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D.C. restaurants get creative for Pride

Colorful rainbow cocktails, DJs, endless brunches and more this weekend



DC pride 2018, gay news, Washington Blade

How do you capture a rainbow in a glass? The Kingbird at Watergate figured it out and is serving this Pride Punch this month. (Photo courtesy DKC)

In an annual tradition, D.C. Brau is giving its cans a queer makeover. The brewery is producing 28,000 cans of “Pride Pils,” which boast limited-edition can designs of its Brau Pils, “an ideal example of a traditional German pilsner.”

D.C.-based artist Alden Leonard won the 2018 Pride Pils Can Design Contest, presented by D.C. Brau and Washington Blade. His entry was to “show the juxtaposition of Pride, which is both a celebration and an act of protest.” The design, featuring three figures in “defiant poses with their eyes fixed on symbols of tradition and order,” will appear on the cans; all proceeds from the sale of Pride Pils cans benefit SMYAL and the Blade Foundation. At least 30 bars, restaurants, and shops will sell the cans, from gay bars (Trade) to 14th Street restaurants (Cafe St Ex, Pearl Dive), to Himitsu in Petworth, and many others.

Republic Restoratives (1369 New York Ave., N.E.), the lesbian-owned distillery in Northeast, is celebrating Capital Pride all June by offering an exclusive discount to restaurants and bars that use the distillery’s Civic Vodka to craft a specialty Pride cocktail and is asking that proceeds from each drink go to the Transgender Law Center. Participating restaurants include the Gibson, Lost & Found, Dio Wine, Songbyrd, Free State. On Sunday, June 10, Republic Restoratives will host a benefit in honor of the center in partnership with Obama White House alumni.

Again this year, City Tap Dupont (1250 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) just off Dupont Circle, is hosting weekly Sunday drag brunches throughout June. Drag queen Ba’Naka is playing MC. You’ll find $15 bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys during the brunchtime shows that start at 11a.m.; reservations are encouraged. Both City Tap Dupont and sister restaurant City Tap Penn Quarter will have other specials in celebration of Pride Month, with proceeds benefiting the Trevor Project, including selling Pride Pils. City Tap Dupont will also offer drink specials during brunch on Saturday, June 9 for guests dining out before heading to the Capital Pride Parade.

Another annual Pride parade supporter, Urbana (2121 P St., N.W.) is set to host its annual and anticipated “Pride+Shine” party on Saturday, June 9 from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. — the entire day. It kicks off with brunch and themed drinks until 3 p.m., and then truly gets going with a fierce dance party by DJ Trayze. It’ll be offering hearth-oven pizza and the entire bar menu all day, but the real winner is the front-row seating right at the start of the parade. A huge fan favorite from last year, special guest Mike Hot-Pence is back again this year sporting his signature quite short shorts, taking photos with adoring fans and collecting donations to benefit the Trevor Project. Tickets are $50 for the open bar package; otherwise, entry is free.

On Sunday, June 10 from noon-5 p.m., DNV Rooftop (1155 14th St., N.W.) will open the pool for everyone to take advantage of its “Pride Hangover Pool Party.” Whether you marched, watched or took your celebration to the next level all night long, this is a spot for recovery. Atop the Donovan hotel, the party includes cocktails, brunch, and yes, a pool, overlooking Thomas Circle. DJ Hamsey will provide the tunes. And because frozen drinks are just too much fun, there will be “DNVLGBTQ Pride Pops” (rainbow boozy popsicles); proceeds will go to the Trevor Project. Entry is $10, waived for attendees of the Urbana “Pride+Shine” brunch party.

Besides flying one of the most enormous Pride flags in the city, Tico (1926 14th St., N.W.)  is hosting an all-day, all-night party. It starts with low tea, moves to high tea, and then shrugs off caffeine for straight alcohol. Tea time is 3-8 p.m.; the bar is open until 2 a.m. Cocktails run the rainbow gamut: there are lime, banana and watermelon daiquiris; a purple pina colada; a mezcal punch called Smokey Eye; rainbow Jello shots; and the chilled-out Frozen Rainbow cocktail. Mexican snacks like salsa, guac and elote will help soak it up. Entry is free.

Rainbows and stars make a perfect match at Le Diplomate (1601 14th St., N.W.), where Michelin-star pastry chef Fabrice Bendano will cool down Parade watchers on Saturday, June 9 at the restaurant’s Glaces de Diplomate ice cream cart, selling a Rainbow Cone in honor of the D.C. Pride Festival, with all proceeds from the $5 cone being donated to the Capital Pride Alliance. And of course, it’s a prime place to take in the parade action. The restaurant’s will have a fete, with Pride-related cocktail specials and “celebratory revelry.”

At Osteria Morini (301 Water St., S.E.), Pastry Chef Tova Hillman is celebrating Pride with a five-layer colorful rainbow almond cake coated in a silky dark chocolate glaze. All proceeds will be donated to the Capital Pride Alliance.

During the entire month of June, French brasserie BRABO (1600 King St., Alexandria, Va.) will feature “The Rainbow Collection,” a presentation of colorful cocktails that change daily. All sales from these drinks will benefit the Trevor Project.

Spread those wings for the Pride Flamingo Party (in conjunction with Washington Blade) at the Bird (1337 11th St., N.W.), a tropical-themed party that kicks off Capital Pride festivities tonight (Friday, June 8) from 9 p.m.-midnight. Happy hour drinks, themed bites, prizes and specialty cocktails like the Valentina and the Prida Colada Shooter round out the festivities. Guests are suggested to wear beach attire. Entry is free. Throughout the month of June, all EatWell D.C. restaurants are offering a signature cocktail that will support Transgender Law Center, called “This Is Me” (vodka, prickly pear puree, lime, champagne).

This is Me features vodka, prickly pear puree, lime and champagne. It’s offered all month at eatwelldc restaurants. Proceeds benefit Transgender Law Center. (Photo courtesy eatwelldc)

Ever-popular beer garden Dacha (1600 7th St., N.W.) offers two events this weekend. The first is Friday, June 8 from 4-8 p.m.: the Bells Sparkleberry Silent Disco, in partnership with. with D.C. Fray. Headphones are provided to all revelers; there will be gift bags for early arrivers. On June 9, before the parade, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., is Wigs and Waffles with Whitman Walker. Both a party and a fundraiser, it’s all about wearing wigs without getting hair in your waffles. Dacha will make sure you’re in the spirit of the weekend with a flash tattoo station, a face painter, endless beads, and yes, housemade liege waffles. Entry is free; you can purchase a bracelet for $10 to receive happy hour prices on Bell’s Brewery beers.

Starting June 15, the popular pizza joint &Pizza (multiple locations) will introduce a limited-edition color “One of One” box to carry out their pies, as well as other related swag. The restaurant is also fueling up marchers on Saturday (June 9) with a free soda to anyone in the parade (the restaurant will be walking the route, too), and taking donations to the Trevor Project via text.

Like last year, Espita Mezcaleria (1250 9th St., N.W.) will serve a brilliantly hued cocktail in celebration of Pride, all weekend long. This year, it’ll be a bright green Mexican Daiquiri, with rum, mezcal, pineapple and Blue Curaçao, topped with a Pride Flag garnish. Proceeds will go to the Trevor Project.

A a Mexican Daiquiri with Mexican Rum, Mezcal, Pineapple, Lime and Blue Curaçao being offered this weekend at Espita Mezcaleria. Proceeds go to the Trevor Project. (Photo courtesy Espita)

Rainbows are aplenty at Kingbird, the new upscale restaurant at the Watergate Hotel (2650 Virginia Ave., N.W.). All weekend long, the bar will be serving the aptly named Pride Punch for $16. Made from rum, pineapple, Blue Curacao, grenadine, simple syrup, and garnished with mint, the drink represents a ROYGBIV in a cocktail.


Bars & Parties

Halloween is back and more queer than ever!

Freddie’s Beach Bar to host Halloween party



Freddie's Halloween (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant will be hosting a Halloween party on Monday, Oct. 31 at 6 p.m. 

Guests are encouraged to bring friends and meet new people from all over the world. Guests will gather in the back outside patio if the weather is nice or near the stage if not. Go Gay DC leader TJ Flavell will be there to greet you. Name tags will be provided. There’s no cover charge.

For more details, visit Eventbrite

Metrobar DC to host ‘Booze and Brews’ Halloween Brunch’

“Booze and Brews Halloween Brunch” will be on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at metrobar DC.

Guests are encouraged to come enjoy sounds from DJ Lalee and tasting tables from Catoctin and Republic Restoratives from 7-10 p.m. and drink specials featuring Catoctin or Republic Restoratives spirits all evening long.

This event is free to attend with an optional $15 Bash + SMYAL Fundraiser Ticket to help support LGBTQ youth across the district. Ticket holders will be honored with a cocktail. 

For more details, visit Eventbrite

Cake Pop to host ‘HallowQueen Drag Brunch’

“HallowQueen Drag Brunch” will be on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 11 a.m. at The Hall CP. New host Cake Pop will be hosting this ultimate Halloween-themed event. 

Flavored mimosas and Bloody Marys will cost $24 and the brunch buffet costs $30 and will include French toast casserole, buttermilk pancakes, tater tots hash, among many other menu items. 

Tickets for this event start at $25 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Baltimore Playhouse to hold ‘Haux-lloween’ party

“Taste.Touch.Feel: Haux-lloween” will be on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Baltimore Playhouse – Private Social Club. 

Guests are encouraged to come and enjoy top-tier burlesque and specialty performances, kink edutainment, interactive games, and plenty of surprises to thrill one’s senses.

There will also be a costume ball with three categories. Each category is limited to eight participants. The categories are:

  • Alien Superstar: Most unique, intergalactic freak
  • Fetish Faerie: Whimsy, kinky, faerie hauxs
  • Best Couples Costume: Period.

After the costume ball, there will be an “Adult Play Date After Party” for mingling and a night of no inhibitions where guests can enjoy spontaneous performances, play with their lover(s) or be a voyeur while the music plays. 

Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased on Eventbrite

Sirene, X and Nadia to perform at Firefly

Firefly Halloween Special Event will be on Saturday, Oct. 29 at p.m. at Firefly. This event will feature performances by drag queens Sirene, X and Nadia. There will also be two competitions: 

     • “Holy” a ghoulie drag performance with a cash prize of $100 and a bookings prize of $100.

     • A costume contest where the 1st place winner wins a one-night stay at Hotel Madeira, 2nd place wins dinner for two at Firefly, and 3rd place wins brunch for two at Firefly.

This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

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Bars & Parties

KINETIC: Pride DC launches with 3 major events

Weekend kicks off Friday with UNCUT XL at BLISS



KINETIC: Pride DC will partner with Capital Pride Alliance to celebrate Pride month with three official events that will feature leading gay DJs: Abel, Ben Bakson, Joe Pacheco, Dan Slater and Alexis Tucci.

The weekend kicks off Friday, June 10 at 10 p.m. with UNCUT XL at BLISS Nightclub. Grammy-nominated DJ Abel will headline the city’s “most risqué circuit event of the year” at BLISS nightclub.

“Uncut is returning to DC Pride for the first time in four years so there will be lots of sweating, dancing, and men bumping and sliding into one another on the main floor as well as in the play zone,” said producer Jesus Quispe in a press release late May.

 KINETIC: Pride Galactic Edition will be on Saturday, June 11 at 10 p.m. at Echostage. DJs Dan Slater and Ben Bakson will perform back-to-back sets. DJ Joe Pacheco will open the night.

The series of events will wrap up on Sunday June 12 with DC Pride’s official closing party, “discoVERS” at 10 p.m. at SAX in Downtown D.C. Disco-diva Alexis Tucci will spin an open-to-close set with Disco, Nu-Disco, and Disco House music all night long. Special performances throughout the night will be integrated into her high-energy disco set as well.

To purchase tickets, visit KINETIC: Pride DC.

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Bars & Parties

Beyonce vs. Rihanna dance party

Music provided by DJ Just Different at Union Stage



R² Productions LLC and Union Stage are teaming up to host  R² Productions’ inaugural “MEGA Dance Party” on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. at Union Stage at The Wharf.

The event will be a night full of dancing to music by pop stars Beyonce and Rihanna. DJ Just Different will be performing at the event. 

General Admission tickets cost $25 and Premier Plus tickets cost $35. For more information about ticket purchases, visit Union Stage’s website.

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