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.