News & Politics

DC Nightclub Patrons Shouldn’t Notice Major Security Changes This Weekend

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Nightclub patrons shouldn’t expect to notice any significant increase in security measures in area hospitality venues this weekend, despite last weekend’s mass shooting in Orlando.

Living in the nation’s capital comes with the benefit of constant awareness, says Mark Lee, the executive director of the DC Nightlife Hospitality Association. He said safety is an issue that clubs, restaurants, and other nightlife venues are continually addressing.

“In Washington, because we’re always presumed to be a target, the security preparedness is always high and on everyone’s mind,” he said. “Conversations about best practices and new approaches and innovations in operations management and security awareness are ongoing.”

However, there will be a refocus on safety tactics already in place, which may include additional training sessions for security personnel and reviews of emergency plans, said Lee.

Most of these efforts will continue to be discrete to patrons.

“There may be a heightened sensitivity to inspecting bags or backpacks. In that regard, we ask for the public’s patience and understanding.”

Several gay clubs and bars, such as Freddie’s Beach Bar in Arlington, have already banned backpacks.

However, Lee said club-goers should continue to act as they would on any night out on the town.

“There’s not really a sense that there is any credible or imminent threat locally. We assume we have to be on guard about safety all the time, as we would encourage our patrons to be”

Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to the “DC Nightlife Hospitality Association” as the “DC Hospitality Association.” 

Marisa H. Dunn
Editorial Fellow