Howard Theatre – Holy Awesome!!!

by Prince Of Petworth April 11, 2012 at 11:00 am 46 Comments

620 T St, NW

Well, we’ve been admiring the renovated Howard Theatre from the outside – now have a look inside. It is equally as awesome, if not more so.

Last night I was lucky enough to attend a preview concert headlined by Trombone Shorty and George Clinton.

I went in with tremendous expectations. Unbelievably, they were exceeded. This place single-handedly kicks up the coolness of our city by a notch or three. Have a look:

George Clinton

Lots more photos after the jump.

Trombone Shorty

  • Wow! these are the first shots i’ve seen of the inside. As a neighbor, we are really excited to see how well things turned out on the outside. the pedestrian area in front looks awesome, plus the new facade. Well done, Howard!

  • Anonymous

    Trombone Shorty is amazing. But George, man, time to pack it in dude.

  • Bloomingdude

    Okay, I’ll be the first to put the inevitable out there:

    It looks like a cheaply designed home depot renovation that’s going to be flipped and then crumble. Also, it’s just a ploy for soulless and self-absorbed latte-drinking hipsters to displace DC’s long time residents.

    Personally, I love it, but I also drink lattes.

    • cohi

      oooo, I don’t think it looks cheaply designed at all- in fact, it looks classy and rich. but I hear you on the hipsters.

      • AP

        +1 on the design aspect. They did as much as they could with the money that was available. I think it looks great.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      I missed the sign that says, “Absolutely NO long-time DC residents allowed!” Why is it that any kind of improvement in this city is looked at as a way to push one group out in favor of some other “soulless” group? Can’t everybody just come and enjoy this new theater (fill in that blank with: park, bike lane, grocery, rooftop deck, whatever)?

      And while we’re “putting things out there,” why don’t you just say what (I presume) you mean: long-time residents = blacks, “soulless hipsters” = whites.

      • I think bloomingdude was being sarcastic.

        • TaylorStreetMan

          Maybe, maybe not. Bloomingdude would have to say for sure.
          Plenty of people make comments like this in all seriousness, so it didn’t even occur to me that he may be being sarcastic. My bad (and apologies to bloomingdude, if I was wrong).
          Anyway, take it as my general sentiment about that kind of attitude, which (clearly) strikes a chord with me!

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, I think that was dry, deadpan humor…

          • ET

            I don’t think it is so much an explicit thing but many long timers especially those of a different socioeconomic group, would feel like this project wasn’t done with them in mind which would make them feel left out. No one like to feel excluded, deliberately or not. Shit changes, especially fast nowadays and people feel left behind and ignored. For many long timers DC was their place and not hostile – at least in their neighborhoods – to them. All they see now are “others” moving in and they have begun to feel out of place in a neighborhood they have been in for 15, 20, 30 40+ years. To top it off only now with the “others” that things seem to be happening. And those things that are happening are things for whatever reason they don’t feel a part of.

          • Bloomingdude

            I was making a joke to make fun of how the conversations always seem to end up at either cheap reno flip or hipsters vs long-timers.

            Personally, I love the new Howard. My comment about drinking latte was to make fun of the fact that I’m over 40 and hardly a hipster, although my love of the Howard would probably cause someone to call me a hipster.

            Oi, as they say.

          • TaylorStreetMan

            Sorry for not picking that up… as someone who is fond of delivering a fair amount of dry sarcasm, I feel especially ashamed! :-)
            I’m also over 40, but drink my coffee black (and I love the new Howard). What does that make me, I wonder?

          • Bloomingdude

            No sweat.

            Just between you and me, I despise the terms hipster and long-time residents. They’re ways of stereotyping whites and blacks as badly as possible and making both groups sound homogenous.

            What does it make you? … probably highly caffeinated ;-)

          • TaylorStreetMan

            Yes, indeed! That explains my hair-trigger!

  • classic_six

    What I like about what these photos capture on the inside is the motion, the energy and the vitality of the place. Cool.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. Those beer choices suck.

    It really amazes me that there’s a bar consultant left in this city who would waste two out of four tap handles on Coors Light and Blue Moon. This city and the surrounding region make pretty decent beer. Can we get a Flying Dog, or DC Brau tap, please? I guess the MillerCoors distributor in DC bought them a walk-in or a tap tower, or something.

    • Kam

      Seriously dude? Wow, just wow. You know what amazes me?

      • Anonymous

        They have six different flavored vodkas. They can’t have one decent beer? I don’t care if it doesn’t matter to you. To me and to a lot of people who know the difference, this is like opening a five star restaurant and putting a McDonald’s cheeseburger on the menu.

        • Kam

          When you assume you make and ass out of u and me. What makes you think I don’t know anything about/the difference between beers?

          OK, so they have 6 different vodkas, they also have 4 different beers.
          The vodkas they have are Absolut and Stoli which are pretty much the equivalent to their beer offerings. Sorry they don’t have/offer your elitest taste for beer but what they offer seem to be on par with/is way more than you will get most performance theaters in many places around the country.

          Come on buddy, get a grip, the world doesn’t revolve around you and your cool new hip brews. Hell, DC already has enough of these new places that cater to your crowd.

          You can’t have everything you want all the time. What’s next, complaints they don’t serve Stags Leap? Bitching that they don’t have lobster rolls? SMDH!

          Just be glad this place opened up, relax and enjoy the shows.

          • Gallery of Peanuts

            +1 for Kam. Seriously, Anonymous, I’m sorry that the existence of Coors Light offends you. But at a venue designed to cater to a wide variety of tastes, I think it’s probably pretty standard to have a light beer on tap.

          • U Street

            + 1000 for Kam

        • Kam

          Furthermore, they just opened up what, 3 days ago today? Maybe they don’t know or care about all the new cool beers, they just wanted something that most people are familiar with, they didn’t have the budget for them… Lastly, I am sure they can change the beers around, so maybe you will get your wish one day if you and your ilk complain enough.

        • They had Dogfish in the bottle, but that was a local as it got.

        • Are you basing this comment off the one photo, or is there a menu somewhere I have not seen? I think its highly possible that there is more than one tap, or bottles being served. And if not, maybe just go and check the place out and provide a constructive reccomendation before poo poing the place from one small photo.

      • nearby res

        Why is that so outrageous? I live nearby and am super excited about the theater in just about every other respect, but I have to agree on this. Frankly, after all the emphasis that has been put on playing up DC history and local pride with the restoration of this space, it’s a little baffling that they didn’t seek out any local beers for the taps. (And that’s before even taking into consideration that when you’re paying music venue prices for a beer, it’s nice if it’s higher quality than Coors Light or Blue Moon. I’m happy to drink those beers for cheap at a barbecue, but theoretically paying $6-8 for less than a pint of mediocre beer makes me sad. No idea what the pricing actually is, but that would be in line with 9:30 club and the like.) It’s possible to think that the new theater is awesome and also be disappointed in this particular beer selection. I don’t know why you seem to think that is such an asshole thing to point out.

        • U Street

          It’s an a**hole point because it’s so EXTREMELY nit-picky! They also don’t have Grey Goose. Let’s be outraged! Let’s boycott the travesty!
          Perhaps it wouldn’t kill you to focus on the 99 positives instead of the 1 (POTENTIAL) negative. Hopefully, for your own sake, you’re only like this in the cyber world and not in the real one.

        • classic_six

          The only thing I will pipe in on regarding the beer list is that by adding local brews (e.g., DC Brau as one) that might be considered a nod towards hipsters and being on-trend (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It is possible that the revived Howard Theatre didn’t want to cater to a particular trend but instead revive an historic place that would appeal to a broad range of people instead of a smaller, focused group. If you are going out and have never spent 6-8 dollars on a mediocre beer before, please let me know where you drink because 6 is somewhat cheap in this city (not including specialshappy hour) and 6 rarely gets you those special microbrews.

          • Bloomingdude


            Would you please define hipster? Do you mean white people? White people with money? Young people? Young white people? WTF is a hipster? Just say what you mean.

          • classic_six

            I like how the term is thrown around on these boards but you don’t question everyone who throws it around. That’s okay – here’s the definition that I like for “hipster,” though.

            “Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. ” (I would also probably add something about pushing for “interesting beers” and microbrews, just for good measure.) Anyway, nothing about race there. I have never assumed that hipsters is a “white” thing. Thank you

          • JL

            Bloomingdude, I feel like you’re getting a little over-sensitive here. I am a young white person and understand the frustration with “hipsters,” and do NOT automatically assume it is code for “young white people.” Go to Georgetown and you will find plenty of young white people who are dismissive of “hipsters.”

            The thing that bugs me about hipsters, with regard to beer at least, is their tendency to judge a book by its cover (err, a beer by its label). If a beer is owned by a large conglomerate and widely available, it automatically sucks. If a beer is unknown, unpopular, and/or is named after an animal and features offbeat fonts on its label, it is automatically awesome.

          • anon

            “Hipster” is in the eye of the beholder, but I tend to think of it as encompassing a subset of the group Classic_six defines.

            I think of it as being more centered on people in their 20s and early 30s who wear skinny jeans, have an inflated opinion of the wittiness of their banter, have a more-lefty-than-thou attitude with regard to politics, etc.

            They’re not bad people, but they’re a little too wrapped up in their image for my liking. They could do with more humility and less self-consciousness. Oh, and less cynicism.

        • Anonymous

          I’m fine with the coors light, but, man, they had to use industrial-made chinese grade swizzle sticks? they couldn’t have found some locally sourced twigs from the National Arboretum? How’m I gonna stir my drinki with a cheap corporate swizzle stick?

          • Kam

            +1. Ha. I see what you did there.

  • Kam

    Nice. Cheap looking or not, I for one will be seeing many of upcoming concerts there – The Roots, Yasin Bey (Mos Def), Meshell Ndegeocello (who by the way was raised in DC) and many others.

    The only thing I don’t like about it is the limited seating.

    • VstGirl

      YES, I have the same tickets! Such an awesome line up…Meshellllllllllll!

  • Anonymous

    Bring on MOS DEF!!! can’t wait!

  • Anonymous

    Wicked, I can’t wait to see Bad Brains there next week!

  • I’m so thrilled about this!!!!! How awesome that it is finally done! Got my tickets for Wanda Saturday night and the Harlem Boys Choir Sunday Brunch and I can’t wait!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Take a look at the schedule over the next few months on two historic theaters in close proximity to one another:




    • Anonymous

      When I click on the Lincoln Theater’s link its been hacked! Who would hack a website no one uses? HA!

  • Weird piece of trivia: the movie Mars Attacks has a scene where the douchey politician picks up a hooker in his limo. He picks her up right in front of the Howard Theater, during the bad old days.
    I am so glad this revitalization is happening!!

    • Anonymous

      Cool “Disco” Dan in that scene.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t wait to see Michael Bolton there on June 11th.

    • Mike Bolton

      Why should I change? He’s the one who sucks.

      • Kam

        +1 I love Office Space.

  • Anonymous

    If only the front sidewalk area looked as good in person as it does in the picture. The two streetlights right in front of the entrance are way too bright for that location.


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