Anyone know the Story Behind the ‘Rose’ Imprint at Velvet Lounge?


I’m super intrigued by this – I was going to start a new series, which I think I still will, about neon signs around the District. Anyway, as I was admiring Velvet Lounge’s on U Street – I noticed this brick these block letters:


Wild – anyone happen to know the story?

915 U Street, NW

7 Comment

  • Maybe someone is a fan of Titanic.

  • Bricks used to often be stamped with the name of the company that made them. I suspect that this brick, and others used for the building, were from the Rose brick company in New York. This site has some information on them. The bricks in the pictures on that site have “Rose” written in raised lettering, whereas the one at Velvet Lounge is depressed. They may have written it different ways on different types of brick or at different times, or it may be from a different company called Rose.

  • Rose was, of course, the late favorite thoroughbred of Baltimore trainer and stable-owner T.J. Kelly. Kelly, while training his best-known horse, Droll Role (who ultimately went on to win the DC Stakes in the early 70’s) was known to frequent friends around the U Street corridor and the greater DC area in the company of his Panamanian rider, Baeza. The rumor in some circles is that he had a friendship with the proprietor of 915 and that on some night, perhaps while slugging back whiskys in what’s now the venue space, the owner and Kelly must have had a long talk on the life of Rose and how she never quite made it to fame like his other horses did. It’s doubtless that this is the reason for the brick’s floral emblem.

  • Uhhh. that’s not a brick. It’s cement.

  • I believe that this was the name of the previous establishment at that location, which was a bar named Rose or Rose’s, and that it was a lesbian bar.

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