WASHINGTON - Safety concerns are being raised after a D.C. bar and nightclub that has been a staple in Adams Morgan for decades served a customer a drink that contained cleaning fluid.
FOX 5 has discovered Club Heaven and Hell has a lengthy history of code violations and criminal activity.
Last week, Leon Williams had to go to the hospital for chemical burns to his throat after drinking a Long Island Iced Tea that was mixed with Foam-Brite Condenser Coil Cleaner, a commercial cleaner so toxic that it is nicknamed "Yellow Death."
Club Heaven and Hell owner Mehari Woldemariam admitted to FOX 5 that he poured the cleaning fluid in Williams' drink. He called it an honest mistake and said he confused the bottle with sweet and sour mix, which comes in a similar plastic jug.
However, ANC commissioner Ted Guthrie said the bar has had a pattern of bad behavior.
"It's been a bar that has had the most problems associated with it over the six years that I have been on the ANC,” he said.
In February, a man was attacked at a nearby restaurant after leaving Club Heaven and Hell. Police said he was stabbed in the back and abdomen – with evisceration of his intestines.
FOX 5 has obtained the bar's investigative history with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), which revealed a staggering 48 claims since 2012. They include assault, selling alcohol to minors, disorderly conduct, robbery, assaulting an officer and multiple instances of failure to comply with board orders.
The bar has received about a dozen fines, all no higher than $6,000, and a few suspensions ranging from one to five days.
Guthrie said the board tries to work with business owners, but these problems have continued.
"There have been so many with this particular licensee, you do begin to wonder what does it take before the board does something really significant and substantial with it,” said Guthrie.
FOX 5 reached out to the bar's owner, but he declined to comment.
D.C. police said their investigation into the cleaning fluid incident is ongoing. They have not said if they have ruled out criminal charges in this case.
ABRA is actively investigating as well.