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The handsome bar fills a neighborhood void with hearty burgers and beers under $5 By Sarah Zlotnick

With rugged, stripped-down decor and hearty bar fare, Boundary Stone is quickly becoming a go-to Bloomingdale hangout. Photographs by Kyle Gustafson

According to Boundary Stone owner Gareth Croke, an Irish town is built around two things: the church and the pub. If the church nourishes the soul, then the neighborhood bar feeds the heart. It’s the center of social interaction, the place where people come together. Save Rustik Tavern and Big Bear Cafe, residents of DC’s Bloomingdale neighborhood (of which this writer is one) have precious few places that fill this role. But, as the old adage goes, if you build it, they will come. And they are coming in droves to Boundary Stone, the handsome new bar at First and Rhode Island.

Two sets of brothers run the place—Gareth and Matt Croke, and Colin and Peter McDonough. Colin and Gareth first bonded over an Eagles game at an Adams Morgan bar several years ago. Gareth, a naturalized American who comes from a long line of Irish hospitality workers, tossed around the idea of opening a neighborhood pub in Bloomingdale (he lives a few blocks away, as do the McDonoughs) with his new friend, and the concept stuck. The duo brought their brothers on board, settled on the old Sylvan Theater building, and opened their home-away-from-home on September 28.

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Posted at 03:13 PM/ET, 10/19/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The charity attracted some big local names during a night of Shangri-La-inspired food and drinks. By Carrie Schedler

Photographs by Rena Schild

 What: CharityWorks 2011 Dream Ball: The Road to Shangri-La

Where: National Building Museum

When: October 15, 2011

Tickets: $500 and up

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Posted at 03:19 PM/ET, 10/17/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The gala honored military heroes and USO volunteers, with some appearances by national celebrities By Ali Eaves

Photograph by Rena Schild

Slideshow: 2011 USO Gala 

What: 2011 USO Gala

Where: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

When:
October 6, 2011

Tickets:
$1,000

Who:
Miss USA Alyssa Campanella, who had just seen the Washington Monument and Capital Hill for the first time, graced the red carpet in a fire-engine red gown. Several press photographers left after she gave sultry over-the-shoulder poses, snubbing comedian and emcee Carlos Mencia and NBA Hall-of-Famer Karl Malone, who just got back from a USO tour. At six-foot-nine, Malone was taller than the photo backdrop. The definitive darling of the red carpet was 4-year-old Elaine Bixler, Corporal David J. Bixler’s daughter, who stole the show in a satin pink rosette dress.

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Posted at 03:13 PM/ET, 10/07/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
President Barack Obama took time out from his wedding anniversary to help raise some money for one of the best-known gay rights organizations By Carrie Schedler

Photograph by Jeff Martin

 What: 15th Annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner
Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center
When: October 1, 2011
Tickets: $275 and up
Who: Well, President Barack Obama was there, which meant both a buzzing crowd and a 40-minute security wait at check-in. Though the President only stayed for his speech (it was, after all, his and Michelle’s wedding anniversary), there were plenty of big names on hand to keep the audience’s attention. Walking the white carpet were Cyndi Lauper, the night’s headline performer, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his special surprise guest, Sarah Jessica Parker, Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, rugby player Ben Cohen, Betty DeGeneres (mother of talk-show host Ellen), singer Mika, and pre-teen YouTube phenom Greyson Chance.

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Posted at 12:05 PM/ET, 10/03/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The airline celebrates 15 years of service between Washington DC and London By Kyle Gustafson

DJ Solange Knowles. Photograph by Jeff Martin

Local celebrities—like former Real Housewife Catherine Ommanney and Paul Wharton—joined Senior Vice President of Virgin Atlantic North America Chris Rossi and a host of others at Lincoln last night as Virgin Atlantic celebrated 15 years of nonstop flights between DC and London. Music was provided by Solange Knowles and DJ Zenbi. Our photographer Jeff Martin was on hand to document the action.

Posted at 11:52 AM/ET, 09/28/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Attendees celebrated 40 years of Wolf Trap with a congo line and the “Ageless Wonder” By Sam Jewler, Brooke McEwen

After dinner at the 2011 Wolf Trap Ball, the crowd enjoyed the sounds of Sound Connection. Photograph by Jeff Martin

What: 2011 Wolf Trap Ball: Celebrating 40 Years
Where: The Filene Center at Wolf Trap
When: Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 7 PM
Tickets: $500 to $1,000

Who: Nine hundred Wolf Trap supporters from civil servants to corporate sponsors and other patrons of the arts showed up to help give the theater a record-breaking $1 million night of fundraising. President and CEO of Wolf Trap Terre Jones worked the crowd with a smile, greeting hundreds of guests at the door, dancing happily with his radiant wife and later joining a congo line with dozens of other party-goers. Redskins hall-of-famer and Wolf Trap Education spokesperson Darrell Green, known as the “Ageless Wonder” over his 20 NFL seasons, was on hand. Politicos in attendance included Virginia representative Frank Wolf, Ambassador of Iraq Samir Sumayda’ie and members of the Virginia state cabinet, senate, and house of delegates.

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Posted at 11:32 AM/ET, 09/20/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Dingy bathrooms and the scent of stale beer have given way to Bloody Marys in mason jars and pew-like benches By Anna Spiegel

With the weather cooling down and football season heating up, it’s the time of year to find a solid, sports-centric watering hole. We’ll throw one into the running with Mason Inn, a recently revamped bar taking over the old Gin & Tonic space in Glover Park.

Owner Fritz Brogan, who also has the Southern-themed Kitchen 2404 next door, decided that (like anyone else) G&T needed a facelift after three years of hardcore partying. The dive spot attracted a raucous college crowd ready to dance on weekends, but Brogan wanted to open the place up to the neighborhood. Dingy bathrooms and the scent of stale beer have given way to a welcoming, brick-walled saloon with plenty of tables and pew-like benches.

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Posted at 04:36 PM/ET, 09/16/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The gala, hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s National Chapter, was thin on hors d’oeuvres but earned $3,500 with a puppy at the auction By Carrie Schedler

What: The 33rd Annual Ambassador’s Ball, hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s National Capital chapter
Where: Ritz-Carlton, 1150 22nd St. NW
When: Wednesday, September 14, 6:30 PM
Tickets: $500

Who: A primarily political crowd was on hand. Lisa Collis and Amey Upton, the event’s co-chairs, attended with their respective husbands, Virginia senator Mark Warner and Michigan representative Fred Upton. Senators Kay Hagan and Johnny Isakson, along with representatives Barbara Lee and Kevin McCarthy, were all honored for their work on the Congressional MS Caucus. In addition to a slew of ambassadors, Dennis Kucinich sat at a table in the back corner of the ballroom with his wife, Elizabeth, while Senator Roy Blunt and representatives Henry Waxman and John Dingell circulated. Norah O’Donnell, CBS News’s chief White House correspondent, served as the evening’s emcee.

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Posted at 05:00 PM/ET, 09/15/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Last night local independent coffee shop favorites Chinatown Coffee and Big Bear Café battled it out to see who would be deemed the city’s best barista By Keith Lane, Kay Steiger

Chinatown Coffee Company challenged coffeehouse rival Big Bear Café to a latte art throwdown yesterday evening. The battle took place at Chinatown Coffee, and baristas were expected to meet a number of challenges—including making cups of joe with their eyes closed, putting together a latte while wearing competitor’s glasses, and other reality television-style hurdles. The event was also a fundraiser, and $200 was donated on behalf of the winning team to the DC Boys and Girls Club. In the end, Chinatown Coffee won the event. Next time, Big Bear. Next time.

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Posted at 04:41 PM/ET, 09/14/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Keeping track of when tickets go on sale, so you don’t have to By Melissa Romero

Daughtry will perform at the Patriot Center in November. Photograph courtesy of DaughtryOfficial.com

Daughtry will perform at Patriot Center in Fairfax on Saturday, November 12. Chris Daughtry, an American Idol season five finalist, fronts the rock band. Tickets ($89.50 to $139.50) go on sale Saturday at 10 AM through Ticketmaster.

The all-female ’80 band The Bangles comes to 9:30 Club on Thursday, October 6. The band is known for hits like “Manic Monday” and “Walk Like an Egyptian.” Tickets ($25) are on sale now through Ticketfly.

The Library of Congress’s season kicks off with Babalu!, an homage to Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The opening night show on October 15 will feature Lucie Arnaz, with guest artists Desi Arnaz, JR., Raul Esparza, and Valarie Pettiford. Babalu! salutes Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday and the 60th anniversary of I Love Lucy’s television premiere. Tickets (free) are on sale now through Ticketmaster.

State Radio
will perform at the 9:30 Club on Friday, November 25. The indie band is led by Chad Urmston, of the now-defunct band Dispatch. Tickets ($21) are on sale now through Ticketfly.

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Posted at 03:31 PM/ET, 09/07/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()