The 15th Street Tavern (623 15th Street) is an ideal spot for drinking on a weekday, as I was reminded last Thursday afternoon when I saw six guys and a gal sitting at the U-shaped bar, each with a pitcher of beer in front of them. It took me back a decade, to a night when I was drinking alone at this same bar, watching two ragged guys on one side talking to a ragged guy on the other, all trying to figure out the names of the Seven Dwarfs. The disheveled trio would get six of the little guys' names right, but that seventh one was a killer: "Okay, there's Dopey, Happy, Sleepy, Grumpy, Sneezy, Bashful. Who the hell is that seventh dwarf?"
This went on for a good 45 minutes or so. They'd get to six names and then start over again, bouncing the names across the bar. Finally, another fellow down the bar yelled, "It's Doc, you idiots." The three dwarf-obsessed guys raised their glasses and cheered. At last, the madness was over.
But then a minute later, one of them said, "Okay, who are the Three Wise Men?"
15th Street Tavern
Moments like these kept me coming back to the 15th Street Tavern again and again during the years I lived downtown. Moments like these, and the music, of course. I saw a ton of kick-ass bands on that stage and sat in on weekly jam sessions hosted by Scott Baxendale. Those were the days when gals like Karen Cuda (of Hemi Cuda) were slinging drinks. But even though the cast of characters changed, the bar was always a great place to hang out.
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So I was sorry to hear that on May 31, owners Jeneye and Myke Martinez were served notice that they have to vacate the space by the end of June. Turns out the building that houses the Tavern has been sold (with the Hyatt Regency across the street, the neighborhood is going upscale), and now the Martinezes are scrambling to find another spot for their bar — fast. It won't be easy, since there aren't any move-in-ready properties on their list of prospects, much less one located on 15th Street, which would let them keep the name. In the hopes that they're able to relocate, they're asking for donations to help defray moving costs — but in the event that donations aren't enough to keep the bar alive, the money will go to one hell of a goodbye party.
Club scout: Francois Baptiste and Alvin LaCabe, of 3 Deep Productions, just fired up Reggae on the Roof again, with DJ Chief Rocka spinning dancehall, reggae, hip-hop and R&B Thursdays at Vinyl (1082 Broadway). And on June 1, 3 Deep also kicked off Status, which flies on Fridays at DC 10 (940 Lincoln Street), with DJ Sabotage heading up the decks. With Status, they're going for a supersexy chic crowd, which translates to a strictly enforced dress code. That means no tennis shoes or T-shirts, guys. If you want something less ritzy but still classy, Plush just opened in the former home of Dizaly, at 2710 East Third Avenue. The interior has gotten a bit of a hip facelift, and the front windows open onto a huge patio, making this an ideal summer spot.
And speaking of huge patios, the Sutra Room just took over the patio of Left on Lincoln, at 1109 Lincoln Street. Actually, LOL is now officially part of Sutra, making this another good place to chill on summer days and nights, especially during the Sunday patio parties, which start at noon.