Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: U.S. Royalty @ P.O.V. Live, the W Hotel — 3/6/14

U.S. Royalty (Photo by Guy Aroch)

U.S. Royalty (Photo by Guy Aroch)

The W Hotel hosted U.S. Royalty for a vinyl release party for the band’s second album, Blue Sunshine, Thursday as part of its P.O.V. Live series in its rooftop lounge. People packed the venue to listen to a free show and drink a new beer from DC Brau, aged in Buffalo Trace barrels.

Fans of the D.C.-based band were in high spirits, and there were many singalongs and impromptu danceaways when the band took to the stage for a healthy set. Blue Sunshine was initially released in January, so it seems like a lot of folks had time to learn the words to recite along with singer John Thornley and company.

Prior to the concert, the band sat down with an interview conducted by Svetlana Legetic of Brightest Young Things. For U.S. Royalty, it proved to be a good opportunity to launch a charm offensive, where they spoke plainly about their love of D.C. and their desire to land a record contract with a major label.

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Downtown, The Features

Fire Under Willard & W Hotels, Evacuations, Street Closures

Huge smoke cloud in the distance in front of the Willard Hotel in DC
Photo courtesy Frank Gruber, techcocktail.com

The fire has been extinguished, but you should expect street closures in the area around the Willard and W hotels overnight.

An underground transformer caught fire under 14th & F Streets NW, causing evacuations of the Willard Hotel, the W Hotel near the White House and Treasury Department. The Secret Service has closed 15th Street. As you might expect, power is also out in the area. Avoid it altogether if you can. Continue reading

Food and Drink, Life in the Capital, Night Life, Penn Quarter, Special Events, The Features

Second Look: W Hotel Washington (Now, With Pictures!)

Photo courtesy of
‘P7130052′
courtesy of ‘needlessspaces’

Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s green eyes flash with amusement as I launch into a tirade of questions about the DC food scene. Jean-Georges is holding a plate of appetizers during a tray-pass reception at the downstairs Wine Bar at the W Hotel Washington. I’ve captured his attention for a few minutes, battling other reporters and bloggers with notepads and cameras out, much like myself.

“So with all the celebrity chef steakhouses in DC, what sets yours apart?” I ask coyly. “Only half our menu is steak,” he responds quickly, “and our appetizer list is like a best-of from all my restaurants.” “So why DC, what made you choose DC?” I ask. “My relationship with the W, they approached me, it seemed like a fit,” Hmm, I thought, I wonder how he views DC, if this wasn’t a concept he came up with on his own. “So the DC food scene, has it arrived or is it on it’s way?” I ask. “Oh, Komi rivals any restaurant in New York!” Vongerichten responds, making a plug for his old friend from France. And suddenly Jean-Georges has a second reporter touching his arm and he is pulled in another direction. He shoots me a grin, and with that he’s off. (He returns later to pointedly offer me a mini-mini burger, only to dash off again.)

And so there I am, in the crowded basement of the W, sipping cocktails, ruminating on the hotel and making conversation. I’m here to try all of Vongerichten’s food, but also to check out the scene on the deck at POV, attempting to answer all the questions Jenn asked in We Love DC’s first post about the W, written when Jenn visited before it opened. What is the scene going to be? Jenn pondered, saying it will only be answered when the bar is filled with people. And last night, it certainly was full to the brim with all kinds of people, food and fanfare. Continue reading