As nightlife ramps back up, DC’s LGBTQ+ bar scene is expanding. A quick look at three new spots to check out:
500 Eighth St., SE
The space: This Barracks Row establishment has two levels: a rowdier upstairs for drinking and dancing and a casual cafe and lounge below.
The vibe: The place is decked out with pretty standard bar decor, and the owners—two former bartenders opening a place of their own—want customers to create a vibe organically.
915 U St., NW
The space: Keaton Fedak used to be the manager of Dirty Goose, the gay bar next door. In January, he opened this competing club, which has a pair of dance areas and weekly drag shows.
The vibe: During a recent visit, customers packed the dance floors, Britney Spears’s “Till The World Ends” rocked the sound system, and Mean Girls unfolded silently on the TVs.
1520 U St., NW
The space: Modeled on European coffeehouses, it’s a small, low-key cafe with a menu of well-crafted cocktails and snacks.
The vibe: The owner named it after the Scottish word for “light,” and sure enough, the gold-and-wood decor makes the room glow. A different kind of warm feeling comes from the impressive collection of sensual artwork on display.