Tulum-Inspired Rooftop Lounge Brings “Jungle Party” to Union Market

Treehouse opens tonight with DJs and bottle service.

Photograph by Mynor Ventura.

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Treehouse. 411 New York Ave., NE.

Versus, the group behind scene-y DC spots like Ciel Social Club and Heist nightclub, is looking to bring the party energy of tourist hotspot Tulum to a Union Market rooftop. Their new lounge, Treehouse, opens tonight atop the Union Market Hotel with lush greenery, international DJs, and a “jungle room” with bottle service.

Versus founder and CEO Vinoda Basnayake says he’s been eyeing the Union Market area after a series of pop-up parties in the neighborhood. “We sell out in no time. There’s just so much demand. And the feedback we always get is: there aren’t enough late-night options in Union Market,” he says.

Basnayake’s career has spanned from tour manager for R&B star Jay Sean to a former lobbyist for foreign governments like Qatar. He was also an early investor in Georgetown celebrity hair salon Karma by Erwin Gomez, which is how he met developer Brook Rose, one of the owners of Union Market Hotel. Basnayake says the two had been talking about doing something together since Rose took over the hotel building, which housed Bolgiano Seed Company factory in the 1930s.

The talk of collaborating took a pause during the property’s short-lived run as Selina boutique hotel, targeting Millennial and Gen Z travelers. But Basnayake says the developer more recently reached out again about developing a concept that embraced the history of the seed factory. Hence Treehouse with its lush, green aesthetic and “jungle party vibe.”

Treehouse’s tacos comes with fillings like General Tso’s-style cauliflower or slow-braised beef brisket with spicy chimichurri. Photograph by Mynor Ventur.

The Mex-ish food menu includes ceviche tostadas and tacos with General Tso’s-style cauliflower or slow-braised brisket with spicy chimichurri. The cocktail list features margaritas with fermented corn syrup and a mojito riff with mint-infused rum and green chili liqueur.

Meanwhile, the “plush” lounge dubbed the “Jungle Room” acts more like a nightclub with bottle service. Local and international DJs will play house and electro beats on Fridays and Saturdays.

A leopard-spotted cocktail at Treehouse. Photograph by Mynor Ventur.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.