Entertainment, Fun & Games, Night Life, The Features

No Ball? No Problem

Photo courtesy of
‘__ _______ __ __’ courtesy of ‘Sexy Fitsum’

Former WeLoveDC blogger (and currently preparing to make her way here from CA for next week’s festivities) Brittany hooked us up with a BYT event coming up that promises to be one heck of a party…but not a ball.

Brightest Young Things is having their “Inauguration Classic 2k9 Spectacular” on Tuesday evening at the Bohemian Caverns / LIV night club, located at 2001 11th and U St. NW. Party starts at 9:30 a.m. and runs until 4 a.m. That’s right – it starts early and goes all day long, celebrating in true BYT fashion.

They’re promising “Inaugural viewing, food, fun, games, happiness, general merriment and much rejoicing.” At 5 p.m. Tig Notaro from The Sarah Silverman Project kicks off a rocket-ride of live performances, featuring the likes of WALE, the Mathematicians, Fatback DJs, Art of Junk, the Buildings and more. (See their online flier for the full list of performers and specials.)

You have to secure tickets, but the souvenir glitter band gives you in and out access all day / night long, plus bag and coat check. Continue reading

Food and Drink, Night Life, We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks: The Gibson

"Etouffer un Perroquet" cocktail at The Gibson

"Etouffer un Perroquet cocktail at The Gibson" by Jenn Larsen on Flickr

On a dreary rain-soaked night in the heart of U Street, I was buzzed into The Gibson. Well, as befits a speakeasy or “secret bar,” first I was let into a ratty little foyer where my reservation and legality were confirmed with brisk efficiency by a tweedy doorman. Then he smiled broadly.

“Welcome to The Gibson,” he said, opening the inner door and ushering me into a jewel-box of a bar.

Deep blue walls, mirrored panels set off by ebony wood, red velvet banquettes, and really funky ceiling fixtures are highlights of the interior. Yet the overall effect is simple, with room for maybe no more than fifty people all together, at the long bar or side booths or tables in a back room. Reservations are highly encouraged – if there isn’t space, you can’t stand around at the bar and there won’t be a line at the door. 

As far as speakeasies go, The Gibson isn’t really that difficult to find, but it does want to maintain a degree of mystery. I’m fine with that, as it encourages a quiet, romantic (dare I say adult?) evening in the company of people who love cocktails with a passion unrivaled.

The cocktail menu at The Gibson, designed by ace mixologist Derek Brown, is neatly divided by main liquor element and features a mix of imaginative drinks and variations on the classics. Or order your usual cocktail from the bar and see how they put their own twist on it.

Continue reading

Food and Drink, Night Life, We Love Food

We Love Food: 1905

Dining Room at 1905

The stretch of 9th from U Street to the Convention Center makes for an interesting walk. It’s a very exciting time to live close by, with development evolving in a truly organic way. From the Little Ethiopia of Etete, Chez Hareg, Habesha Market and Queen of Sheba, to glorious grimy dive DC9, past the beautiful boys at BeBar, vegetarian haven Vegetate, on down to the weirdness of the Convention Center’s cold empty glass. All along are pockets of blight, boarded up houses mostly owned by Shiloh Baptist Church.

On this fascinating street has dropped 1905, a small second floor bistro. The vibe is rather like visiting a quirky friend’s dinner party, whose decorating style is rustic opulence on a budget. On weekdays it’s a relaxing spot for a quiet candlelit meal or drinks at the cosy bar. On weekends the communal table ramps up and it’s far livelier, with live jazz on Thursdays at 10pm. Whichever you prefer, the staff is committed to making sure everyone has a good experience and keeps a friendly atmosphere.

The menu features kicked-up bistro and comfort food with a French twist. Like the space, it’s small, and I wonder if it will change seasonally. The standout for me is the “Grilled Merquez with Polenta and Piquillo Peppers.” I’ve had it twice and it will be hard not to have every time. Having comforting polenta and spicy lamb sausage together – well, it’s like kissing a shy boy and finding out he is a bad boy. Seriously, that’s my metaphor and I’m sticking to it. Continue reading

Food and Drink, Night Life, People, We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks: The Saloon

The Saloon, U Street

I freely admit that I know next to nothing about beer. Oh, except that 12 ounces of Guinness is actually less calories than 12 ounces of Budweiser or Heineken (a fun fact to casually toss out when someone says, “I can’t drink stout, it’s too fattening!” Watch their world shatter). So for me, if I’m going to a bar that primarily serves beer, I want to be able to put myself in someone else’s capable hands. In my ‘hood, those hands belong to The Saloon at 12th & U.

Long before the Belgian beer craze hit DC (noticing a trend about trends in this town?), before lines at Marvin, Granville Moore’s, or bibles of beer at Brasserie Beck, there was The Saloon. Billed as having the “most unique selection of beer on tap”, it’s a completely unpretentious spot that will never get ruined, because there’s nothing the least bit trendy about it – it’s a true neighborhood tavern, dependable, honest, with comfortable bare bones and even a social conscience.

For years I’ve only gone to The Saloon for dinner, sitting at one of the plain wooden tables, always getting the classic bacon cheeseburger and fries. I’m convinced that The Saloon has the best fries in town, but that’s another story. Continue reading