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Best of Gay D.C.: Nightlife

Town, Nellie’s and Freddie’s among favorites again this year

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Town Danceboutique, gay news, Washington Blade, Best of Gay D.C.

Best Dance Club: Town Danceboutique (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Dance Club: Town Danceboutique
2009 8th Street, NW

Karaoke, Freddie's Beach Bar and Grill, Washington Blade, gay news, Best of Gay D.C.

Best Karaoke Party: Freddie’s Beach Bar weeknights (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best non-D.C. bar & Best Karaoke Party: Freddie’s Beach Bar
555 23rd Street South
Arlington, VA

Nellie's Sports Bar, Washington Blade, gay news, Best of Gay D.C.

Best Happy Hour: Nellie’s Sports Bar (Washington Blade photo by Pete Exis)

Best Happy Hour: Nellie’s Sports Bar
900 U Street, NW

Ladies of Town, Ba'Naka, Shi-Queeta Lee, Lena Lett, Town Danceboutique, drag show, drag queen, Washington Blade, gay news, Best of Gay D.C.

Best Drag Show: Ladies of Town (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Drag Show: Ladies of Town

Black Cat, Washington Blade, gay news, Best of Gay D.C.

Best Gay-Friendly Straight Bar: Black Cat (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Gay-Friendly Straight Bar: The Black Cat
1811 14th Street, NW

Adam Lambert, 9:30 Club, gay news, Washington Blade, Best of Gay D.C.

Best Live Music: the 9:30 Club (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Live Music: 9:30 Club
815 V Street, NW

Washington Blade, gay news, Best of Gay D.C.

Best Stripper: Matthew King (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Hottest Stripper: Matthew King
Secrets
1824 Half Street, SW

BARE, LURe, Cobalt, Washington Blade, gay news, Best of Gay D.C.

Best Women’s Party: BARE by LURe at Cobalt (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Women’s Party & Best Place to Meet Women: BARe by LURe at Cobalt

Bare is a monthly lesbian event happening every third Saturday of the month, presented by the Ladies of LURe at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.), which celebrated its third anniversary this year.

Karen Diehl reached out to Cobalt about holding a party in early 2009, but it wasn’t until that August that things really got moving and two months later, Bare was born.

Bare also has an annual White Party and Pride kick-off party. They’re co-sponsoring “Queer the Vote,” an election night party at the Fillmore Silver Spring (8658 Colesville Rd.)

For more information on Bare and the Ladies of LURe, find the group on Facebook. (JE)

Bare
Cobalt
1639 R St., N.W.

Best Neighborhood Bar: Larry’s Lounge

Upstairs, downstairs or on the patio, it doesn’t matter where you sit, Larry’s Lounge is still our favorite neighborhood bar where you can comfortably get together with a group of friends, relax and have a drink. And when the weather is nice, the patio offers great opportunities to people and traffic watch.

Almost every night, Larry’s offers drink specials on already low drink prices. Most nights you can grab an Absolut for about $5. This low-key establishment opens its doors to everybody for either a quick drink or a night relaxing with friends. (JH)

Larry’s Lounge
1836 18th Street NW
202-483-1483

Best Men’s Party: Mixtape

For anyone who hasn’t danced the night away to one of their eclectic set lists, Mixtape is the gay and straight-friendly alternative dance party that is taking D.C. by storm. The monthly dance party generally takes place on the second Saturday of each month. It’s hosted by gay DJs Shea Van Horn and Matt Bailer.

Bailer and Van Horn play an eclectic mix of electro, alt-pop, indie rock, house, disco, new wave and anything else audiences want to dance to. Set lists and samplers are available on their website.

Their nomadic queer dance party has been venue hopping all over D.C. since September 2008. In recent months, they’ve been spending a lot of time at Town and The Black Cat, but they’ll be mixing things up for Halloween. They’re hosting a spooky Mixtape Halloween Party at the historic Howard Theatre. Van Horn invites audiences to party with them in their slutty new costumes. (BTC)

Mixtape

Blue Moon, Rehoboth, Washington Blade, gay news, Best of Gay D.C.

Best Rehoboth Bar: Blue Moon (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Rehoboth Restaurant & Best Rehoboth Bar: Blue Moon

Celebrating 30 years in business, the Blue Moon is the cornerstone of Baltimore Avenue. The restaurant — under the direction of chef Lion Gardner — continues to deliver innovative and award-winning cuisine, like Maine lobster spaghetti and wild boar bolognese. Dinner is served daily starting at 5:30 p.m. and there’s a popular Sunday brunch served from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. For a real deal, don’t miss Tasting Tuesdays when Blue Moon offers three courses, each paired with wine, for just $40.

After dinner, head over to the Blue Moon’s bar side and grab one for the road. The friendly staff and regular lineup of live entertainment always make for a fun night out. The fabulous Pamala Stanley has already announced plans to return for the 2013 season; she performs Sundays through Thursdays during the summer and her Sunday show is always a raucous dance party to close out the weekend. The fabulous Mona Lotts hosts “Karaoke and Martinis with Mona” on Thursday nights through the fall. (KN)

Blue Moon
35 Baltimore Ave.
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

Duplex Diner, Washington Blade, gay news, Best of Gay D.C.

Best Place to Meet Men: Duplex Diner (Washington Blade photo by Pete Exis)

Best Place to Meet Men: Duplex Diner

Might have something to do with the strong drinks and the tight bar space, or maybe it’s the comforting effect of meatloaf like mom used to make. Whatever the reason, Blade readers say Duplex Diner is the best place to meet men.

One of the anchor establishments of lower Adams Morgan, Duplex Diner has consistently attracted gay and lesbian patrons and their friends since it opened almost 15 years ago. With its laid back décor, the space says casual, but that fancy chandelier screams this isn’t your ordinary diner. The photo booth en route to the Madonna-themed restroom reiterates the point. And despite a change of ownership several years ago, the popular restaurant is still going strong.

In addition to good drinks and reasonably priced food, the diner boasts consistent bartenders, friendly servers and a cute crowd. Undoubtedly Thursdays — the diner’s big social night when the place is packed with men — is an excellent time for meeting new friends.  (PF)

Duplex Diner
2004 18th Street, NW
202-265-7828

Bear Happy Hour, D.C. Bear Crue, Town Danceboutique, Washington Blade, gay news, Best of Gay D.C.

Best Alternative Party: D.C. Bear Crue Bear Happy Hour at Town (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Alternative Party: D.C. Bear Crue Happy Hour at Town

Once a week, Town attracts a slightly different crowd: It’s a bit older and a lot scruffier. Beckoned by the promise of cheap beer, no attitude and hairy men, they show up for the popular D.C. Bear Crue Happy Hour, each Friday from 6-11 p.m.

At Town’s bear happy hour, these scruffy guys (also known as bears, otters and cubs) and their admirers chat, eat free pizza, imbibe $7 pitchers, and later in the evening when DJ Christian Gerard turns up the volume, they even dance (yes, dancing bears). There are theme nights and guest performers.

D.C. Bear Crue is the brainchild of Nicholas Baatz, a former Marine who is known on the bear scene as Charger Stone. In addition to its popular weekly happy hour, Stone runs D.C. Bear Crue’s other events like yoga classes and fundraisers. He also manages Unleashed Massage Studio in Northeast Washington. (PF)

 

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Calvin Andre' Hardy

    October 26, 2012 at 5:37 am

    These results seem pretty accurate to me though there are some that just don't make sense to me. LOL!

  2. Kuji Mah Ajani

    October 26, 2012 at 5:38 am

    IF I CALL YOU ONE MORE TIME!!!!!!!!

  3. Kuji Mah Ajani

    October 26, 2012 at 5:38 am

    I LOVE YOU

  4. Calvin Andre' Hardy

    October 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Does anyone have any idea how many times one person can vote?

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Real Estate

My Best Of’s in D.C. real estate

Favorites in buyer programs, paint colors, and more

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Forget shiplap, wallpaper is back!

As I congratulate my colleagues and friends who have received the coveted Best of Gay DC awards, I thought it appropriate to share with you my own, subjective “Best of” list. 

Best Housing to Buy. With 233 of them on the market in D.C., the one-bedroom, one-bath condominium under $400,000 may be the best option for a personal residence or investment. Given a median price of $320,000 and 49 days on the market, there are deals to be made. You have your choice of areas around the city and of buildings large and small.

Best First-time Buyer Program. D.C.’s Housing Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) is by far the best option to use if you are eligible. This program is based on household income and size and can provide up to $84,000 toward the purchase of a D.C. personal residence. For example, to receive the full amount, the income of a party of two is limited to a total of $51,600, 50% of the median family income for D.C. Other requirements may apply.

Best Tax Reduction Program. If you qualify, you may be able to take advantage of the DC Tax Abatement Program. Using the example of our party of two working adults buying a personal residence for less than $516,800, the income limit is $79,020 or $113,500 in designated Economic Development Zones.

Approval for the program exempts buyers from paying property taxes for up to five years and reduces the closing costs for the purchase by eliminating the buyer-paid recordation taxes and distributing the seller-paid transfer taxes to the buyer instead of to the DC tax office. For the buyer of that $516,800 personal residence, that can mean a savings of nearly $15,000 in closing costs.

Best Neutral Paint Color. First it was Builder Beige, then Gray was OK, then they blended into Good Grief Greige. While neutrals can be bland and boring, these days, expect to see a variety of off-whites gracing the walls of homes for sale. Sherman Williams 7008, Alabaster, did the trick for my most recent sellers. 

Best Wall Décor. Sponge paint and other effects are long gone. Forget shiplap unless you live in a house at the beach or on an actual ship. Distressed wood may still be suitable for a cabin in the woods, but in a modern, urban setting, wallpaper is back, baby! 

This is not your grandmother’s wallpaper. No chickens, tiny prints, borders, or faux grass cloth are in sight. Today’s wallpapers are bold, geometric, or a throwback to mid-century modern and are primarily used on an accent wall so they’re not overwhelming. Love vs. Design (lovevsdesign.com) can create custom wallpaper to match your color scheme in a peel and stick application that eschews the mess of wallpaper paste.

Best Indoor Plant. For us plant growing novices, the award goes to The Easy Care Bundle at The Sill (thesill.com). For only $45, you get two potted succulents that are very hard to kill, a Snake Plant and a ZZ Plant. 

You can also set yourself up on a subscription. $60 plus a $10 shipping charge buys a medium sized plant-of-the-month with a black or cream-colored planter. Choose classic plants or select pet-friendly, non-toxic plants for only $5 more with a 3-month minimum subscription. You can even purchase these as gifts.

Best Balcony Plant. For homes with a balcony or a deck, the winner is a potted Winter Gem Boxwood. It’s an evergreen that will turn a golden shade in the winter then green again in the spring. It also grows in both full and partial shade – almost a set it and forget it type of shrub – needing water only once a week or twice in hotter climates. Cut it as a topiary à la Edward Scissorhands for a little architectural interest.

Best Freestanding Refrigerator. I would be remiss if I didn’t include a best appliance category.An upscale fridge with see-through doors and built-in versions of computers, televisions and smart home elements holds a certain appeal until one of the glitzy attractions breaks and you spend as much for a new motherboard as you would for a whole new refrigerator. 

The winner of this category, therefore, is Samsung’s model RF28R7351SR. This bad boy is available in both standard and counter depth and features a French door top with external water and ice, a pull-out freezer with dual baskets, and a middle drawer that can be set to one of four temperatures to accommodate food or wine.

There you have it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to judge the Best of Blake Miniature Schnauzers category. I’m thinking a 4-way tie is in order.

Valerie M. Blake is a licensed Associate Broker in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia with RLAH Real Estate. Call or text her at 202-246-8602, email her via DCHomeQuest.com, or follow her on Facebook at TheRealst8ofAffairs

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Real Estate

Helpful tips for homebuyers in seller’s market

2021 has been a great year for home sales

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COVID-19 housing market, gay news, Washington Blade

Without question, 2021 was a great year for home sales. Sellers across the country, in many cases, found themselves listing their homes and quickly having not just one, but multiple offers, many of which were at asking price or above. With limited inventory and high demand, it has been an ideal year to sell—and conversely, often a difficult year to buy. Buyers who are interested in a particular home, or even in a specific neighborhood, often find themselves facing stiff competition to have offers accepted. 

Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that many buyers haven’t had successful and rewarding home buying experiences—just that doing so often means making an extra effort and taking helpful steps to make an offer the most competitive that it can be. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few helpful tips for buyers in a seller’s market:

  • Plan ahead with mortgage pre-approval: While there are certainly a wide variety of strategies that real estate agents and financial advisors may recommend, and while those strategies might vary depending upon the buyer and the circumstances of a particular market, one thing almost all experts agree on is that obtaining a mortgage preapproval is a smart decision. A mortgage preapproval is an ideal way to reassure sellers that a reputable lender has verified your credit and approved your buying power up to a certain limit. If you’re caught in a bidding war with another potential buyer, having preapproval establishing that you are ready, willing, and able to buy just might give you the advantage you need in a competitive market.
  • Be willing to look under budget so you can bid higher: In this highly competitive market, many home buyers find themselves in a situation where they are in a bidding war with another—or even several other—buyers. In that situation, you may find yourself having to make an offer at, or even in many cases, above, the asking price. This means that you may want to adjust your budget—and bidding—accordingly. Choosing to make an offer on a home that has an asking price that is already at the top of your budget may mean that you simply don’t have much wiggle room when it comes to making an offer over that price. Choosing a home slightly under the top of your budget means you’ll have more flexibility to make a bid that is more competitive and likely to be accepted.
  • Consider offering non-price-oriented incentives: Without question, making a highly competitive offer is going to be the key to increasing your chances of having that offer accepted. It’s important to remember that there is more to an offer than just price, however. Buyers may want to consider increasing the appeal of an offer by supplementing it with other incentives beyond just the dollar amount itself. Examples of such incentives might include things like foregoing the seller-paid home warranty that is often offered as part of the process, offering a shorter closing period, not making the purchase contingent upon the sale of a currently-owned home, or other such incentives. Doing so may give you the edge you need to have your offer selected over other competitive bids.
  • Retain the right real estate agent: Often, for LGBTQ buyers, especially in a competitive market, this piece of the puzzle is particularly important. In many, although certainly not all, cases LGBTQ buyers are drawn to specific areas of a city or community where other LGBTQ individuals live. That means that in a market where inventory is already limited and going quickly, there can be even fewer homes available upon which to bid. When that is the case, you will need a real estate agent who knows the community that you’re interested in, and who can quickly help you identify and take action toward making offers on homes that fit your needs. Having the right agent can make all the difference between a smooth and successful home-buying experience, and a stressful one

Jeff Hammerberg (he/him/his) is the Founding CEO of Hammerberg & Associates, Inc. Reach him at 303-378-5526, [email protected] or GayRealEstate.com

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Dining

Jane Jane brings throwback joy to busy 14th Street

Cocktail bar characterized by warm Southern hospitality

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(Photo courtesy of Deney Lam)

There is no standing at Jane Jane, the new classic cocktail bar in the heart of 14th Street. Its 850 square feet is for sitting and savoring, drinking in the relaxed retro vibe and the thoughtful craft cocktails. 

At the foot of the mixed-use Liz development where Whitman-Walker is the major tenant, Jane Jane’s creative use of a shoebox-sized space brings throwback joy to a busy thoroughfare. 

In the pre-COVID days of 2019, Whitman-Walker approached the Jane Jane owners, hospitality veterans Jean Paul (JP) Sabatier, Ralph Brabham and Drew Porterfield, all gay men, to make good use of the vacant parcel, and ensure it would be run by LGBTQ entrepreneurs. “It required some gymnastics because of the layout,” says Brabham, “but we came up with this cozy classic cocktail concept.” 

The hangout spot is an effort by the trio to “celebrate hospitality. We want everyone who walks into the space to feel like friends of ours we are having over for drinks or a bite. Its a cocktail party in our home,” he says. They felt connected to the idea of a tiny bar—a space where they would want to have a drink.

Named for Brabham’s mother, Jane Jane is as alluring and lively as it is intimate, each detail in the experience characterized by warm Southern hospitality—right from the bowl of spiced nuts that swiftly appear at each table at the beginning of service.

Sabatier, who has held stints at D.C. institutions like Rappahannock Oyster Bar, Maydan, and Compass Rose, oversees the bar and cocktail program, organized by spirit. (For their part, Brabham and Porterfield, romantic partners, also act as co-owners of Beau Thai and BKK Cookshop; Porterfield is also the current Curator and Director of Long View Gallery in Shaw.)

Sabatier has presented classic cocktails with a few noteworthy nods to current zeitgeist, as imagined by his lengthy experience behind the bar. The booklet-like menu includes a broad selection of familiar favorites like a Negroni, Manhattan, martini, but also features Sabatier’s handpicked favorite classics like the Boulevardier (a whiskey Negroni), Last Word (gin married to herbaceous green chartreuse) and Air Mail (rum, honey and cava). Drinks fall in the $13-$16 range; a “Golden Hour” runs daily until 7 p.m. featuring beer and wine specials and a punch of the day. 

Sabatier’s creative juices flow on the first page through cocktails like the vividly named Tears at an Orgy, with brandy, orange and maraschino, as well as the best-selling, highly Instagrammable Crop Top, a gin cocktail with a red-wine floater—and a name that matches the look of the bi-color drink. “It’s fun, delicious, and speaks to the space,” says Sabatier. He notes that their vodka of choice comes from Civic, a local, women- and LGBTQ-owned distillery.

Sabatier, a classically trained chef and Culinary Institute of America graduate, also oversees the small selection of bar bites (the space has no kitchen, part of the required “gymnastics” to make it functional.)

Beyond the complimentary vessel of rosemary-flecked mixed nuts, other bar snacks run from pickled vegetables to a Southern-style Pimento cheese dip and an onion dip creamy enough to make your grandmother blush. The “Jane’s Caviar” dish is a spread of trout roe and crème fraiche and comes with a towering mound of shatteringly crisp chips. A weekend brunch is in the works, which will serve goodies from local bakeries.

The retro-style interior recalls both California and the South, with only 32 seats inside and a 14-seat patio. Cozy booths done up in a hunter green as warm and inviting as a cool aunt are slung below walnut-wood walls and bar. Bright patterned tiles run the length of the floor; the back wall has playful cocktail wallpaper. A charming needlepoint by the restrooms kindly requests of guests, “please don’t do coke in the bathroom.”

The owners note that while Jane Jane is not explicitly a gay bar, its location in a traditionally gay-welcoming institution means that it has LGBTQ in its bones.

“Supporting LGBTQ people, businesses, and causes has been in Jane Jane’s ownership’s DNA at every establishment at which they have been involved,” they say, having supported local LGBTQ+ organizations like Casa Ruby, Victory Fund, SMYAL and the Human Rights Campaign, among others. 

Porterfield says that they were surprised that, given the locale, people assumed Jane Jane was a gay bar. “It’s not a gay or straight bar, just a fantastic cocktail bar that welcomes anyone to hang out with us,” he says. 

Nevertheless, the owners have taken into consideration the significance of being in the Liz development, as both gay men and as part of the hospitality industry. “It highlights the lack of representation as gay owners in this bar and restaurant world,” says Porterfield. They note the lack of women, LGBTQ and BIPOC representation. 

“It’s very special to us that we opened in this space,” says Porterfield, “so we want to show that we have opened a place that is all about inclusivity.”

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