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Adams Morgan Night Life Overshadows Retailers

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This past weekend's Adams Morgan Day Festival was supposed to highlight the growing popularity of the Washington neighborhood - but not everyone was happy about all the attention.

Mahama Bawa, who runs an African clothing shop, has always supported the festival but as the neighborhood increasingly becomes a weekend destination for drinkers and music-lovers, some long-time business owners like him are losing customers and having second thoughts. "So instead of it being known for its daytime retail and restaurant, it started to be branded as a night area and that draws a different kind of clientele."

Pat Patrick, the President of the Adams Morgan Business Association disagrees. "No, no that's not true. It's always been a Friday night, Saturday night destination."

Patrick says retailers must be realistic because the neighborhood is not served by Metro, has no office buildings and most residents work elsewhere. "It's just a tough way to run a street. That's why it's become a restaurant zone and an entertainment area. There's no other alternative. It has to be that."

Pierre Chauvet, the owner of Adams Morgan's oldest restaurant, who says business is down fifty percent, says the festival did not help sales this weekend even though one menu item was popular. "We sold more beers but that's it."

Mana Rabiee reports....

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