Washington DC’s last remaining gay bathhouse to close this week

Adult entertainer Dolf Dietrich will perform at the closing night of The Crew Club in Washington DC
Dolf Dietrich will perform at the closing night of The Crew Club in Washington DC (Photo: @dolfdietrich | Instagram)

The last remaining gay bathhouse in Washington DC is set to close this week. The Crew Club in Logan Circle has been running as a gym and sauna for the past 25 years. However, it will host a closing down party this Saturday night (February 29, 2020), before shutting its doors for good.

Last month it was revealed that the owners had sold the property to a real estate development firm. Although the sale was arranged back in 2016, the sale was due to complete only this year.

The venue was founded and run by husbands DC Allen, 63, and Ken Flick, 70. They rented the building for the first eight years of the Crew Club’s trading and then bought the property in 2003.

Allen told the Washington Blade that he and his husband had decided to retire, and said he’d been made an offer that was too good to refuse.

The Crew Club
The Crew Club

“We sold the building four years ago at the height of the market and we were trying to work out a lease-back program but it just didn’t seem to be working the way I thought would be a profitable thing to do,” Allen said.

“And the building was worth a lot more than the business,” he said. “So it wasn’t feasible. All that would be left after the building sale is just the name and people don’t want to buy just the name.

“And also, my husband is not feeling particularly well and I have had some health problems,” Allen said. “So I thought it was really time for us to retire. And frankly, I’ve had a really good run for 25 years.”

It’s believed they bought the building for around $2million in 2003 and it’s now worth around $5million.

Related: Washington DC gay bars

Another bathhouse in Washington DC, the Glorious Health Club, was closed in March 2019. The D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs closed the club because its building had multiple building code violations. Its owners have vowed to reopen at some point, but almost a year down the line, they have yet to announce a reopening date.

This Saturday’s closing party of the Crew Club is likely to be extremely busy. The event, which kicks off at 11pm, will feature four adult entertainment performers: Boomer Banks, Dolf Dietrich, Elijah Wilde, and DeAngelo Jackson. Music will come from DJs Lemz and Aaron Riggins.

“I’m honored they chose me to host on their final night after 25 years of service to the gay community,” Diterich told GayCities. “Sex clubs and bathhouses are becoming fewer and fewer and we need places where we can celebrate and explore our sexuality.”

Related: Are bathhouses about to make a comeback?

In a message posted to Facebook, Allen and Flick said: “Thank you for 25 years of love, support, patronage and community. On February 29, 2020, The Crew Club will close its doors. This was a heart-wrenching decision for us.

“It’s been an honor serving the DC community. Our true measure of success and joy was not from any financial reward, but came from a love for this community, the opportunity to offer a safe and liberating space to our membership, and the ability to provide employment to our loyal and hardworking staff.”