New Nightclub Also Coming to 14th and U – “Music & Arts Club”


A few weeks ago I mentioned that a new burger joint from the folks behind Policy will be coming to 14th and U. A reader just spotted the following alcohol license up on the window. It’s not clear if they’re affiliated but I’ll see what I can find out. The permit says, “New nightclub offering live performances, DJ, and “patron” dancing”. Not sure why it has patron in quotes… It also says the venue will be located in the basement level of the building. Occupancy is 295. So maybe the burger spot will be upstairs?


14 Comment

  • dancing tequilla?

  • trying to be clear that it won’t be strippers dancing?

  • More music venues get a thumbs up from me.

  • Maybe it was a typo and there will be buxom, blonde country music singers dancing . . .

  • “Live performances?” Pffft. I prefer the other kind.

    Hamburgers + liquor license + zombie strippers = WIN.

  • Wait, if the burger joint and the “nightclub” are on the corner, what’s in between that and the under construction bakery?

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @MRD That still remains a mystery to me!

  • Is this the “U street Music Hall” that is Jesse Tittsworth and the 18th Street Lounge folks new venture??

  • Looks “great”

  • no the U street musical hall is in the old Cue Bar building.

  • Just what DC needs another nightclub…Can we please just get some local taverns minus the dj …

  • Alert!!!! Two Nightclubs planned for 2001 14th Street, NW

    Are you kidding me??!!

    Like many other greater U street residents, I’ve been wondering what will finally go into the vacant corner of 14th and U. My friend just informed me that the owners of Local 16, Policy and Josephine’s have signed a lease on the grand old bank building and there are liquor license applications filed for 2 new nightclubs to be opened in the building. As a concerned citizen and avid supporter of the recent revitalization of the U Street corridor, I feel that this is a horrible turn of events.

    Having moved from Adams Morgan, I was hoping that my new neighborhood would develop in a more sensible manner. Apparently, that’s not the case. For those of you who are not familiar with Local 16, Policy and Josephine’s, I’d like to provide a little background on these 3 businesses that are merging together to create the most congested corner in DC.

    Local 16 has a CR license, but has clearly operated as a bar/nightclub since it’s inception. At one point, they even had cover charge. The establishment is clearly operated as a nightclub. They also have numerous ABC violations. On any given weekend night, nearly 1000 people go through the doors of Local 16 and there is often a large line on the sidewalk. Anything like that would be a disaster at 14th and U.

    Policy, like Local 16, also carries a CR license. While it is still a relatively new establishment, it is clear that they are not focused on respecting their obligation to operate as a restaurant. An ABC audit would certainly reveal that Policy is a nightclub in disguise and their food sales ratio is probably woefully low. The business seems to survive on promoted, nightclub events.

    Josephine’s is a large nightclub located on Vermont Avenue, NW. This establishment apparently shares some ownership with Policy and their operations are strikingly similar. Josephine’s is very crowded and there is an extra-large security detail there at all times. The expensive cars are lined up 10-deep in front and there is usually a cluster of one to two hundred people waiting on the sidewalk to get in. Recently, the police blotter showed that there was a knock-down, drag-out fight there!

    Clearly, a union between these 3 establishments on one of Washington, DC’s premier intersections is a recipe for disaster and would do severe damage to our neighborhood. The following serious problems are the most important to consider:

    1. Sidewalk Limitations and Traffic

    The sidewalk on U Street at 2001 14th Street, NW has more pedestrian traffic than any other for many blocks. It is also extremely narrow at a mere 8 feet wide. The proposed occupancy for the nightclub establishments at 2001 is 598, and this does not include the street level space, which will probably add another 299. Clearly, this is a tragedy waiting to happen.

    The narrow sidewalk will not be able to handle that level of increased congestion from entering and exiting patrons, as well as those waiting in line. Those wishing to merely pass the establishments won’t be able to use the sidewalk and will be forced into the street. The potential for someone to be struck by a car will be extremely high.

    Another result of this level of pedestrian congestion will be increased traffic delays on U Street. People stepping into the street, or being forced into the street, will surely create a very considerable traffic back-up on U Street. This will cause an Adams Morgan-like situation, and we could soon see U Street blocked at 14th Street on Friday and Saturday nights. 1000 extra people on one corner could easily do this.

    2. Valet Parking and Traffic

    In addition to vehicular traffic being impeded by pedestrians, valet parking will surely make matters worse. Both Policy and Josephine’s rely heavily on valet parking and many cars with Maryland and Virginia tags are often lined up in front of those establishments, waiting to be parked. This will simply not be possible at the corner of 14th and U, NW. Any attempt to valet on U Street or 14th Street will cause traffic to back-up for several blocks. This is a certainty.

    3. Potential Violence

    When the explosive mixture of hundreds of extra people on the sidewalks and in the street, and double-parked valet traffic creates its effect on 14 and U, the potential for violence will be greatly increased. When people have been drinking, and then have their freedom of movement curtailed to such a degree, violence is almost a foregone conclusion. Again, Adams Morgan is a good case study for this phenomenon.

    4. Lack of Neighborhood Benefit

    Unlike establishments like Eatonville, Busboys and Poets, Marvin, Coppis, U-Topia, and Saint X, which cater strongly to the neighborhood, these new nightclub establishments will most certainly not. Clearly, they are too large to sustain themselves with a customer base from the immediate area. Again, this will create an Adams Morgan-like situation, and we all know what that looks like. You cannot cluster that many entertainment establishments on one corner and expect the peace to be kept.

    In the past, when Republic Gardens was at its apex, U Street was a nightmare. With its narrow sidewalks, the pedestrian traffic overtook the street and chaos and gridlock ensued. This situation with 2001 14th Street will probably be far worse. That will erase many of the recent gains that the neighborhood has experienced. Growth is good to a point; and certainly there is room for improvement in our neighborhood. Adding 598 additional people to 14th and U goes way beyond normal growth and will work against the interests of the neighborhood.

    For these reasons, I implore all citizens and responsible parties with in the city government to consider these concerns and heed these warnings. Our neighborhood is a wonderful place with vastly improved dining and entertainment options. The corner of 14th and U Streets could be the next great Washington, DC intersection, and the defining anchor of this neighborhood. However, this style of anchoring is typically created by shops, bistros, cafes, banks and other retail establishments. It is not created by 1000 people crammed into 2 nightclubs under one roof. That is not an anchor; it’s a lead weight that will take us to new depths and set the neighborhood back for years to come.

  • Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on there!

    First of all, despite having a “club” liquor license, that does not mean that the basement of the building on 14th and U will be your typical nightclub. In addition, just because the owners of Local 16 (which is a bar, yes, nightclub, no), Policy, and Josephine are working together, does not mean that this will be an extension of their current establishments. Although I cannot speak for Policy, Josephine has never promoted itself as something other than a night club and thus should not be reprimanded for being a nightclub. Please also keep in mind that Local 16 actually does a lot for the community and works very hard to do so.

    Also, only the basement of this space has the nightclub license, not the two upper floors. I have taken a look at the placard and it states that the capacity of the basement is just under 300, which disproves your “1000 person on the block” statement. There is nothing posted regarding the other two floors, so I am not sure where you got your two clubs one roof theory. The other club you may be confused with is the one being opened in the old Cue Bar space down the street.

    The biggest problem with this all, is that the residents would rather fight against any and all development in this area rather than work with current and potential business owners to ensure that the new businesses are proactive. Half the time, the voluntary agreements end up hurting both parties more than helping. Especially in this economy, we should be happy that these spaces are being opened to bring business to this area. Lets not get carried away by jumping the gun and writing off these places. You would be surprised at the care these business owners are taking to be sure that this space works with the community to build the area into something OTHER than Adams Morgan.

  • U Street Resident is right. ShawRes’ post is a combination of speculation, misinformation and hysteria-creating propaganda. (1) Josephine is a nightclub and was always meant to be a nightclub and it’s not even in the neighborhood so why the complaint. (2) Local 16 is a bar/restaurant, not a nightclub. Let’s get our facts correct. It is also a very neighborhood place, the thing that ShawRes says he wants. And as USt says, Local 16 does a lot for the community. What more can you ask for from a business?(3) I’m not sure where Shaw gets his information about Policy and Josephine people being involved in the placarded basement, but I know for a fact that is incorrect. The people at Policy and Josephine are not involved (not that it would matter by the way). (4) I understand that the basement will be a live music venue, not really a nightclub. There is a pretty big difference in the way the two are operated. Furthermore, given the artsy character of the neighborhood, a new live music venue, or even two, will be a boon to the community and in the larger scheme of things, we want to promote the arts in DC. Wouldn’t it be great if we had more notable bands coming out of DC because the number of music venues increased? I also wonder why Shaw does not complain about the second live music venue to be opened by the people at Marvin two blocks down, with a 400 person capacity (as opposed to 300 at this venue). Why no ranting and raving about that? (5) Marvin is very similar to Local 16. It’s a bar and restaurant with a pretty high bar component. Yet Marvin is cited as a shining example of good community while Local 16 is denigrated. Seems like Shaw is partial and biased and perhaps has a hidden agenda. (6) If you want businesses that cater only to the local residents and think that is a good thing, you’ve got your economics wrong. You want a good mix of local and outsiders. Outsiders who come into the neighborhood spend money at other neighborhood establishments. So making U street an insular place is really just a dumb idea and aside from that impossible. Most businesses would not survive. I suppose Shaw doesn’t want Room and Board to move in because they will not sell only to local residents? (7) The violence thing is completely overrated. You’ve always got the risk of violence whenever people are drinking. If you put up a dumpy place by people who do not care, that risk increases. But even Shaw says that Josephine has a heavy security detail. Is that a bad thing? How could that be a bad thing? Doesn’t that mean they care about preventing violence? I’m sure that the same care will be provided at this new venue. (8) Finally, adding the street level as part of this is completely misleading. As far as I know, nothing is going into the street level yet. So that’s shear speculation and misdirection on the part of Shaw and guts his 1000 people argument.

    Shaw needs to calm down, get the facts straight, and stop creating hysteria.

Comments are closed.