Georgetown Piano Bar Opening Friday – A Peek Inside and Lots of Details

3287 M Street, NW

From a press release:

“Bill Thoet and his partners in the newly formed NBP Group, LLC are pleased to announce their new Georgetown Piano Bar at 3287 M Street, NW, 20007, with an anticipated opening of Friday, September 12th. Guests will enjoy world class live entertainment showcasing two of the area’s most recognized pianists, Hunter Lang and Spencer Bates. Those with a favorite tune are welcome to request it here and lyric books will be made available to encourage sing-along. Guests itching to get up and perform solo will have the opportunity to do so as well. Thoet, an Executive Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton, is an avid piano bar goer himself. He enjoys singing Frank Sinatra hits and famous show tunes.


Georgetown Piano Bar will be open Sunday through Thursday, from 5 PM to 2 AM; Friday and Saturday from 5 PM to 3 AM. Guests can look forward to live piano music beginning at 9 PM until closing time seven nights a week, and there is no cover charge to enter and enjoy the entertainment, which is going to be engaging and lively with the piano being center stage for guests to gather, mingle and sing. “Georgetown Piano Bar is not going to be one of those places where a piano player is the background music for people having high-end cocktails,” Thoet states.

According to Thoet, the ultimate vision for design scheme of Georgetown Piano Bar is to create an environment that is enveloping and inviting while simultaneously being a place where people feel enlivened by the music.  This is achieved by incorporating wooden textural elements into the space complemented by rich red and mahogany hues.  These traditional components are enhanced by the more unconventional pieces throughout the space such as the circular sunken bar and a glossy cherry red piano.  The bar is organized to revolve around this unequivocal centerpiece, the piano.  The design plan allows for one or two piano players to perform together. It also incorporates seating for guests to sit directly across from the piano player or to listen while lounging on custom upholstered built-in benches just across the bar.


The Bar’s menu will feature $6 beers such as Stella, Blue Moon, Dogfish Head 60 Min IPA, Guinness, Sam Adams, and Magner’s Cider on tap, along with top shelf liquors, $7 wines by the glass or enjoyed by the bottle – we call it the Billy Joel, and $10 signature cocktails such as an Elton John, sugar rim, black raspberry liquor, citron vodka, lemon juice; The Sinatra, Bulleit Rye, Sweet Vermouth and a Splash of Bitters; Ebony and Ivory, Vodka, Kahlua, Cream; Willie Nelson, Ginger Beer, Titos Vodka, Lemon Juice and Mint Leaves; Duke Ellington, Hendricks gin, St. Germaine, Soda Water, Lime Juice and Muddled Cucumber; Eva Cassidy, Makers Mark, St. Germaine Sour Mix and Soda Water; Carlos Santana-rita, Anejo Tequila, Grand Marnier, Fresh lemon/lime juice with a Salt Rim, and James Brown, Scotch and Amaretto along with $12 martinis like the Dean Martin, Grey Goose Vodka, Dry Vermouth and St. Germaine.

Georgetown Piano Bar’s weekend performer, Hunter Lang, is an extraordinary singer/songwriter and pianist. He has been practicing his art for nearly seventeen years. Originally playing by ear, Hunter studied classically with Lithuanian Virtuoso Broniaslavia Kimel and the brilliant Memphis musician Joan Gilbert. He has also studied at the Grammy award-winning Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Florida. In 2008, Hunter performed master classes at the New England Conservatory and the Longy School of Music in Boston. MA. He has studied songwriting and commercial music at Berklee College of Music in Boston and dedicated the majority of his time to the music industry program at the University of Memphis, in Memphis, TN. Over the past decade, Hunter has entertained thousands, performing in piano bars and large venues, for senators, governors, and even the presidential family. Hunter plans to release his first album in December 2014. Guests at Georgetown Piano Bar can look forward to Hunter’s interactive show, which delivers an emotional and physical performance. Classically trained, he has an extraordinary skill playing the piano, producing a sound that is all his own.  The World Music Society has stated “that if you combined Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Joel, and Mozart, you would have Hunter Lang.” His unique voice, timbre, and vibrato leaves the crowd wanting more as Hunter is a showman who uses humor and charm to woo his audience.

Georgetown Piano Bar’s weeknight performer, Spencer Bates, is a DC-based singer/songwriter, and piano entertainer. He will be performing Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings as well as the first, second and fifth Wednesday of every month. For over a decade, he has played nightly at solo and dueling piano bars, universities, and other venues across the country, including an eleven year, three night a week gig in Georgetown, DC. Completely self-taught, Spencer has written, recorded, and released three solo albums. Spencer’s original music has played on college radio stations, and he has earned accolades including Washington Post’s “Editor’s Pick” and the Takoma Park Folk Festival “Emerging Artist” award. In addition to his original music, Spencer maintains an ever-increasing repertoire of over 2,000 cover songs, spanning every genre and decade. A talented and charismatic entertainer, he who enjoys interacting with the crowd and keeps them singing along, laughing, and tapping their toes throughout every performance.

The new partnership behind Georgetown Piano Bar developed quickly when Mr. Smith’s in Georgetown announced it was closing. Fellow employees Morgan Williams, pianist, Hunter Lang, manager, Gene McGrath, and piano bar regular Bill Thoet, joined forces to start a piano bar in a new venue.

Leading Georgetown Piano Bar in day-to-day operations is veteran bar manager, Robert Kristianson, who is already planning special events that include dueling piano nights and guest musicians.”

31 Comment

  • A piano bar? Why?

  • Translation: a couple of very wealthy DC execs decided on a lark to open a very ugly piano bar in a very poor space (has anything ever lasted there since Smash! moved to Adams Morgan?) because, OMG, people are just clamoring–CLAMORING!–for a piano bar. I give it three months, tops.

    • You’d be surprised how wealthy said DC-execs may be.

      • Not really–that’s why I give them three months. A person of more moderate means might not last the full month.

    • Translation: someone obviously didn’t do their research before making such an arrogant comment. But it’s okay, I’m sure the “very wealthy DC exec” aren’t CLAMORING for you to come around. I mean you just sound really obnoxious and boring.

  • sounds like fun. more power to them for doing something different.

  • According the Georgetown Metropolitan, who is usually quite on top of these things, their license prevents the playing of live music. So this could be interesting.

  • laduvet

    poor paint color choice.

  • tourists love piano bars. seriously,the out of towners who actually think geogetown is cool will pack the place

  • Unless I’m mistaken, that’s an electronic keyboard hiding in that hideous red box. How can you call it a piano bar if there’s no piano? Why design a whole space to be a piano bar, but forget to include a piano?

  • That is the most bland, depressing decor I think I’ve ever seen for a new bar. I really hope that they just haven’t installed the colorful artwork and interesting sculptural pieces yet. Although I guess nothing really screams Senior VP for BAH like “beige”.

  • The only way a space that indifferently decorated could possibly feel anything other than ugly and depressing is if it’s packed with happy people. And then it would be claustrophobic with those low ceilings. God, it looks like an episode of Law & Order, where the find the victim in a nightclub, the morning after. I tried to find something nice to say– I like the idea of a piano bar!– but between the exposed wires everywhere, the low-hanging ducts, and the beige & brown colors scheme, I just can’t.

    • Why are you so concerned about how a place looks? What really matters is how you are treated while you are there and the entertainment they provide.

  • You guys are such freakin haters. It’s a piano bar. Many of us like places like that better than the standard bar with a nautical/fake punk/fake old fashioned/fake dive theme like are opened each week with $8 (instead of $6) beers.

    • Anon 12:24: +100000000

      DC is just like Epcot in Disney… All the people hating on a new piano bar that features actual talent were probably ecstatic at the idea of places like Hill Country BBQ where people put on their halloween country costume to go to …how about Germany for another beer garden anyone? How about some more small plates in Barcelona?…but put in a piano bar featuring actual talent and that is something they scoff at…hilarious

      Have any of you ever been to Chicago? Piano bars can be a great time…in the meantime, I’ll watch you wait two hours to sit at LeDiplomat….it’s just like going to France….right?

      • Actually, a lot of people that hate on this concept also hate on the other concepts you mentioned. As has been said for the 64,768th time on this blog, DC is almost bereft of “normal”, gimmick-free bars with the primary purpose or providing an inviting, unpretentious place to spend a few hours in the company of friends and neighbors (see: your reference to Chicago). There are more and more every day, but the ratio is still way out of whack in this town. And I would argue that a piano bar is just as Epcot as a faux beer garden or carefully engineered French bistro. To each his or her own.

        • “DC is almost bereft of “normal”, gimmick-free bars” — There are so many bars in DC, this simply isn’t true. Sure, gimmicks galore, but there are plenty of regular bars to enjoy as well.

      • Disney actually has a piano bar, and it’s located just outside of Epcot.

  • skj84

    As a musical theatre nerd I’m pretty excited about this development. It’s hella corny but who cares? Not everything needs to be hip. I know plenty of people, locals in fact who would eat this place up. If you don’t like the concept you don’t have to attend.

  • “The World Music Society has stated “that if you combined Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Joel, and Mozart, you would have Hunter Lang.””

    Well, there goes the credibility of The World Music Society, whatever it is.

  • I’m not sure why the failure of the well established Mr. Smiths would accelerate the opening of a piano bar in the same neighborhood.

  • This plans looks super depressing on the inside, and I don’t know why you would make a piano bar where the bar is in the center of the room and the piano’s in the corner.

    Maybe the tourists will like it.

  • figby

    “World class” never is.

  • Alternatively, you could go to Mr. Chad Smith-wicks and crush $3.25 beers while listening to the one and only Jon Adelson tickle the ivories.

  • I can’t believe all the hating going on! Decor will likely be upgraded before Friday’s opening, and if not…WHO CARES?! Ive been to piano bars in Chicago and San Diego and they are SO FUN!!! This will be a nice change of pace from all the other bars in Georgetown (unless Rhino Bar is your thing).

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