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“And it’s very frustrating to see this city kinda lose its identity, or rather its unique sense and become cookie cutter…”

by Prince Of Petworth March 24, 2016 at 11:55 am 113 Comments

science club farewell
photo courtesy @Tescadero

Science Club Bar Manager Tony Tescadero writes:

“So yeah, I’ve been at Science for six years or so and concerning our closing…

The Golden Triangle/South Dupont just isn’t the same nightlife hub it used to be. Over the past couple years our happy hours have been solid, a lot of repeat customers, family ya know?
But what happens after happy hour is over? Dupont is flooded with these… I don’t know ‘millennials’… new to the city, and they weren’t really into a place that didn’t play much Top 40 and serve Bud Light.

We played Tribe, Mos Def, Deep House, NuDisco, Groove, tribal melodies, mild trap, break beats.
They wanted Beyoncé and Kesha.

When I first stepped into Science back in 2007, I immediately noticed that this space had no interest in marching to the beat of the nearby bars that catered to frat boys and mainstream stilettoed girls that swarmed the area.

Maybe shame on us for not adapting.
But no, I don’t know.

I was born here, (split being raised between here and The Bronx NY…(COOLIDGE COLTS!))
And it’s very frustrating to see this city kinda lose its identity, or rather its unique sense and become cookie cutter… Copy and paste.

“ShiTi Pa Town”

Anywho. I digress. So we fell behind in the rent. We made it through last year… But even after a slight revamping from our original vegetarian menu to our new meat included menu, amazing cocktail list, and my appearance on Fox 5 “Cheers to the Weekend”

It just wasn’t working out for us.
Plus, my boss was tired.
Science was Steve’s (Maguire) baby but the day in day out of the hustle, plus the looming reality that we weren’t ‘cool’ anymore…
He just decided to quit the Science experiment before finances quit for us.

-Tony Tescadero”

  • Evil Millennial Scum

    waaaaaaah millennials.

    • Anon

      I think the term he was looking for is “basics”, many/most of which do happen to fall in the millennial cohort.

      • ***

        Can you have a more regional nickname for this crowd? Like “DC bro & hoe?”

        • Anon

          Yes, you can put “DC” before most other words.

        • Q

          Please tell me you’re talking about a bro and a gardening instrument.

          • HillEast

            uh oh, looks like we might need a safe space here.

  • MCR

    This isn’t about the whole city losing its character, it’s about Golden Triangle/Dupont not being where cool people hang out anymore – only frat boy consultants who work in the area or come in from Virginia. I’m sure a place like Science Club could do great in Petworth.

    I’m pretty concerned about all of the recent closures on 19th St., as I work right next door. But I’m hoping newer and better places come along!

    • Formerly ParkViewRes

      Exactly! Sorry, but I never had a reason to be over in the Golden Triangle are and all my friends hang out in Petworth, Park View, Columbia Heights, sometimes U Street. We all live in that area too so there is never a reason to trek over to Golden Triangle.

      • UptownGuy

        Exactly. South Dupont is the last place I’d like to be on a weekend night. In fact, I assumed Science was some crappy Top 40s club because of its location.

      • ***

        Likely unpopular opinion: On one hand, I get this. Neighborhoods evolve and change. The once “hip” area of town loses it’s edge and somewhere else is deemed “where cool people hang out.” That said, and where I see DC really struggle, is this concept that the only way for businesses to be successful is to continually relocate to wherever the cool neighborhood is. Not only is this not remotely practical from a financial aspect, it’s missing the opportunity to allow different areas of town to have their own unique epicenter of activity. To me, it’s what keeps DC as a 2nd tier city.

        • d


        • Anonemuss

          Uhmm, DC will never be a Tier 1 city IMHO. What is your definition of a “Tier 1” city? To me, Tier 1 is LA or NYC, neither of which DC will ever touch on its best day. All about perspective I guess…

          • rob

            it’s that world-class city thing (NYC, London, Sydney, etc) that is simply out of the ballpark for DC and transitory nature of career climbers.

          • Anonemuss

            And population size…etc..etc

          • ExWalbridgeGuy

            Yeah except LA totally sucks

        • victoria

          It isn’t so much about cool or hip neighborhoods – it’s about the (happy) fact that so many neighborhoods now can support a good variety of local bars & restaurants. When I moved to Columbia Heights in 1987, Adams Morgan (miss you Chief Ikes!) and Dupont Circle were pretty much the only places to go. Well, yes, Georgetown too if you were that sort. . .

          But now we have dozens of good places in Columbia Heights, Petworth, U St. etc. Dupont has become just another neighborhood, not a destination. And sorry – “we fell behind in rent” will never get my sympathy. Your rent is your #1 obligation.

    • A. Nony Mouse

      I moved to DC in the early 2000s and Dupont, Adams Morgan, and Georgetown were where all the nightlife was. A decade or more of gentrification has changed that. Maybe the owner should have caught on sometime in the last 10 years that he needed to adapt or relocate.

    • DupontDC

      Ehhhhh . Do you ever drive by Public, Lucky Bar, or any of the bars on Connecticut Ave these days? I wouldn’t say frat boys hanging are out in Dupont, especially on Friday or Saturday nights. Glover Park and Georgetown? Yes. Dupont? No.

      • elbeech

        Are those bars empty then?

        • divebar311

          Nope. I walked by Lucky Bar and Dirty Martini around 7:00pm yesterday outdoor seating at both places full, hordes of people with yellow soccer jerseys walking into Lucky for a game. At least LB has the soccer game watches following going for it.

    • ST21

      Agreed. That location is basically strictly downtown biz district. People go there for work, lunch, happy hour and then they’re out. I can’t blame them with all the great neighborhoods that have popped up all over the city.

      This feels like a “whoa is me” attitude from this guy. Blame the “millenials” who want their “bud lights”? Aren’t millenials typically classified as IPA loving hipsters who hate top 40? IDK, but either way his comment there collapsed on itself.

      I really can’t stand when a dude like this complains about the city “losing its identity”. Exactly what identity are we losing? There are so many great things going on in this city right now and places like The Science Club couldn’t keep up because of its geography. Sorry, bro but it’s just the nature of the beast. Isn’t that the risk you take in the service industry? Hot neighborhoods change all the time. That area isn’t as popular as it was 10 years ago.

      I don’t even want to rip on Science Club because it was a solid spot. Maybe look into the same type of place elsewhere. Don’t blame it on “the city losing its unique sense” or the “millenials”.

      • samanda_bynes

        “millenials” are a demographic that changes depending on who views it. in the mainstream sense, we’re IPA loving bearded weirdos who hate office jobs – and the guy writing this is an aging hipster who just sees bros and top 40s people. it’s whatever. the term means nothing, much like “hipster” at this point.

    • MtP

      This is my feeling exactly. It might have worked when there weren’t many “cool” places to go out in the neighborhoods, but that model just doesn’t work in the south Dupont (I refuse to say Golden Triangle) area anymore. This exact bar would probably thrive in many many other areas of the city.

  • eggs

    Speaking as one of the “millennials” mentioned here, I specifically went to Science Club BECAUSE it wasn’t the same as all the others. I’ll miss it.

    • FridayGirl

      +1. I went on a good date there once. But since it hasn’t ever been convenient to get to from where I’ve lived, I haven’t gone back.

      • Anon

        Yeah Dupont isn’t where the hip kids live anymore. And if you describe your music as “mild trap” and “break beats”, then hip kids are your crowd. Like others said, this place would probably do well in any number of other neighborhoods where the rent is cheaper and the vibe is hipster (h st, Petworth, bloomingdale, etc)

  • Anon

    I quit going to Science Club last year after 3 separate occasions (as in, separate nights) the folks at the bar lost someone in my party’s credit card — in one instance, the bartender gave my card to someone who wasn’t me and I had to track them down myself. I wouldn’t blame the “millennials” new to the city; I’d look in the mirror. Not all of us are into top 40 and Bud Light — and there are plenty of places around that don’t do that that are succeeding. The space was indeed cool and different, but the experience of being there over the last 2 years or so was less than great.

  • BBNE

    Sad to see you go and sorry things didn’t work out, but I disagree with the notion that DC is losing its unique sense. Where you see cookie cutters, I see cookies. The trick is adding your own special flavor to the dough which Science Club did very well for a while. Best of luck wherever life takes you from here.

    • ST21

      Well said. Totally agree.

    • ***

      I think I am only seeing an empty plate with cookie crumbs lately.

  • Me

    This seriously sucks. One of my favorite unique venues in DC. Just waiting to hear that Madam’s Organ and 18th St lounge are also late on the rent….

    • Kalorama Resident

      There’s no way that’s going to happen. There’s always a good amount of business during the week and the weekend is packed as usual. Madam’s Organ is not only an Adams Morgan landmark, it is a DC landmark.

    • ST21

      Maybe Madame’s Organ but 18th Street Lounge is still extremely popular. It’s a staple.

  • asg

    Science Club was one of the first bars I ever went to after I moved to DC seven years ago. Immediately I loved the vibe, the good drinks, and the great music. But blaming millennials is ridiculous. The Golden Triangle has basically evolved into DC’s version of Murray Hill in NYC – lots of bridge and tunnel frat boys and “stilettoed girls” coming into the city for the night/weekend to get drunk on bud light and listen to terrible music. Every city has this. But as that neighborhood has faded in importance, plenty of others have sprung up throughout the city.
    There are plenty of neighborhoods where Science Club could survive and thrive. Try H Street, Shaw, even Mt. Vernon.

    • nightborn

      Agree 100%. Dupont/Golden Triangle has changed, and those of us who enjoyed it back in the day would never dream of going there now. It’s unfortunate but either Science Club needed to relocate, or to adjust to those pesky millenials.

  • Gene

    As someone who lived here when DC was the murder capital of the nation, ground zero of the crack epidemic and losing population every year, I find it a little eye rolling when someone tries to call ~2010 the “good ol days” and waxes poetic about it.

    I remember hanging out in that neighborhood in the 80’s when bars had to worry because they had no customers, and they constantly had to shoo out addicts looking to steal something, or go shoot up in the bathroom.

    So your customers are younger, and richer now. I am not seeing the problem. Retail of all shapes and sizes has to constantly adjust to their new customers and their desires. I hardly think having to play bad music so you can sell youngin’s overpriced drinks is really a burden to bear, but hey…I am an old guy so what do I know.

    • ST21

      Thank you.

      I am a native Washingtonian and have lived here my whole life. When I hear people talk about the “good ol days” like you said, it cracks me up. “Losing our identity”?? What identity do you speak of? This was a government town where it was basically politics and crack heads in the 80s/90s. It was literally the murder capital of the nation which is absolutely ridiculous when you think about it. Please spare me the “losing our identity” talk.

  • d

    Damn, millennials can’t win. They get criticized for being mustachioed hipsters who only drink craft beers at the same time they’re criticized for being generic frat boys who only drink Bud light. I also liked Science but agree with others who say that your location was the problem, not a whole generation of people. It was always a refreshing change from the other corporate bars surrounding it, but not interesting enough to warrant a crosstown trip from anyone.

    • eggs

      “They get criticized for being mustachioed hipsters who only drink craft beers at the same time they’re criticized for being generic frat boys who only drink Bud light.”
      This is so exactly right.

    • mark miller

      There’s a whole lot of businesses making money in that same neighborhood. Location aint the problem. Bad market research and/or unwillingness to change was the problem.

      • d

        Yeah, I meant location given the bar’s approach and style. Corporate style bars are successful in that part of town for a reason. They’re easy, inoffensive places to bring a large group of coworkers in an area that has a ton of offices. I preferred happy hour at Science, but it wasn’t always practical and it wasn’t always up to me. And once you leave the office ghetto for neighborhoods north, east, and west, there’s zero chance you’re gonna head back there with friends later on.

      • ***

        I liked Science Club exactly because it wasn’t playing Top 40 and serving cheap beer, and I feel like the clientele when I would go there generally felt the same way.

    • General Grant Circle

      +1. Hilarious and poignant

    • Philippe Lecheval

      Yeah, well 20 years from now these millennials will be saying the same stuff about the new 20-somethings.

      • TacoPants

        +1. I don’t know how people can’t be even a little self aware when they launch into a “those darn kids today” rant under the guise of millennials (or whatever label is prominent at the time). You were once the person who is annoying you now. It happens. That’s life. Be honest with yourself and get over it. Also, I’m 34 and so does that make me a millennial? Honest question. As far as I can tell it’s anyone born from 1980-now.

  • anon

    GASP, this has to be the first time in the history of DC that college students and millennials like top 40 and bud light! Sorry pal, but you are basically located at the intersection of 3 universities (gtown, GW, American – which is further away, i know i know). Cheap booze and music to dance to. College.

    Also, generally speaking, if you describe your bar as an “indie bar and restaurant” and then offer 9 dollar cocktails, you are doing it wrong.

  • mark miller

    I have a really hard time feeling sympathetic to a business that realises its customer base (or potential customer base) is changing but fails to respond in a timely fashion. Every neighborhood changes. Your customers will grow up and grow older and move on, and if you don’t take the opportunity to make yourselves attractive to the new faces in your neighborhood, you’ve got only yourselves to blame. Few places are iconic enough to be able to resist change.

    And if I had any bit of sympathy for this article’s author, it would be gone as soon as I read that completely misplaced South Park reference.

  • Anonymous

    These places pride themselves on bringing in local DJs and not paying them anything nor promoting them on as residents. I used to Dj there when it first opened…

    With the influx of tons of other bars, they become a needle in a haystack. If a bar does music, profit should be shared with good DJs and dance nights should be built around building local talent and audiences. It’s not personal, it’s just business. Citcle jerk venues don’t survive in DC anymore because people have more choices, business decisions can’t just be driven on friend circles and musical puritanism, club owners have to branch out and build movements to survive. The dancefloor was way too small and there were also way too many steps to make that spot work anyway.

    • rob

      well put

  • Dan

    Worked a block away 2005-2010 fresh out of school.

    Even though we weren’t “bro’s”, we would base our happy hour decisions around what was cheap. I think MadHatter would do $3 Bud Light drafts, so we’d go there. Specials would get us in the door, and inevitably we’d get tired of water beer and move on to more pricey things (plus food, etc).

    Even then, I don’t think anyone stayed in golden triangle area after 7pm.

    I always figured I wasn’t dorky/indy/artsycool enough for a place called science club. Went there once on a night where it happened to be FULL of bros.

    MadHatters and the like weren’t very cool or special or whatever. But they knew how to get people in the door.

  • ET

    For me, in many respects DC never had an identity (beyond a government town) – though it was never a cookie cutter – which is why it is moving in the cookie cutter direction. But I am from NOLA…. Of course now that the millennials are moving into NOLA much of the real quirky and weird of NOLA is making way for the manufactured/curated quirky.

  • General Grant Circle

    As a lifelong dc resident, I will say I am sad that Science is closing, and definitely despise the cookie cutter approach but….come on man, budlight and top 40 is just the American-Commercial complex, it is not a generational thing. People were drinking shit beer and dancing at the disco to whatever the billboard top 40 was 30 years ago, 20 years ago, and they will 10, 20, 30 years from now. Blaming “millenials” is silly….

  • Anon

    Echo what others here have said. I liked that bar a lot, but I don’t have much sympathy for someone with such a snarky attitude towards clientele. The fact is that the locus of “cool” shifted away from Dupont Circle (and even Adams Morgan to some extent) a long time ago. That area in particular, surrounded by office buildings and what not, is just not all that fun to walk around.

    There’s plenty of demand, even in a stodgy city like this one, for some off-beat bars. If I had enough money to start one I’d probably jump in on the Kennedy Street NW emergence, or else Park view maybe. Obviously H St is in play. But anything west of 14th just isn’t the place to be for this.

  • Kranzmc

    It’s the “Arlingtonification” of nightlife in DC.

    DuPont used to be cool until the bridge and tunnel crowd found it.

    Now U St. is going through the same experience.

    The City dwellers looking for unique experiences are moving North and East.

    When you’re content living in a soulless suburb you’re content with being fed the same dogfood of nightlife options.

    • huh?

      “bridge and tunnel crowd”

      You can tell who is a transplant because nobody from around here uses that phrase.

      Just make sure you give the folks in Virginia a heads-up when you come across the river to place your kid in their public school system.

      • Old School

        So silly to move someplace and then try to divide people over a lame generalization.
        First, DuPont is a chemical company. Dupont Circle is in NW.
        I’ve been going over the ‘bridge’ to Dupont and P street (12 Inch Dance Records!) since high school in the 80’s.
        I’m also old enough to know there was a ‘Georgetownication’ of Arlington well before this laughable ‘Arlingtonifcation’ of nightlife in DC.
        I’m not going to disparage transplants, just show some respect.

    • huh?

      Wasn’t it a big deal when Denny’s opened in Northeast?

  • Dupont is boring

    I had my first birthday party as a DC resident at Science Club in Dec 2008. I lived in Dupont was a bit ignorant to anything east of 17th street (not that 14th or U street was that hopping, I think only Marvin was at 14th&U at that time). But, I haven’t been back since. Nothing personal about Science club, its just in a no mans land of ‘cool bars’ and no one is going out in Dupont anymore (Except for the mentioned frat bros).

    • Pontor

      Why do newcomers always say not much was happening on U Street in the late 2000s? U Street has had a large concentration of clubs and bars for decades now.

      • divebar311

        When I moved here in July 2003 the only club I could remember in the U Street area was Republic Gardens, HR-57, Bohemian Caverns (does that count as a club) and whatever Tap & Parlour’s former name was. I think Pure opened a few years later.

        • Pontor

          I moved here a few years before that and there was quite a jazz scene and clubs. I just always remember U Street being a nightlife destination. What has changed is it’s gone upscale and whiter.

  • divebar311

    I agree to some extent, DC has turned a bit cookie cutter. But similar to what others have commented I think Dupont, and to a lesser extent Adams Morgan are no longer the IT neighborhoods as both were for decades. Georgetown is definitely trying to become more competitive and bring people back to M and the waterfront but Dupont is losing more retail and entertainment as U, 14th and H are dominating the nightlife scene here and offer a more diverse range of options. If anything Dupont is pretty cookie cutter in terms of nightlife options: bars: Irish Whiskey, Rumors, Mackey’s, Madhatter, Sign of the Whale, Front Page – all pretty much offer the same scene, music and smell. Same with the clubs/lounges (Midtown, Rosebar, etc), no real variety.

    Also, people’s tastes change, 5-7 years from now many of these places on U, 14th, H, Shaw may change ownership, close or relocate to the next hot neighborhood.

  • Anonymouse

    I don’t really understand the logic. If science club never really attracted the hordes of basics who come to the area to party, then has all much really changed? It failed to attract a steady nightlife clientele then and struggles now. Maybe science club was trying to attract a clientele that was never really there to begin with, and it was just a matter of poor choice of location.

    • Glen

      Yep I agree! Also, just because one neighborhood is cookie cutter, it doesn’t represent the entire CITY.

  • KBO

    Millennials are a whole DIVERSE generation. No way they take all of the blame. I do see where he was trying to go here though, no matter how badly worded. Anyone who disagrees with the fact that DC has indeed changed quickly and drastically is fooling themselves. Natives and loooooong time residents notice more of how the uniqueness of DC is indeed changing but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s still unique just in a different way, if that makes sense. At the end of the day, they are losing something near and dear to their heart because of the way neighborhoods are changing…he can be hurt and express that…even if done poorly :(

  • ParkViewneighbor

    Evolution my friends. It’s science right ? You either adapt or disappear. You did not adapt, ergo….

  • Duponter

    I am not a millennial and have always thought Science Club was terrible.

    • Duponter

      Oh, and having lived in DC for nearly 20 years, I can assure you the crowd in South Dupont has always been largely frat boy d-bags and girls in stilettos. Hi, Rumors. Sign of the Whale. Mad Hatter. I mean, give me a break.

  • stacksp

    Whats wrong with girls in stilletos by the way?

    • anon

      inebriation + gravity

    • skj84

      Maybe he’s just jealous he can’t rock a pair of 4 inch heels. Also since when do just millennial wear stilettos. I seem to remember them going mainstream via “Sex and The City”. A series that debuted 18 years ago.

      • ***

        Doesn’t that make it retro-cool now? I mean we already did 90’s grunge again, so it’s time for Y2K trends to hit again.

      • Anon

        I think you’re taking this too literally. Carrie et al were definitely the millennial cohort of their time.

        • skj84

          I felt his phrasing was coming off as “ew millennial chicks and their heels” as if it was a new thing we just started doing. When in reality super high highs have been in vogue for almost 20 years. Its semantics, but the attitude rubbed me the wrong way. Also it kinda came off in a condescending manner like the only women who wear stilettos are obviously braindead sluts with no personality.

  • turtwigs

    Take a shot for every time somebody generalizes millennials!

    I was born at GW Hospital in 1990. I have lived in DC all 25 years of my life, sans a four-year high school stint in North Arlington. I am proud of my free-thinking and inspired generation. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Bud Light in my life nor do I listen to top 40 (although the owners may dislike me all the same as I listen to NPR on my walk to and from work) and appreciate a bar or restaurant that tries to stand out from the crowd.

    I have never been to this bar although I’ve passed it many times. Times change and people do too. In fact, my grandmother who has lived in DC since she was born in 1948, would shake her fist at these owners and call them “silly” for thinking their bar would last longer than it did in arguably the most transient section of our entire city.

    I think there is a great influx of people into this city who care for it and admire it nearly as much as you or I do. I just think it’s a shame that generation after generation blames those who come before AND after it. Accountability is not exactly a known American trait… Now, I suppose, it is my turn to ‘digress.’

    • huh?

      why didn’t you go to high school in DC?

      • turtwigs

        Irrelevant to anything other than family matters. Separated parents, angst-y teen who wanted to try living at dads, etc.

    • eggs

      Awwwww come on now you’ve definitely had a Bud Light at some point in your life! What cheap crappy beer did you drink in high school and college then? Because Miller and Coors are the same thing lol.

      • turtwigs

        Haha! I was always much more into the crappy malt beverages. Smirnoff Ice, Mike’s Hard, etc. Yes, I was /that/ guy at the party.

        • eggs

          I’m thinking more of the parties where you showed up and drank what was offered – and Smirnoff/Mike’s was WAY too expensive for that sort of thing!

  • JohnSmith

    I was having a similar conversation with someone about food options in DC, which I think is applicable to this post. I remarked that there were very few established, local, passed generation to generation restaurants in DC. And similar to Science Club, those that try to preserve their identity often struggle. All of the new restaurants/ bars that pop up are only interested in being the next “it” place, with 2 week long reservation list. I get dragged to the “it” placed by my fiance and I’m unimpressed consistently. Its a shame that establishments with character and history can’t survive but unless people choose to support these types of places instead of the next “it” place, they’ll keep going out of business.

    • huh?

      Such places exist, but are more likely to be found in the suburbs.

    • ***

      Honestly, I don’t think this is DC specific problem. Every one of my old watering holes in LA (kitsch dive bars) have all closed / re-positioned as generically hip artisanal craft cocktail bars with the same “curated” menu. There is no there there – as the saying goes.

      • John Brandis

        lol, funny. I laugh at all this.

        If PJ Harvey came to Petworth the end of the song would refrain “They’re Gonna Put A Rooftop bar here…”

        The identity of DC is a whole lot more then some stupid nightlife scene where big money backers spend even more money on a protracted PR campaign to entice lame transplants to come to their bar and buy $20 fried chicken and $12 Moscow Mules so they can post them to their instagram.

        • Anon

          And The Community of Hope
          The Community of Hope
          The Community of Hope
          The Community of Hope, hope, hope, hope

          They’re gonna put a Pop-up here
          They’re gonna put a Pop-up here
          They’re gonna put a Pop-up here…

  • HistoricANA

    I would like to start a petition for all these businesses closing in NW and NE because of a drop in clientele or rising rents to seriously consider coming EoTR… I see all my neighbors at Navy Yard, Barracks Row and Cap Hill – no doubt in my mind a serious bar/restaurant would flourish in Historic Anacostia.

  • Anon

    Man, that area hasn’t had good clubs since Cagneys, Whispers and Bradshaws closed…

    • SassyinDC

      Don’t forget classy at Clancy’s. Hillcrest Gentlemen’s Association, can thank me for plugging that old gem.

      • figby

        Can I hear a shout for Carmichael’s?

  • KM

    I have a hard time being sympathetic towards this place. I work at a nearby animal welfare nonprofit, where I was first an intern five years ago and was introduced to SC. Many of my coworkers then and now were/are vegans (I’m not) who loved this place because of their awesome food. We went there about once a week for happy hour and racked up quite a bill. When they decided to add meat to the menu, they did away with many of their most popular vegan items (vegan aioli for one), alienating many of my coworkers who were a core crowd. The lack of draft beer was also an issue for me. Perhaps stop blaming your customers and consider how you could have retained more.

  • AnonAnon

    Let me be direct.
    For a place called science club, it was nowhere near “science” enough for me. I am not surprised they ultimately closed. Considering the large number of people with science backgrounds, it could have been a more intellectual space. Instead it was just another bar with music which was blaring way to loud (every single time). The adult bar thing does have a crowd here in DC, instead they had lost an opportunity to be unique place for interesting adult conversations and potential smaller lectures. Instead they had bad DJs and loud music.

    • Doc

      It was actually much more science-y when it first opened, but then I think they toned it down some.

      I think another aspect of this is convenience. When I moved to DC there were 3 1/2 “safe” neighborhoods to go out in that actually had a variety of bars within walking distance of each other (Dupont, Adams Morgan, Georgetown and U St, with U St being questionable).

      Now there are lots of such neighborhoods. If you live in Petworth or H Street, you probably don’t go to Dupont on the regular. So now you have roughly the same number of bar goers spread out over many more square miles of bars.

      • AnonAnon

        Yeah, when I first moved here, going to Dupont/U St/Adams Morgan was a thing. Now I just do more stuff in the neighborhoods close to where I live, partially because there is more to do in those places. DC does have substaintially more people, so it’s not the same sized crowd in DC, it’s much larger. But people do not have to travel as far because if they live west of the river, or in Arlington, Alexandria, DT Silver Spring, or Takoma Park, there is probably something in their neighborhood to go to. Things have spread out considerably. This has made the golden triangle and Dupont a bit more of a dead zone. Adams Morgan and U St though remain vibrant, and H St is now that borderline area like U St used to be…

  • Kevin Millenial

    Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when the generation starts and ends; most researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to around 2000.

    If you can’t appeal to the biggest 2 decades that are out at bars, then maybe the bar business isn’t for you. Plenty of non-“Top 40 hits” places are thriving…

  • You want a pat on the back or something? There’s no shortage of great bars in this city who do very well without playing Top 40 hits and serving Bud Light. The fact that you couldn’t adjust to what people wanted (hint: it’s really not what you think it is) says more about you than them, and this post is significantly more obnoxious than the millennials it bashes.

    • Fred McGriff Name Riff

      I like this comment. This is a good comment.

    • CD

      best comment, thanks

  • TJ

    “The Golden Triangle/South Dupont just isn’t the same nightlife hub it used to be.”

    It has been a business district devoid of much soul or spark for the 25 years I’ve been in Washington. It is a place for clubs that need to be located in a dead-at-night business district because they would otherwise annoy the people who live nearby; a magnet for people not from the city looking for a city experience; and a place for tourist-grade food and expense account dinners where cost and quality know no connection.

    Glad you tried to stand out there, but….Location, location, location.

  • Fred McGriff Name Riff

    I think this sentiment falls into a contrarian attitude expressed often by both Gen X’ers and Millenials; things like “Bud Light, Beyonce, and Kesha” aren’t hip because a lot of people likes those things. “Tribal Melodies” and “NuDisco” are obscure, and are therefore cool.

    Reminds me of a type of person who will go out of their way to say that they don’t understand a pop-cultural reference because they don’t watch TV and only listen to NPR. It doesn’t make you hip, it makes you sound culturally illiterate and pompous.

    To quote the Dude, “you’re not wrong Walter, you’re just an asshole.”

    • Yeah, the cool kids don’t need to tell you about how cool they are.

      • Anon

        Pot, is that you?

    • skj84

      nailed it! Totally insufferable in their quest to prove they are better than the rest of the Philistines.

  • Anonymous

    Their original clientele grew up, had kids, and moved to Petworth, Brookland, or completely left the city.
    Add in the fact that the Dupont area is no longer the nightlife destination that it was even back in 2008-2009 and I can see why things have gone poorly for them. They thrived off a captive audience.
    They needed to close down and follow their crowd. The money they pay in rent would go a lot father in Mount Pleasant, Petworth, etc.

  • Bonesy

    Tony or as he introduces himself, Sean, has little credit when speaking about Science Club, its’ history, and the neighborhood. I was a bartender when he trained as a barback in Spring 2012. The “6 years or so” he mentions is actually just under 4 years. Steve and his partners opened for business in December 2005, I started working shortly after in February 2006, and left in the Summer 2012. When I talk about my time spent at Science Club, I can honestly say 6 years or so…

    Science Club has always been big during happy hour and a destination night spot. Nobody lives down there, and it’s surrounded by bar crawl central Rumors and Mackey’s. We always capitalized on the happy hour office crowd and tried to connect it with the independent night life. There was always a dead spot between the two cultures, almost a wash and repeat kinda feeling. Saturday nights would be a ghost town till 10pm at the earliest, but would explode and become high volume throughout the peak hours. In 2006 H street was Rock n Roll Hotel and nothing else, 14th street had just begun to explode. It was hard keeping up with the changing times of the city and the trend of nightlife hotspots moving east. Science Club in its day was packed and a hot spot. When Sean started working at SC it was the beginning of the end. Talk to some of the old crew that helped to open science and not this guy who really doesn’t have a clue what SC was all about. It’s kind of sad that Sean’s letter to Popville was published and is the last impression of SC. He has it all wrong, the downfall had been a long time in the making.

  • Teena

    Science Club was awesome. It was a great spot. I was employed at Science Club when it was doing really well and this guy was not around. Sean AKA Tony was not employed at Science Club more than 3 years and became a manager 2 years ago after he spent a year as a barback/lunch bartender (did anyone know they were opened for lunch?). He was only there at the end after one of the managing partners decided to leave the business and by default because he had a ABRA Managers license, became a “manager”. The neighborhood changed, plain and simple and SC was just not a fit for the area anymore. As many have said, SC would probably do fine in another neighborhood but Dupont Circle/ West End where SC is located is not a nightclub destination or dining destination. Its a ghost town. SC had a great 10 year run and the owner should be so proud. Sean AKA Tony who took it upon himself to speak for the owner should focus on finding a new job..

  • Aisha

    Do well in another neighborhood? Just move? You all don’t understand commericial leasing.

    You say that as if it’s that simple. It’s not like renting an apartment and you just give 30day notice.

  • anon2

    wahhhhhh it’s all millennials’ fault… cry me a river

  • anon2


  • CD

    lol at people disparaging millenials and blaming them for their problems… I’ve heard the cliché 10 million times, because of course scapegoating is easy.
    Maybe Science became too comfortable with their “family” and never attempted to reach out. I’ve been in the city for 10 years, living in Dupont, and never heard of it.

  • Millennial

    What the hell is the Golden Triangle?

  • MarkQ

    I reserve my eyerolls for the notion that pre-gentrification DC was only Dupont and Georgetown. DC was a
    *blast* back in the day when I first got to town (late 80s early 90s).Downtown had the popping bottles fancy clubs, there was the emergence of U Street, you had the warehouse dance clubs in SE, go-go joints up Ga. Avenue, dive bar scenes in Adams Morgan, Capitol Hill, Clarendon,South Arlington and Mt. Pleasant, underground clubs in close in PG; 14th street was moribund yes but the Black Cat was around and I recall more than one night of hitting up somebody’s nearby group house after a concert, partying on front porches and stoops late into the night…and yes Georgetown and DuPont were “preppy” and “gay” respectively. There was something for everyone really. But hey, times marches on. If the millennials or anybody else want Bud Light and Top 40, more power to the business that can meet the needs of that market. No need to whine about.

  • jim_ed

    I hate to break it to this dude but Golden Triangle has been a place for people in their early 20s to get embarrassingly drunk on cheap beer for nearly two decades. FFS – Rumors, Porters (RIP), LuLu’s (probably for the best its gone), Sign of the Whale, etc etc etc. And among the dozen or so times I’ve been to Science Club the crowd was basically the same as everywhere else down there. Sorry it didn’t work out, but the most “millenial” thing about this closing is the petulant whining and complete lack of ownership of responsibility for failure. I get it, it sucks your business is closing, but don’t go all Back Alley Waffles on us, and maybe keep some dignity in this tough time.


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