Arts Desk

Is Black Cat’s Red Room Really Douchey?

No, it is not. But according to New York's Complex magazine, Black Cat's Red Room is one of the top 25 "douchiest bars in Washington D.C." Here's the mag's excruciatingly bitter take:

The Black Cat is a great concert venue, but its Red Room bar is reminiscent of the gateway to hell that you'll remember from the original Amityville Horror. The drinks are cheap, as they should be at a place that reeks of hipster douche. Good luck getting one of those cheap drinks easily on a crowded night; the only way it'll happen is if you've sold coke to one of the bartenders. Recently. Also, start counting from 100, because it's only a matter of time before the kids who can't handle their liquor begin yacking in unison. If you can deal with that—and the eye-burning musk of a small room packed with people smelling how they like—then you're cool here. Our advice: if you're there for a show, just chill upstairs.

On a list that includes actually unsavory bars like McFadden's and The Greene Turtle, the Red Room, one of the last remaining low-key places to drink in the U Street NW area, is a bizarre inclusion. Now that indie kids have gotten tired of calling things douchey, it seems the term has been appropriated by the anti-hipster set and redirected at so-called hipsters. Well, that's interesting. Should we start calling douchebags hipsters now? Are they the same thing?

If you get pissed enough to Google the guy who wrote this list, you'll get nothing. Why? Simon Cosart is a nom de plume. According to my friend at the magazine, the phony name is a deterrent against harassment from angry readers. The author is a regular freelance contributor.

Come on, Complex. Own your shit talk. Take a tip from Washington City Paper: The worst that could come of this is a lawsuit.

Photo courtesy Black Cat

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  • PTRQ

    Whatever. So, some mysterious writer for some magazine in NYC (a small, populous portion of Southeastern New York) doesn't like hanging out at the bar I like hanging out at? Well, then this writer can go somewhere else. Go hang out at Beer Jail or El Gentro, bet you'll love them. I'll be at Dukes.

  • jimmycrackcorn

    BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I LOVE it. How do you feel CityPaper? Thought you and the denizens of the Black Cat OWNED sarcastic, ironic, cooler than though putdowns?

    And calling the red room low key? really? Just one guys opinion here, but battling to get a drink is the opposite of low key, regardless of the clientele you are battling with for said drink. Anyone who tries too hard to do anything to fit into any group, hipsters included, is a douchebag.

  • Someguy

    I have to say, I've NEVER had trouble getting a drink at the Red Room. And I'm a fat, balding, unstylish dude in my 30s-- not some cute hipster girl. I wear brown flip-flops for chrissake. Maybe those that are having trouble just don't tip well or aren't nice to barstaff. In which case, well, they're the douches.

  • Ally Schweitzer

    @jimmycrackcorn: The difference between City Paper's snarkiness and Complex's snarkiness is we use our real names when we act holier-than-thou.

    @Someguy: Rarely have a problem myself, either. The key is to avoid the weekend crowd.

  • RT

    Hipster douchey is actually far worse than the preppy douche factor. At least at these preppy bars, people are friendly (particularly bar tenders). I hate the hipster "ughhh, do you like need something?" Followed by lacksadaisical efforts to get what you paid for.

    I'll never forget Big Bear Cafe, after handing the person at the register a $20 bill. "Ummm don't you have anything smaller?"

  • Jim Ed

    I hope the irony isn't lost that you have no problem with the put downs directed at bars you agree are douchey, but the moment a bar YOU like is mentioned, it's "exceedingly bitter."

    Drop the thin-skinned petulancy. My guess is a vast majority of readers have frequented, or continue to frequent, at least one of the bars on the list. Laugh at it, enjoy it, and don't get all bent out of shape if your favorite watering hole is in the line of fire.

  • PTRQ

    Yeah, I've never had a problem getting a drink at the Red Room, and I'm an awkward weirdo who is terrible at getting served at any of the other places on this list. It's just a matter of where you fit in and where you feel comfortable. Most of the staff at Black Cat are friends of mine from other places, such as playing soccer with strangers at Fort Reno. If you think The Black Cat is some exclusive place where you have to know someone, you're seriously misjudging the room. A lot of extremely nice, friendly folks there. Might get a bit packed on a Saturday night.

  • Ally Schweitzer

    @Jim Ed, that's not irony! Irony would be reacting in a way that's not expected to convey detachment. In this case, City Paper is reacting in a way that many would expect, and most would not interpret my response as detached.

  • Yeago

    This editor is mentally lazy, or a douchebag himself who jotted this whole thing down on a napkin while sipping an $8 Tacate at Bar Pilar.

    Red Room ain't the best, but on a rough night she's always your Rhonda.

  • Alex

    Someguy nailed it. It's quite easy to get a drink at the Black Cat as long as you aren't a dick and you tip a modest $1 per drink (as you should be doing anywhere). Unfortunately, a lot of shows bring out a lot of dickheads who think they don't have to tip. It's called etiquette, and there's no coke bribes involved.

    Other than that, this list was hilarious.

  • Pingback: jimbo.info » Blog Archive » Is DC becoming douchey?

  • Ahmad

    Did that worthless hack Eric Hilton sue you?

  • Ahmad

    And speaking of Eric Hilton, I would swap ESL for The Red Room on the list.

  • Kev29

    People need to STFU and calm down about where people drink. Just hang out with your friends and enjoy yourselves.

    "ZOMG EVERYTHING IS FULL OF DOUCHEY BROS AND IS OVERPRICED! It's not perfect like the BF nowhere town that I just moved from!"

  • Dan

    The bartenders at the Black Cat are rude and hostile. In particular, there's one bartender there who's the epitome of raging douche bag. Him and other bartenders have caused me to no longer go to that place, which I used to enjoy. Just read the Yelp reviews. There's a lot of people who've had undeservedly bad experiences at that place.

  • Bob

    Counter-Culture Hipster douche is equal to Embroidered Lobster Shorts avec Pop-top Collar douche. Learn the lesson, Miss Swiss.

  • spottieottie

    Yelpers always deserve bad experiences.

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