Reader Grandarch asked “Matt – Where did you discover this arts zoning restriction? The DC zoning department has nice maps of the different zones (residential, light commercial, etc.), but I don’t remember this arts overlay restriction.” In addition to the regular zones, DC also has “overlay” zones. You can read about both kinds here. Chapter 19 concerns the “Uptown Arts-Mixed Use Overlay”:

The Uptown Arts-Mixed Use (ARTS) Overlay District is applied to the Commercial and Mixed Use Districts in the following squares and portions of squares in the 14th and U Streets, N.W., area: 202 through 211, 234 through 242, N242, 272, 273, 274, 303, 304, 305, 331, 332, 333, 358 through 361, 393, 416, 440, 441, and the portions of squares 2875 and 2877 that are south of V Street.

The ARTS Overlay (and, no, I have no idea why this is in capital letters) has some good provisions, and I wouldn’t want to imply otherwise. But the restaurant cap seems under-motivated and somewhat pernicious.