News & Politics

The Kennedy Center Is Turning Its Rooftop Into A Club—And People Are Stoked

"Felony VIP Cabanas" cost $1,000 apiece. Tickets for opening weekend apparently sold out in 15 minutes.

DC's Kennedy Center. Photo courtesy of iStock.

The Kennedy Center is launching a pop-up nightclub/restaurant on its rooftop, bottle service and all. And people seem….extremely excited. When tickets for the opening night went on sale this morning, they sold out in 15 minutes, according to the club’s Instagram.

Kennedy Center is partnering with the entertainment company who used to run HEIST, an underground club in Dupont, for the rooftop club, which they’re calling HEIST x Kennedy Center. Tables for the opening night—this Saturday, October 3—went for $240 to $380 apiece. “Infraction VIP Cabanas” went for $500 apiece; “Misdemeanor VIP Cabanas” went for $750; and “Felony VIP Cabanas” went for $1,000 each.

There are 40 tables, and 20 cabanas, and 6 people are allowed at each, which means that at full capacity, the club will open its doors to more than 350 people. And that means that this Saturday night at Heist could be one of the largest entertainment events the city has seen since March.

The club plans to be open every Saturday from 8 PM to 12 AM, with tickets sold in advance. There won’t be live music, but there will be DJ-curated playlists.

Despite the cabana names, the venue is touting Heist as a “grand, socially responsible experiment.” And there will indeed be temperature checks and socially-distanced table spacing, among other safety measures, according to a spokesperson. 

But wait—are nightclubs even allowed under our current Covid guidelines?

Sort of. Mayor Bowser has launched an entertainment pilot program for the month of October, which will allow six venues to open for 50 people max. Heist isn’t part of that program. But since all patrons will be seated, food will be served, and there won’t be any live entertainment (a DJ playlist, as opposed to a DJ playing), a spokesperson for the club says it’s following all DC requirements for Phase 2 outdoor food operations.


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Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.