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Two years ago, a group of friends wanted to throw a house party, but in a nightclub. They wanted it to be fun, free, and open to anyone who simply wanted to have a good time. The friends—-known formally as the Rock Creek Social Club—-took their idea to the Recess Lounge on 15th Street NW.
Unexpectedly, the crew’s Goodlife Tuesday parties quickly became a go-to spot for D.C. hip-hop heavies including Wale and Tabi Bonney. At one point, Chicago rapper/actor Common dropped in for an impromptu performance. “We wanted to do away with the pretentiousness,” says Lamine N’dour, one of the social club’s founders. “There was no cover, and you could sit at any table if no one was sitting there. It was open bar for the first hour. It was about having a good time.”
But the good times are over, it seems. N’Dour says his friends never planned to have parties on a weekly basis, but the gatherings became so popular that they accelerated the schedule—-and burned themselves out in the process. On Oct. 16, the Social Club ended the series.
“It’s great at first, but after a while it becomes a job,” says N’Dour. “You’ve got to create that hype every week.” But he adds, “There’s a cultural shift away from nightclubs in general. We’re just in step with the world.”
It’s still unclear what happens next. N’Dour said they might shift to monthly events. A statement from Recess co-owner Sayo Esconsay says the lounge has launched a $2 Tuesdays promotion with $2 drinks from 10 p.m. to midnight. Jerome Baker, a co-founder of the Rock Creek Social Club, is a resident DJ at Recess and is involved with the Tuesday promotion, according to the statement.
While Goodlife’s exit leaves a gaping hole in the scene, maybe shutting it down was a savvy move from a group that just knew when to throw in the towel. “You hit a point where it’s like, ‘Damn, I’m the best I can be. I can’t really do anything better here,'” N’Dour says. “We wanted to be mischievous and do something different. We did, and now it’s time to do something else.”