D.C., 2 blocks from the Convention Center, where there are dozens of restaurants, clubs and bars along the 7th and 9th Street corridors.
We are deeply shocked and saddened by reports surrounding a stabbing that occurred early morning on Friday, December 30, 2011. We wish a quick and healthful recovery to anyone who may have been injured.
As for the morning of December 30th, all patrons had exited Mood Lounge, and its doors were closed and locked by 12:30 a.m. A police officer informed Mood Lounge’s owner around 1:30 a.m. that someone had been picked up by an ambulance down the street nearby the convention center and was transported to Howard University hospital with stab wounds. According to Police, this unfortunate incident occurred at 1:15am. We were unaware of any disturbance and/or incident that happened outside of the Mood Lounge after we closed. Notwithstanding, the incident was connected to the Mood Lounge and the Lounge was shut down for 96 hours over this past New Years Eve weekend on the basis of safety concerns.
We are compelled to make this statement because much of what has been speculated or reported on blogs and to some media outlets related to this incident, and Mood Lounge in general, is wrong.
The Mood Lounge has been under much scrutiny by the ANC and a select group of neighbors, some of whom have been very vocal in their mission of shutting down Mood Lounge amidst allegations of noise violations. Despite these accusations and the relentless harassment by this group of neighbors that accompany them, to date, the Mood Lounge has not been found in violation of any noise provisions.
The true issue appears to be the perception perpetuated by select neighbors that the Lounge’s patrons are undesirable. It is unfortunate that in 2011 and 2012 that a person’s skin color or attire can cause them to be prejudged as undesirable and somehow unsafe. The Mood Lounge is patronized primarily by Ethiopians and African Americans over the age of 21. We take pride in the patrons we serve and reject any presumption that our patrons or venue itself is somehow unsafe. The Mood Lounge is committed to doing all that it can to ensure a safe social venue, and we have done nothing to create a safety concern for the MPD or the community.
Mood Lounge has been targeted by Council Member Jack Evans so he can get the votes of the neighborhood of Mood Lounge. He has made it his mission to have Mood Lounge closed using his influence with DC officials. We ask the Ethiopian community as well as the Afican community to speak out agains what council member Jack Evans is doing to Abeba Beyene’s establishment . Its very wrong and unhumane to target someone’s livelihood just to earn votes. Its times for us to come together and stand up to Council Member Jack Evans. Your support is appreciated!