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More Info on Den of Thieves, a “Glamorous Music Driven Dive Bar”, Opening in former Hanoi House Space at 14th and U St, NW

by Prince Of Petworth January 16, 2014 at 10:30 am 33 Comments

2005 14th Street, NW

Speaking of evolving spaces, a couple days ago we noted that the Maketto residency ended at Hanoi House and the space would become Den of Thieves. Born as Blackbyrd then Hanoi House then the Maketto residency and starting Saturday – 2005 14th St, NW it will become a “glamorous music driven dive bar” and it sounds pretty awesome.

Yesterday I spoke with owner Eric Hilton who shared a few details. Den of Thieves will be music driven hosting numerous DJ friends of Mr. Hilton (who of course is a founder of Thievery Corporation.) To start the space will only be open on weekends though soon it will be open weekdays too. Hilton himself is kicking off the festivities on Saturday (and will do continue DJing in the near future) This Saturday the music starts at 10pm (doors open at 8pm.) There is no cover and the space holds about 99 people. Hilton also noted that is place where DJs can do there thing and play whatever they want (nobody will be taking requests here.)

Hilton summed up his presence on the strip of 14th and U – “Gibson has really good craft cocktails, Marvin is Marvin, and Den of Thieves will be a really low key inexpensive spot with good music. 1, 2, 3.”

After the jump a look at the food and drink menus.

Food Menu:

Korean Fried Chicken …$8
Gochhu sauce

Crispy Spring Rolls (Pork / Tofu) …$3

Hot Dog & Chips (Beef / Veggie) …$8
Asian slaw and spicy mayo.

Chips …$2

Beer / Wine:
For wine we will serve one red and a white which will change regularly.

We will carry a nice selection of reasonably priced bottle and draft beers, the list has not been finalized.

Cocktail Menu:

All Cocktails $8

Honor Among Thieves
Whiskey, Lemon, Honey, Angostura Bitters, Ginger Ale

Moscow Mule
Vodka, Lime, Ginger Beer

Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth

Here & Gone
Tequila, Averna, Simple Syrup, Old Fashioned Bitters

Rum, Lime, Simple Syrup

Gin, Sweet Vermouth, Maraschino Liqueur

John Collins
Whiskey, Lemon, Simple Syrup, Club Soda

Hidden Jewels
Vodka, Raspberry, Lemon, Whiskey Barrel Bitters

DJ Booth

  • Anonymous

    “Glamorous” “dive bar?” GFY

    • Anonymous

      Hahahaha – I like how they simply gave up on serving food there.

  • Anonymous

    Inexpensive but they charge $8 for a hot dog? Also I don’t think ‘glamorous’ and ‘dive bar’ can coexist. I’m sure it will be mobbed though.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t wait to enjoy an inexpensive $8 hot dog while listening to some glamorous music.

    • ash

      Glamorous divey music.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds reasonable-minus the $8 hot dog- but KFC with chili paste? That sounds a bit weird. Unless their “gochu sauce” is a misnomer.

  • Anonymous

    This place just screams out “COCAINE!!!”

    • Anonymous

      Something about it reminds me of the old club Red.

  • Anonymous

    I feel like they said “Eh, f#ck it. Let’s just get some heads in the door.”
    Which isn’t a bad idea. But “glamorous dive bar” seems like a bit of a misnomer. Sounds like there will be decently priced drinks (for 14th Street….), a DJ, and dancing. Nothing groundbreaking, but it will make them money.

  • “Marvin is Marvin.”
    Glad he cleared up the confusion on that one.

  • Truxton K

    I’d be curious to hear from restauranteurs or industry folks about the benefits of opening multiple establishments right next to one another. Between these guys, the Derek Brown bars on 7th, and the early days of the new H St NE strip, it seems like grouping is a popular strategy. I’m no expert, but it seems like they’d be creating a lot of redundant expenses and cannibalizing their own businesses. Anyone in the know care to share their thoughts?

    • Well you also create a destination/area worth going to (for people who want to bar hop, or be in a “popular” area), rather than simply being a solitary restaurant/bar on an otherwise empty strip (given the times these places were built/leased).

    • Anonymous

      Maybe they benefit from economy of scale. If one person can oversee deliveries to multiple establishments , for example, they can hire fewer people. Or they only need to make one arrangement with the laundry service rather than have several separate accounts and delivery schedules to deal with. I making these up, maybe these particular things aren’t the savings, but you get the idea.

    • Anonymous

      They all opened in what were previously “under-served” parts of the city. By opening up more than one establishment at a time, they effectively created a tipping point that drove folks to patronize that particular area. In other words, they drove much of the gentrification in the neighborhood.

  • hiphopanonymous

    Sounds like an idea you come up with when you are drunk.

    “We should totally open a bar!! Drinks will be cheap and our friends will DJ!! Like a dive bar, but totally glamorous!! Also we won’t ever put up a sign. Signs are for commoners and we only want super cool people like our DJ friends to come”

    • Anonymous

      “Btw, all our DJ friends are broke and work for drink tickets. We’ll worry about making money later.”

    • anon

      There’s a difference between an average person saying, “Let’s open a bar! And let’s have our friends DJ!” and an experienced club owner/restaurateur/music producer saying the same thing.

      • hiphopanonymous

        Where would you get a crazy idea like that? Please explain.

  • Anonymous

    im actually really excited for this to open, especially since i live nearby. too much nonsense music in the bars

  • Anonymous

    Any place that is self described as “glamorous” is obnoxious. Not to mention any place that is plastered with cliched Fairey art too…

    • ash

      Yeah but they threw in the word “dive” so that takes away some of the obnoxiousness, amiright?

  • AJNE

    So what I’m getting from this is that there will be no karaoke this Saturday.

  • Anonymous

    So how about a little background. It looks like these boys made a pretty good chunk of change in the music industry, back when such a thing was possible, and now they’re dumping it into all these bars/restaurants in the same general part of town, some of which are wildly successful (Marvin), while some are less so (Brixton), and some are complete failures (everything in the building next to Marvin). Am I missing anything?

    • Yes you are missing a lot actually – the Gibson is popular, they also own many other spots including Chez Billy, American Ice co, Satellite Room, Patty Boom Boom and the recently opened El Rey. I also don’t really understand what you’re asking.

      • Anonymous

        I guess I’m wondering how long they can get away with applying the same fundamental formula to just about every place they open before oversaturating a neighborhood? Despite the different outward themes, they’re mostly more alike than they are different.

        • Anonymous

          It looks like they found the saturation point with the Hanoi/Blackbyrd experiment.

          • ArtieFufkin

            The food at Hanoi just ended up being terrible. The Maketto residency was packed every night, so it’s not the building/owners it’s their concept/execution. Basically true for every business.

    • anon

      Of the two guys in Thievery Corporation — Eric Hilton and Rob Garza — it’s just Eric who’s been involved in running clubs and restaurants, not Rob.
      Eric started Eighteenth Street Lounge with some partners. Rob and Eric met there not long afterward. They started Thievery Corporation and named their record label after the venue.
      The partners in Eighteenth Street Lounge subsequently opened a club named Red and a club/restaurant named Dragonfly. (Not sure if Red involved all four partners — I think eventually it became solely one partner’s project.) Next came Local 16.
      A few years later, Marvin opened. I’m not sure if it involved all of the original Eighteenth Street Lounge partners or if this was Eric Hilton striking it out on his own (or with his brother). Then there was the Gibson.
      Since then, there have been so many ventures that it’s been hard to keep track: U Street Music Hall (which I think also involved some of the original Eighteenth Street Lounge partners), Dickson Wine Bar, American Ice Company, the Satellite Room, Montserrat House, the Brixton, Chez Billy, and Blackbyrd/Hanoi House/Den of Thieves.

      • anon

        PoP’s posting has reminded me about Patty Boom Boom and the newly opened El Rey, which I forgot.
        (Wondering which keyword in my post triggered the “needs moderation” status — “thieves”??)

  • jim_ed

    Whatever. Something tells me the target demo for this bar will be people who live in Ashburn while claiming on their social media accounts that they live in DC and think U Street is “edgy.”

    • Anonymous

      Trolol like those other Virginians who won’t set foot on anything near the Green Line because “you know, look at where it goes”

  • Anonymous

    Cool. Hard to find $8 cocktails on 14th Street. And i like music. I have no problem with continued investment in new ventures in this city.

  • Anonymous

    I’d love it of they had great sound in there, Marvin’s sound system keeps me from going there… Loud with bad acoustics does not equal fun for us old guys flush with cash… just sayin.


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