News & Politics

As Nation Closes, Club Crowd Goes Out to Play

On July 16, Nation will close to make way for DC’s new baseball stadium.

Nation has long been one of DC’s largest clubs. The three-level venue in Southeast DC put Washington on the international club map, attracting live music acts like Prince, David Bowie, and Eminem and DJs including Paul Oakenfold and Tiesto.

On July 16, the club will close to make way for DC’s new baseball stadium. Along with last falls’s closing of Red, one of the city’s most intimate dance clubs, it seems to signal the end of a nightlife era.

Where will crowds flock next?

“I think you’ll see most of the older crowd going to smaller venues where they can let loose a little more,” says Sherif Abdalla, who (with Tony Hudgins and Michael Kosmides) co-owns Play Lounge, which opened on Connecticut Avenue in October.

With a capacity of about 250, Play represents a class of more intimate nightclubs. Abdalla predicts, “You’ll start seeing more places the size of Play opening up.”

Not far from Play, Red’s old space south of Dupont Circle has been revamped into Fly Lounge, with an interior styled after an airplane cabin. The club opened in May and, with its cozy 150-person capacity, usually has a line outside.

The promoters for one of Nation’s most popular parties, Friday night’s Cubik, will be shopping for a new permanent home and expect fans to follow. “We would like to continue to do Friday nights,” says Amanda Huie of Buzzlife Productions.

After a final July 14 blowout at Nation, Buzzlife plans to host a series of special events at different venues. “We’re going to do more intimate things at first,” she says.