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Dear PoPville – Anyone Familiar with the “House of Secrets” in Ledroit Park?

by Prince Of Petworth April 11, 2013 at 2:30 pm 25 Comments


Dear PoPville,

Do you have any information about the so-called “House of Secrets” house on the 500 block of T Street NW — apparently, some kind of speakeasy / underground club that has been in and out of existence for like the past 25 years. Apparently, it looks like a normal house from the outside, but is set up as a club on the inside. Such a weird place to have a club given how residential it is. Def been some problems with it recently, like this double stabbing that happened during a recent event there. Current and historical info appreciated.

One member of the Ledroit Park listserv shared an ABRA press release from 2004:

After a lengthy investigation by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), on March 14, 2004, members of ABRA’s investigative unit and officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) entered into a private residence known as House of Secrets at 507 T Street, NW.

The investigation of this private residence was initiated after ABRA received information that the residential home was operating as an unlicensed after hours club. Additional information was also received that the listed location was hosting parties for hire and included events in which underage drinking of alcoholic beverages, gambling, drug use, and sexual conduct was occurring. The owner of the residence was later identified as Mr. Ralph Woodson.

On March 14, 2004, 507 T Street, NW was found to be operating as an unlicensed establishment. Specifically, it was determined that Mr. Woodson was selling alcoholic beverages without an ABC license, making alcoholic beverages available to persons under the age of 21, and in possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. Mr. Woodson was arrested by the MPD for selling alcoholic beverages without an ABC license, making alcoholic beverages available to persons under the age of 21, and for possessing marijuana with intent to distribute.

Anyone know how far the history goes back?

  • EdTheRed

    To shut them down now would be twisted
    We just heard this place existed

    • Are they talking about the bordello?

    • ERD

      You could close down Moe’s or the Kwik-e-mart, and nobody would care.

    • Anonymous

      Right, because closing down an illegal night club that is a danger to its patrons and a nuisance to its neighbors probably goes against MPD’s ongoing mission to make sure that 20-something’s have as much fun as possible.

      • Somebody didn’t pick up on a Simpsons quote. Haa-Haa!

    • That’s true, but I was only in there to get directions on how to get away from there.

  • I literally used to go every SAT. $10 @ the door for all you could drink at 3 different bars. Omelette maker outside. There was a ping pong room, and a Nintendo room, with nothing but 15 Nintendos hooked up t TVs. It was pure awesome.

    • Anonymous

      Tell more.

  • islandgirl

    At the risk of sounding like an old fart, I Moved to DC in ’92 and, waaaay back when, this was a spot for the most fab parties. Beautiful, soulful, love-filled people in every room. This was back when House Music reigned and the booty-to-crotch crap that now proliferates would not be found in any dj’s crate full of vinyl. Plenty of folks got high as kites quite often and somehow avoided wanting to stab, shoot or maim anyone else. SIGH. Oh yeah, the spot was so fly that Prince once had his after-party there. So sad.

  • While we’re in Ledriot Park, what’s up with that huge gray house on the Anna Cooper circle. It looks abandoned but not. I’ve never seen anyone come in or out of it but it looks like it could be lived in. It looks like a house that when you were a kid you’d think a witch lived in. Ahh

    • houseintherear

      It was split up and sold as condos a few years ago, if I remember correctly.

  • anon

    they’ve even gone so far as to have the house blurred out from google street view!

    • That’s the house across the street. 507 is on the north side.

      • John B.

        Not one but two houses blurred out (there’s another on the other side of the intersection). There has got to be an interesting story behind this.

  • anon
  • lovessoldier

    My father was killed in 1973 shortly after leaving this then gambling spot run by Mr Rayful Edmond Sr. So at least the 70’s and that explains a lot if you are a Washingtonian as to why it is still in existence…

  • anonymous

    One of the last houses not to get renovated in Ledroit Park … too bad it is no longer a party place

  • Anonymous

    yo don’t blow up the spot!

  • vz

    Geeze. *This* is why we can’t have good things, DC.

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t invited :(

  • I stopped in a couple times when I was in college — this was probably in 2000 or 2001. We were definitely not of age. For $20 you got a solo cup, and all you could drink. There was someone out back grilling. There was a bartender, and like 10 odd rooms. Each with its own theme. I clearly remember the “Playboy” room, where they had porn going, and saw a couple getting it on, in full view of everyone. The game room had a pile of coke on a coffee table. Just an unruly, magical place.

  • TGirl

    Loved HOS back in my Howard days (96-2001). Usually it cost about 20 bucks for all you can drink, and really good/sexy music. The upstairs room is called the “Prince Room” – because that’s where Prince hung during a party he threw back in the 90’s … Generally, this was mostly all black establishment, but due to changing times it has become more diverse – and I’m not mad at that. I hope it keeps going strong!

  • Anonymous

    As a current resident of LP, any illegal club that contributes to the occurence of double — or even regular old single — stabbings, should be shut down by the MPD. I bet this place doesn’t even meet safety / fire regulations. I hope MPD does something about this place before anyone (else) gets hurt there.

  • Anonymous

    This was my backup spot to score coke if on the rare occasion I couldn’t find it at Mr Ps.


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