It Continues… Science Club Closing on 19th Street

science club
1136 19th Street, NW

First we heard about Sophie’s Cuban and now sad news for next door neighbor Science Club. A reader reports Science Club owner Steve Maguire posted on facebook:

“Cannot even begin to describe the love I have for every kind soul that contributed to this place. Simply speechless. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“And a link to this tune”:

“No other details – just a 100+ comments thanking him for ten years of a great bar! He seems positive in the comments and owns the bar outright, so not sure why this seems so sudden…kind of weird. Hope he comes back with another space!”

Ed. Note: Science Club was one of the coolest spots new spots in the District when they first opened. Can’t believe that was 10 years ago. They will be missed by many.

29 Comment

  • It will be interesting to see if this is just do to a natural reshuffel of business or part of a sustained decline in the greater Con Ave/Dupont coridor as activity has shifted east.

  • I remember coming here when it was still a new bar. I believe Science Club stood apart from a lot of the other bars in the neighborhood for its “speakeasy” type atmosphere, low lighting, good drinks, interesting music, and nice vibe without pretense. it was always a good place to bring a small group of people or a date.

  • maxwell smart

    Man, this is truly terrible news. There is a real lack of approachable, low-key bars in this area (in general in DC). I have 100% zero interest in the 14th street scene. Sorry, no thanks.

    • Don’t tell me this town ain’t got no heart
      You just gotta poke around

      • maxwell smart

        See, and that’s the thing that is starting to annoy me in DC – the amount of effort it requires to hunt out simple things like bars and restaurants that are quality but not too scene-y. I’m not waiting 3 hours for a table for dinner. I’m not making reservations 18 months in advance for brunch. I’m not waiting 45 minutes at a bar to order an over-priced beer.

        • Hyperbole much? Sure, maybe you’ll wait 3 hours for a table for 8 at Le Dip on a Saturday night, but nothing else you lamented happens, ever. And plenty of low-key places are still kicking around town. Nice try though.

        • Being pretentious about being pretentious doesn’t make you any less pretentious. Yes there are some overhyped and bland popular restaurants. But if anything the last 5 years have provided more choice and character, not less. Also the trend is to not take reservations and some of the best places in town are the ones without a wait. I agree there are some annoying trends; every bar thinks it can charge 10-12 bucks even if they’re using shitty rail liquor, some peoples beer lists are a little pricey.

          But compared to the food scene even 2 years ago, almost any restaurant has a possible and interesting beer list and at least an attempt at an inspired menu.

      • I can hear it beat out loud.

    • There are plenty of “approachable, low-key bars” all over DC. In that immediate area – Big Hunt is a place that comes to mind.

    • I can think about 5 in my neighborhood alone.

  • GASP. i work around the corner and this is a regular hh spot for me! they host tons of group happy hours, always seem to be lots of people there, weird that they’re closing. man, this is a bummer. so few chill spots in this part of town.

  • I’m going to write something that I know will be met with derision…I will be sad if Rumors is next to go. There’s not a much better place in that area of town where you can sit outside on a nice day and be able to watch whatever game is on at the same time.

  • 10 years = commercial lease renewal. The building owners probably want A LOT more money that the owners of Science Club can’t swing. Looking at the windows on the office building next door, it appears that the owners of the Science Club building sold their air rights. So the re-development potential here is nil.
    My guess? This place sits empty for 2 or 3 years while the building owners hold out for some ridiculous rent amount at only a 4 year lease.

  • Comment Artist

    Maybe Science Club later evolved into someplace cool, but when I went there right after they opened, it was a weird scene. Kind of clubby but also uncomfortably nerdy. Total identity crisis.

    • I went there once in 2009 and felt the way you did. I have been back many times the past two years, and have really liked the vibe. Very chill (and a bit nerdy), with good prices and some of the nicest bartenders in the city. A great place you could go and just have a drink with a small group, date, or by yourself. Sad loss for that area.

      • I find this to be the case at all the trying-to-be-clubby spots I’ve been to in DC. No matter how flashy we try to be, we’re just a town full of nerds, and just can’t compare to clubs in NYC, Miami, or London.

    • maxwell smart

      “uncomfortably nerdy” – please define. As in lacking in the typical DC bro / hill staffer / uptight lawyer scene? Because that is the dream, IMO.

      • “Typical DC bro / hill staffer / uptight lawyer” That is pretty much the epitome of uncomfortably nerdy. People who deep down inside will always be nerds, no matter how cool they try to be.

      • Comment Artist

        There were a lot of people in the room who were dressed like they just came from the office, even though it was a Saturday night.

  • So sad & how about that fucking song? Bless

  • This place was so unique and stood apart from all of the sports bars in the area… Will be deeply missed 🙁

  • RIP. Great bar and they had a completely vegetarian menu. Now where am I going to take my awkward first dates?!? Very sad.

  • I for one disliked this place because of one redneck, trash bartender who wore a confederate army stooge cap. I’m sure the placed closed because of junk like him

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