36 Comment

  • brookland_rez

    I’m kind of nostalgic for the days of going to Black Cat and coming out to see rats and garbage all over the sidewalk and businesses like these. But at the same time, it’s better that things be the way they are today. I’m just grateful that I’ve been able to be here to see all the change for the better.

    • I agree, to a point. I feel like 14th street is the new Georgetown these days. Even in the past 5 years there has been a lot of change. I think some of the changes have been for the best, but I’m getting sort of tired of glass boxes, and being inundated with upscale, faux-vintage specialty bicycle/coffee/mustache wax emporiums.

      • Sorry. Emporia*.

      • +1 I was down there this weekend by Whole Foods…no character, very little diversity. The new parts of DC make me sad.

        • I went to Lost & Found – the new “neighborhood bar” in Shaw – this last Saturday evening with a friend. We anticipated grabbing a quiet drink and checking it out since we have never visited. Not only was the place packed, but there was not one single non-white person in the venue aside from the African-American security guard checking ID. It was utterly bizarre, I’ve never seen such an exclusively white crowd in my time living in DC. I hang out with a mixed group of friends and it was uncomfortable to be in a DC venue and not have ANY diversity in the crowd. I mean, DC is an amazingly diverse city! It was just strange. Even on U Street and 14th Street, you can go into most of the venues and see a mix of people – yuppies, Howard students, DC locals, suburbanites, LBGT – from every walk of life.

          • @ Anonymous
            I think the fact that every new bar opening in Shaw is met with packed crowds probably just indicates that there is a shortage of decent bars in Shaw compared with demand, rather than an inherent problem with the clientele. As more places open, I think you’ll start to see a natural filtering as people get a sense for what they like and don’t like. I for one have been in plenty of U St bars where the clientele was predominantly white, and there are obviously still a lot that are predominantly black).
            In my opinion if you want to go to a quiet bar, or restaurant, on its opening week, you need to go to a neighborhood that already has a lot of bars and restaurants. Adams Morgan for instance. And you may want to consider going on a week night or Sunday.

          • How does this fact (that the crowd was exclusively white) reflect on the bar?

      • brookland_rez

        That’s true. I guess for me I don’t miss the blight. I just miss the experience. Going out to Black Cat was an adventure, it was truly edgy, you had to watch your back. Actually that was a lot of DC. I was over on Minnesota Ave near Benning Rd over the weekend. That still feels like the old 14th St. Maybe someone can open a music venue like Black Cat over there?

      • + a million. I lived over that way until 2 years ago, moved out when it was just beginning to tip in lala land. Even since then, it’s barely recognizable. Sidewalks full of Saudi shopper tourists and lululemon girls; no diversity; no tasty food for under 20 bucks a plate. What a shame!

    • I really miss the days when I could buy a red room ale for just a nickel! Me and Ian and the gang would just kick up our dusty boots and drink until we ran out of nickels. Man, those were the times.

      • And back then, we tied an onion to our belt, which was the style at the time.

        • LOL! Nicely done.

        • Grandpa Simpson – for the win

          We can’t bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell ’em stories that don’t go anywhere – like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. “Give me five bees for a quarter,” you’d say.

          Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones…

      • brookland_rez

        Ian as in Ian MacKaye? I thought you guys were straight-edge.

    • There are plenty of parts of DC where you can still get this experience, and there’s always Baltimore. Maybe it’s time for a move?

      • brookland_rez

        Nah. It was fun in my 20’s, but I’m almost 40 now. I like my quiet neighborhood and craft beer.

      • And Bladensburg. I sometimes drive by bars that just scream “MS13 members drink here!” Try going into one of those bars if you want danger and excitement.

    • Lived in DC since 2000, saw my first live show at the Black Cat in 1998, and I don’t miss a damn thing. Sometimes I walk home from work up 14th St just to behold all of the changes. They’re wonderful.

    • I don’t miss trash and rats but a good carry out after a late night is a plus.

  • This place was really bad. I’m amazed it stayed in business as long as it did.

  • On the one hand I wish some of these old places could stick around; both so the neighborhood can retain some of the old character and so long time businesses can enjoy the benefits of the boom. On the other hand, this place was terrible and really deserved to go. Why can’t any of these old places serve even reasonably good food? All it takes is a little bit, come on people!

  • I can’t wait for Jose Andres to replace it with another overpriced small plates restaurant/wine bar.

  • Anonymous said exclusively white (not one person of color) not predominantly white

    I have not commented on POP in a while but this caught my attention. I’ve had several similar experiences at more than a couple new bars around DC – no people of color in the crowd (maybe I am more likely to notice because I am black.) That’s not really my speed so I typically move on. I don’t want to mention any bars by name because I am not trying to embarrass any of the places. I was always treated well etc. I just happen to prefer a different scene. (Confession I go to a lot of different bars when I happen to go out on weekends I hit my ‘regular’ places during the week.) One of the bars I is in my neighborhood so I happen to go back, because it’s convenient, and the demographics were completely different that night, sometimes it’s just the night you go.

    I will say this when a neighborhood bar opens in DC it sure develops a particular crowd fast. I would expect places to take a little more time to develop an identity but it seems to happen almost immediately. I don’t mean sports bars that will attract sports fans I mean bars with no obvious theme you walk in you are going the see a customer base fitting a particular DC profile. Maybe most people jus stay in a particular lane.

    Re: this Deli someone eats in this Deli on 14th ‘it sucks’ move this exact place to BKLYN new narrative ‘I hit this cool old school NYC deli’ blah blah blah. Good luck to the owners maybe they are cashing out for a fabulous retirement. 14th Street is turning into a scene that caters to the tastes of urbanites with disposable income. I predict, based on location, density, Metro, cool factor, it will trump G-town’s restaurant / bar scene …soon


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