Back in April after the death of its owner, Seresa Nut Coleman, it looked like another old school D.C. institution, the Chateau nightclub, was history, according to those City Paper interviewed. But now the Benning Road NE establishment—founded in 1967—that long featured D.C.’s version of swing dancing, hand dancing, has gotten a new life. Instead of selling the building, the Barac Company, a property management firm, decided to lease it, and a pair of local event planners, Tijuana Price-Salmon and Olivia Brown-Payton, will be reopening the locale this fall as the Chateau Remix.
Price-Salmon notes that getting the lease wasn’t easy. After a longtime Chateau regular told them the place was available, “we contacted the leasing company and submitted a bid for the building. We were up against 10 other people who wanted the Chateau, all of them men. To this day we are still amazed on how we were the chosen one[s].” They have since established a website, a Facebook page, and have a Kickstarter page in the works in order to get further financial support.
Brown-Payton who had frequently attended the Chateau, knew Coleman and she and her partner intend to keep many of his traditions—like Friday night oldies hand dance night, as well as nights for people with special needs on Tuesdays—alive. Though they will be making some changes, hence the new name of the club. Price-Salmon says Sunday and Monday will be nights for watching sports on TV screens, and on Saturday evenings they will rent the place out. Other nights are yet to be determined, but Price-Salmon says they plan to have live entertainment, and a group of Howard University alumni have contacted them about having some spoken word events. She adds that they will be renting out the place for receptions, repasts, and family reunions.
Those expecting the Chateau to be exactly as it was left might be disappointed. Price-Salmon states they will be making some physical alterations to the building as well. They will have Duke Ellington High students repaint the outside front of the building, and inside they are cleaning it up and making the bathrooms handicap accessible. While the remixed Chateau is nearly ready to open its doors, they’re still waiting to hear back from the D.C. government about whether they have complied with building code requirements. While they’ll be making these upgrades, Price-Salmon emphasizes “we’re sticking to the plan Mr. Coleman had. We’ll be catering to the 21 and up, grown, and sexy crowd.”