High and Dry

Apex loses water for a night

by Will O'Bryan
Published on August 2, 2007, 12:00am | Comments

On Friday, July 13, at around 11 p.m., Apex was hit with a bit of bad luck. Without notice, water service to the gay dance venue at 1415 22nd St. NW was cut. And Apex management is demanding compensation from the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) for lost revenue.

''I thought someone had tampered with our water main, but it was fine,'' explains Apex Manager Joseph Oldaker. Investigating further, Oldaker says he found a WASA crew working nearby on P Street. The foreman of that crew, says Oldaker, told him that work on a water main had been scheduled for some time, and he would not be able to turn the venue's water back on until long after the club's 3:30 a.m. closing time. As a result, Oldaker had to shut Apex, including sending home New York-based DJ Mike Cruz, whom Apex had brought to D.C. to headline that evening.

Apex (Friday, July 20, 2007) | by Ward Morrison

Oldaker says that the situation became more frustrating after he spoke with a general foreman at WASA who told him that Apex's water was turned off in error, which explains why Apex management was not notified ahead of time.

In a July 20 letter to WASA, Oldaker writes: ''Due to this negligence, Apex lost a substantial amount of income.... [T]his incident has caused a severe blow to our reputation and credibility.''

Oldaker declined to tell Metro Weekly how much compensation Apex is requesting, saying only ''many thousands.'' WASA Public Affairs Director Michele Quander-Collins also declined to state the amount, though she confirmed that Oldaker's letter was received by WASA's Risk Management Office, which is investigating the claim.

While Oldaker also sent copies of his letter to elected officials and civic groups, such as Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and the Dupont Circle Citizens Association, as of July 27, he had not yet received any replies.

Oldaker, however, seems guardedly optimistic.

''I don't know how much I believe it will never happen again. There are still metal plates on the street. In terms of revenue, we're just keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for the best.''