Several of the owners behind a group of popular D.C. bars and hangouts have plans to open a new dance club in the former Midtown Space in Dupont.
Decades, a new business from the partners behind Echostage, Soundcheck, Ultrabar, Barcode and other businesses, will open at 1219 Connecticut Ave. NW this fall, according to managing partner Antonis Karagounis.
The bar is an homage to D.C.’s “retro” club scene, Karagounis said.
“It’s supposed to bring back the old-school vibe of the multi-level, multi-DJ clubs that defined D.C. Nightlife in the ’90s and 2000s,” Karagounis said. “Places like Spy Club, Zei Club, Fifth Column, Vault, The Ritz, Tracks, DC Live, [and] Love, were nightlife staples in the ’90s and 2000s. Decades is supposed to recreate that vibe and atmosphere and give clubgoers a new weekend hangout where they can party and be part of various decades of nightclub music.”
When the forthcoming club opens, DJs will spin music from bygone eras on all three of the building’s floors and on its rooftop deck. Though the nightclub won’t serve food or snacks, its bartenders will sling past club staples like orange crushes, Jello shots and Goldschläger, Karagounis said.
The former general manager of Midtown Partyplex says the Dupont Circle nightclub has closed “for good.”
Rumors have swirled around whether the bar and club at 1219 Connecticut Ave. NW was closed or just “renovating,” as former general manager Ramon Ramirez told us in February. But Ramirez, now listed as Dirty Bar’s general manager, said in an email last night that Midtown was actually closed.
“Midtown is close [sic] for good,” Ramirez wrote. He did not elaborate on why the bar might have closed and did not immediately respond to requests for additional comment.
(Updated at 7:29 p.m.) Though several people familiar with Midtown Partyplex, the three-level nightclub at 1219 Connecticut Ave NW, said it had served its last Red Bull and vodka, the bar’s general manager says it’s still open for business.
A Midtown employee tipped us off via e-mail on Saturday that the owner was closing the Dupont Circle nightclub “because of financial reasons.”
“Midtown employees were notified tonight that Sunday night would be the last night of operation and the doors will be closed for good,” added the employee, who did not provide their name or respond to multiple requests for additional comment.
Midtown’s general manager, Ramon Ramirez, disputed that claim and said the bar is “never closing.” He added that he didn’t know why the employee would have said that, and that the bar will remain open “seven days a week.”
Midtown Partyplex (1219 Connecticut Ave. NW) may harbor multiple “safety concerns,” said Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B during its monthly meeting at the Brookings Institution (1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW) on Wednesday.
The commission voted 4-0-1 to send a letter to the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) board in advance of an Oct. 21 protest hearing concerning the renewal of Midtown’s alcohol license.
“Since [November 2013], ANC 2B has become aware of numerous other problems at Midtown as documented in ABRA’s investigation history,” reads the letter. “Serious problems requiring ABC Board attention since the ‘expiration’ of the license of the license on Sept. 30, 2013, comprise underage drinking and violence including death, assault on police officers and sexual assault.”
Commissioner Abigail Nichols, 2B-05, is the one who motioned to send the letter.
Nichols noted that the ANC first voted to protest the bar’s license due to noise complaints from neighbors in November, 2013. Since then, she said, the ANC became aware of more serious problems.
“In those two years after, other kinds of operational problems have come to my attention as the commissioner for that area,” she said. “In 2013, there was a brouhaha in which people fighting inside Midtown were thrown out onto the street. One man died. Two police officers went to the hospital,” said Nichols.
“Midtown made the papers again in february about a week after they reopened after they closed down for underage drinking and assorted things,” she added.
“What we are doing here with this letter is not trying them for those things,” Nichols said. “What this is doing is saying to the board, we noticed this pattern, we ask that you take action.”
“This is a very large nightclub with lots of dark corners,” Nichols added. “Commissioner Michael Upright, [2B-04] and I went to the police headquarters Sunday just to see if we were overstating the nature of the problem, but we looked at this list of violations and problems that the police have been called for and I’m confident we’re not overstating the level of problems there.”