Dupont Circle will soon be home to a new bar — only, have a few too many and you will feel less like you are in a bar and more like you are in a Bond film.
Heist (1802 Jefferson Place NW) is a new nightclub opening this week just south of Dupont Circle. The highly anticipated bar (it even generated buzz this summer in Vanity Fair among New York and London clubs as “one of the best places to party”) will celebrate its District arrival with an opening bash on Friday, December 14, featuring music by Sam French.
The club is extremely unassuming from the outside (we didn’t even see a sign — just big black doors with a brass horn handle), but very colorful once the doors open. Think lots of gold (not terribly gaudy — just the right amount for a place that makes you feel like you are in a museum for stolen goods), plush couches, an abundance of champagne and strong cocktails and men dressed in suits, sporting eye patches (Okay, so I made that last bit up, but it seems totally possible).
Whether you have an award-winning costume or not, Halloween is one of the best nights of the year to go out and get a glimpse at how this buttoned-up city likes to cut lose in disguise. And while there are a few Halloween-specific events planned, most of the fun and action will take place at some of the area’s most popular bars and clubs (because who doesn’t love seeing a giant cow costume break-it-down on the dance floor?).
Here are our best picks for this year’s Halloween scene:
- Cobalt/ Level One (1639 R Street NW). Grab some dinner at Level One and then hit the bar at Cobalt. Both will be open.
- Policy (1904 14th Street NW). The bar and restaurant will be open; Karaoke upstairs starts at 9 pm.
- Lost Society (2001 14th Street NW). The upstairs will be open for a Halloween party; the downstairs restaurant will not be open.
- Café Saint-Ex (1847 14th Street NW). Cafe Saint-Ex will host a special bar contest with Bar Pilar (1833 14th Street NW) on Halloween night. The theme is Prince of Darkness vs. Queen of Pop. Dress to impress! There will be prizes for the best costumes. Make sure you get off of work early – the contest starts at 5 pm.
- Nellie’s (900 U Street NW). Nellie’s will have drink specials and a costume party on Halloween night.
- U Street Music Hall (1115A U Street NW). Catch Crookers with Nick Catchdubs and D.J. Yorker at 9 pm. Tickets are $20.
- Local 16 (1602 U Street NW). According to a hostess, “Halloween is our favorite holiday here.” Dress up and hang on the rooftop with a local bar that loves Halloween.
- Tropicalia (2001 14th Street NW). It’s a Halloween Discoteca with Beyond the 3rd Dimension, Will Eastman and Sammy Y + Ozker.
- 9:30 Club (815 V Street NW). Freelance Whales and Geographer go on at 6 pm, Rusko is at 11 pm.
- Black Cat (1811 14th Street NW). Electronic Six and Little Hurricane play at 8 pm.
- The Mansion on O Street (2020 O Street NW). The historic Mansion on O Street will host a Night of the Living Divas Drag Show on Halloween night from 5:30 until 11 pm. Tickets are $40 and include a glass of champagne, a costume party and the drag show. Prizes will be awarded for best costume, best couples costume, craziest shoes, most creative, scariest, zaniest, grossest, worst prom outfit and more. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the website.
- Shaw Main Streets Halloween Crawl (various locations). This event takes place on Saturday, October 27 from noon until 6 pm, but is one not to be missed. The event will be hosted at seven venues, including American Ice Company (917 V Street NW), Bistro Bohem (600 Florida Avnue NW), The Brixton (901 U Street NW), Duffy’s Irish Pub (2106 Vermont Avenue NW), Etete Ethiopian Cuisine (1942 9th Street NW), Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U Street NW) and Shaw’s Tavern (520 Florida Avenue NW). Each venue will feature food and drink specials and drawings for prizes. Tickets are $25 online and $30 at the door (the first stop is Duffy’s). Proceeds support the Shaw Main Streets historic fire and police call box project.
Fourteenth Street isn’t the only area in Borderstan that is home to new bars. The brand new (and recently renovated) Board Room opened its doors late last week in Dupont Circle at 1737 Connecticut Avenue NW. We had a chance to swing by and experience the new bar’s… “game.”
- The bar is entirely board-game-focused. From the vintage framed board game covers on the wall, to the Monopoly painted bar table, Board Room is all about playing games.
- Board Room doesn’t have a kitchen. Yes, you heard me correctly – No kitchen. But, they do allow customers to bring in food from outside establishments, and they even have an on-going discount deal with neighbor, Flippin’ Pizza.
- The bar has a beer and cocktail menu as long as its board game menu. Fresh, right? To top it all off, after I ordered my beer (more on draft than in bottle – always a plus in my opinion), the bartender asked me if he could make a board game suggestion. I played Don’t Break the Ice. I lost.
- Three words: House. Infused. Bourbon.
- Have a large party? No worries – The bar is two stories, and the second floor has a ton of seating. Problem solved.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Well, look no further. We have your list of the food, music and cultural events going on in Borderstan July 28th and 29th.
Food and Drink
- What do the Olympics have to do with eating and drinking? Apparently, a lot. Bar Rouge (1315 16th Street NW) will mix up the “Rouge, White & Blue” cocktail this weekend. The specialty drink will be available for the duration of the games. Neighborhood spots, Nellie’s Sports Bar and Buffalo Billiards made NBC 4’s list of best bars to catch the events.
- The Howard Theatre (620 T Street NW) will host the Sunday Gospel Brunch featuring the Harlem Gospel Choir on Sunday, July 29 at noon.
- If the heat’s getting the best of you, chill out at Ice Cream Jubilee’s Ice Cream Tasting Party on Saturday, July 28 ,and Sunday, July 29 from 2 to 5 pm.
Live Music and Performances
DC9 (1940 9th Street NW)
- Saturday, July 28: A Lull, Constant Alarm, The Free Market Ensemble, 8:30 pm.
- Sunday, July 29: Saint Motel, Races, Royal Teeth, 8 pm.
Velvet Lounge (915 U Street NW)
- Saturday, July 28: Seamonsters, Luncheon, Hundredhundred, 9 pm.
- Sunday, July 29: Orchard Wall, This Old Ghost, Howth, Double Saginaw Familiarity, 7 pm.
9:30 Club (815 V Street NW)
- Saturday, July 28: The Dan Band, 8 pm.
Black Cat (1811 14th Street NW)
- Saturday, July 28: The Nighttime Adventure Society, Kind of Like Spitting, Mike and Cody, 9 pm.
- Sunday, July 29: Zulu Pearls, The Tender Thrill, More Humans, 8 pm.
Dahlak (1771 U Street NW)
- Sunday, July 29: DC Jazz Jam with guitarist Geoff Reecer, 6:30 to 9:30 pm.
Black Fox Lounge (1723 Connecticut Avenue NW)
- Friday, July 27: Special Agent Galactica, an evening of song and banter, 6 pm.
- Saturday, July 28: From noon to 2 pm, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is holding an adoption event at Shaw Dog Park on 11th Street NW (just south of R Street).
- Chef Marcus Samuelsson presents his memoir, “Yes, Chef” at the Howard Theatre (620 T Street NW) on Saturday, July 28, at 7 pm.
- Sunday, July 29: The African American Civil War Museum reenacts President Lincoln’s visit to Contraband Camp Barker at Garrison Elementary School (1200 S Street NW), 2 pm.