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Sports fans who called D.C. home before the new millennium remember the Capital Centre in Landover—home of the Caps and the Bullets from 1973-1999. Bar owner Ian Hilton is one of them. He remembers looking up to an early version of private stadium luxury boxes called skyboxes. Sit in one and you’d made it. An article from Jan. 5, 1973 said a skybox cost $25,000-$30,000 annually.
Hilton is tipping his hat to the Capital Centre with the name of his new rooftop bar in Logan Circle opening April 15. It’s positioned several floors up from his retro, arcade-themed lounge, Players Club.
“We had to figure out a way to carry the language of the basement up to the roof,” he says. “Everything with Players Club has always been kind of seat-of-the-pants, having fun type of thing. And that’s where Skybox came from… We can carry the ’70s and ’80s corny theme upstairs a bit.”
The nearly 2,500-square-foot outdoor space has a 360-degree view overlooking Logan Circle and surrounding neighborhoods. There’s a mix of different kinds of seating and the space is outfitted with a sporty mural and cheerful color scheme.
Cocktails from Brendan Murphy tilt towards summer. The “Red Hot Chili Pineapple Batida” contains tequila, red chili pepper, pineapple, milk, and nutmeg. The “Papillon Highball” features rum, sweet vermouth, banana liqueur, bitters, lemon, and club soda. Food will not be available to start. (Customers can still get Shake Shack while in Players Club. The burger joint is on the first floor of the building.)
To reach the Skybox patrons need to first visit Players Club. “To make it a little kitschy we got an old-school deli counter with a ticketed ‘now serving’ window,” Hilton says. “You’ll pull your ticket and we’ll have screens a few places in Players Club.”
When your number is called the bar will bring you up to Skybox. Hilton estimates elevators will run every 10-15 minutes. This is an attempt keep the peace with the neighbors, who live in the residential building sandwiched between the two concepts. You can go down anytime you want.
When it opens on April 15, Skybox’s hours will be Sundays from 2 p.m. to midnight; Mondays through Thursdays from 4 p.m. to midnight; Fridays from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Skybox, 1400 14th St. NW