Post by GayCities Washington, DC, editor Scott Wallis
From the surface, an out-of-towner may not be able to tell that the nation’s capital regularly offers up myriad gay nightlife choices. Washington, DC is surprisingly vibrant and diverse when it comes to LGBT events, and because most of our venues are relatively close together, bar hopping is a definite possibility on the ultimate party night of the year–New Year’s Eve.
Ready to pop your cork? Here we go…
Starting on the storied gayborhood of 17th Street, N.W., the Cobalt / 30 Degrees complex is taking on both the girls and the boys with DJ Drew G on one level spinning the hottest house and dance remixes and DJ Rosie on another with hip hop and Top 40. ($15 for Early VIP admission at 9pm which includes hor d’oeuvres and $10 for the general admission, starting at 10pm.) It’s easy to make a night of it there and never have to brave the cold; the ground level features Level One, an award winning restaurant.
A quick few steps away, J.R.’s Bar & Grill (note that the grill is long gone, so don’t expect to eat…food) has no cover and it will be counting down the Top 10 comedy sketches and music videos of 2010 as well as featuring it’s annual cash and free drink ticket balloon drop at midnight.
Jump in a cab and head to the spacious Town Danceboutique where the DJ duo BacK2bACk will take over the first floor and club owner Ed Bailey spins upstairs. Performances include Town’s very own X-Faction dance team and the Ladies of Town will add Tatianna from RuPaul’s Drag Race to their regular show. ($20 to enjoy all the fun.), For the more sporty, head right across the street to Nellie’s Sports Bar, which will host DJ Wesley in the tent on the roof with a New Year’s Eve ball drop. We’re intrigued.
Way across town (you’ll need a cab or to call the club’s Black Car Service), the Ziegfeld’s & Secrets building will feature Ella Fitzgerald and her Ladies of Illusion downstairs, the boys will be VERY naked upstairs while DJ Spyke and DJ Steve Henderson spin all the hot tunes of 2010. Like J.R.’s, there will be cash balloons dropped at midnight at Z/S, and everyone gets their very own champagne split–instead of just a measly little glass. (Commentary: I was at Z/S last New Year’s Eve and had a blast with my friends. But I’m not doing a commercial; trying hard to stay impartial.)
If you like it a little darker and/or lowkey, the Green Lantern will be offering up a $15 ‘All-U-Can-Drink Smirnoff Buffet after 11:00pm. And for the leather and Levi set, the DC Eagle will be keeping it relatively tame (at least officially!) with a beer blast and coverage of the Times Square ball drop.
If you are a country boy or girl with a mask, Remington’s is hosting a Masquerade Ball for $10, and you can belt out karaoke tunes until your voice gives out!
Take a journey across the river to Arlington, Virginia for Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant‘s New Year’s Eve performaces by RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Jujubee, hosted by Destiny B. Childs. DJ Eric Evans will be spinning the tunes when the drag queens are a changin’ and an appetizer buffet will keep you drinking. ($30 for the evening.)
And the corks keep popping…
At the back alley entranced Omega (not as seedy as it might seem from the outside), there will be TWO midnight balloon drops of cash and drink tickets (this seems like a DC trend, y’all) and DJ Darryl Strickland will spin while the Men of Omega dance for your viewing pleasure. (Cover is $8.)
Just a hop, skip and a jump away is Apex, and they’re bringing in DJ 45Z to spin his dance-pop in the Main Hall and back in the East Wing Lounge. Look for Caliente’s Michael Brandon spinning Latin-pop. (It’s $15 for all night dancing and sweating, kids.)
Don’t want to be on your feet all night? Right across the street is the famed neighborhood institution that is the Fireplace. Along with the even more lowkey Larry’s Lounge, it might be the best place to hang with a cocktail and have a conversation or ten without all the NYE craziness.
And although ladies are welcome at all of the above, they might want to get all dressed up and head to the upscale Lace, get their photo taken on the red carpet, partake of the champagne fountain, lunge for cash in their own version of the balloon money drop at midnight, and enjoy a breakfast buffet before heading home. ($20)
But if the lesbian prefers it old-school, she can head over to Phase 1 and her 40th New Year’s Eve party. Can you believe it? They’re planning yet another balloon drop, and, like her sister property, Z/S, ladies each get a champagne split. DJ Boom Boom Laroux will be spinning. ($10 gets you in the door.)
Check out the full GayCities guide to fabulous Washington, D.C., edited by Scott Wallis
Photo by guyburns