Velvet Lounge’s New Sister Club, Dodge City, Opens This Week
That the U Street area boasts no shortage of dance nights—not to mention one very loud new dance club—doesn't mean the custodians of the Velvet Lounge are worried about oversaturation: Their new space next door, Dodge City, is all about the "high-minded DJ set."
The new two-floor space at 9th and U opens this week—its chief owner, Haile Berhane, anticipates a Thursday or Friday hard opening—and it boasts a vibe that's intentionally opposed, though perhaps complementary, to Velvet Lounge's. "Velvet is where you thrash and get grimy," says Andrew Bucket, who books shows at Velvet Lounge. "And now there’s a place next door when you can relax. It’s sort of a refuge."
That means a good amount of seating, 12 taps, two bars, a second-floor DJ booth and dance space—"a cozy vibe," as Bucket puts it, with a pub atmosphere on the first floor and a lounge on the second.
Berhane bought the space—the former home of the bar Kingpin—three years ago when he also bought the Velvet Lounge, and his partners in Dodge City include his Velvet Lounge co-owner Abdul Kayoumy and Black Cat bartenders Angie Hopson and Patrick Mucklow.
Dodge City's DJs—some of whom will be drawn from the Velvet's roster, while other, slightly higher-profile ones will be announced in the coming weeks—are "definitely of the record collector tradition," says Bucket. "They're definitely not interested in the blog post of the day." There's no official bookings yet, or even a website, but: Stop by the first half of this week—say, ahem, tomorrow or Wednesday, when, ahem, punk-rock veteran Kid Congo Powers, Baby Alcatraz, Som Records' Neal Becton, Naraku, and others could be spinning—and you may be able to get a taste of what the new space is about.