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Calendar: Sept. 7-13, 2018

Parties, concerts, comedy and more for the week ahead

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gay events dc, gay news, Washington Blade

Singer/songwriter Jill Sobule has returned from a long hiatus. She has a new album out and plays City Winery Sunday night. (Photo by Shervin Lainez)

Friday, Sept. 7

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Woof, a happy hour, today from 5-11 p.m. Drink specials are $4 rail drinks until 11 p.m., $4 Bud Light bottles until 10 p.m., draft beers until 10 p.m. and $9 draft pitchers until 10 p.m. Free pizza will be given at 7:30 p.m. There is no cover before 9:30 p.m. For details, go here.

The Imperial Court of Washington hosts its Out of Town Show at the Sphinx on K (1315 K St., N.W.) tonight from 7-10 p.m. Performers will include out-of-town reigning monarchs, past monarchs and more. Tickets are $20. For more information, go here.

Gay District meets at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 8:30-9:30 p.m. The facilitated group discussion covers building understanding of gay culture and personal identity and awareness of community events for LGBT men between the ages of 18-35 in the D.C. area. For more details, visit gaydistrict.org.

Comedian Michael Ian Black performs at Drafthouse Comedy (1100 13th St., N.W.) tonight with shows at 7 and 9 p.m. Black is known for his appearances on “The Jim Gaffigan Show” and “The Good Fight,” among others. Tickets are $30. For more information, visit drafthousecomedy.com.

Saturday, Sept. 8

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts Universal Pride Meeting, an LGBT group to support, educate and empower people with disabilities, today from 1-2:30 p.m. Discussion will include the intersections between being LGBT and disabled, dating and relationships and creating access/breaking down barriers in public spaces. For more details, visit thedccenter.org.

Kathy Griffin brings her “Laugh Your Head Off World Tour” to DAR Constitution Hall (1776 D St., N.W.) tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $37-75. For more information and to purchase tickets, start here.

The Imperial Court of Washington hosts Gala of the Americas: Coronation VII at the Sphinx on K (1315 K St., N.W.) tonight from 6 p.m.-midnight. The event will complete Reign VI and Emperor and Empress Romeo Dennis-Chalet B. Childs and CI Tooker Bottoms Jewel will step down. Emperor and Empress VII will be crowned later in the night. Cocktails start at 6 p.m. and the ball begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $130. For more details, go here.

LGBT dance party Mixtape holds its 10th anniversary and finale party at U Street Music Hall (1115 U Street N.W.) tonight at 10 p.m. DJ Matt Bailer and DJ Shea Van Horn will play music for the party’s farewell. Tickets are $10. Guests ages 18-20 will be admitted through advance ticket only. 

The Coven D.C., a witchy, queer women’s dance party, is at Ten Tigers Parlour (3813 Georgia Ave., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. DJ Honey will spin tracks. Cover is $10. A portion of ticket proceeds will go towards D.C. Books to Prisons. For more details, visit thecovendc.com.

Sunday, Sept. 9

The Imperial Court of Washington hosts its Victory Brunch at the Sphinx on K (1315 K St., N.W.) today from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tickets are $40. For more information, go here.

Singer/songwriter Jill Sobule hosts her album release party for “Nostalgia Kills” in the Wine Garden at City Winery (1350 Okie St., N.E.) tonight at 9 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. 

Monday, Sept. 10

LaTiDo presents Jazz Night at Bistro Bistro (1727 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) tonight from 8-10 p.m. Russwin Francisco and the group Summer Parfait will be the featured performers. Guest performers will include Krystle Cruz, Michelle Moses-Eisenstein, Taunya Ferguson, Lawrence Grey, Jr., Michael Santos Sandoval and Karen Vincent. Don Michael Mendoza and Anya Randall Nebell will host the event. Paige Rammelkamp will serve as music director. General admission tickets are $15 at the door. Student and senior tickets are $7 and tickets for non-performing LaTiDo alumni are $5. For more details, go here.

Tuesday, Sept. 11

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts its trans support group tonight from 7-8:30 p.m. The group is meant to provide an emotional and physical safe space for transgender individuals and those questioning their gender identity. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Author John Larison, author of the trans-themed novel “Whiskey When We’re Dry,” is at East City Bookshop (645 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E., no. 100) this evening at 6:30 p.m. for a reading and book signing. Details at eastcitybookshop.com.

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Queer singer/songwriter Be Steadwell performs “Queer Love Songs” at Busboys and Poets (625 Monroe St., N.E.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. This event is presented by Busboys and Poets’ ZAMI gender and sexuality series. Seating is first come, first served. A full food menu and the bar will be available for the performance. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. For more information, go here.

Big Gay Book Group meets at Trio Bistro Restaurant (1537 17th St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss “Not So Good A Gay Man: A Memoir” by Frank M. Robinson. Newcomers welcome. For more details, visit biggaybookgroup.com.

Lambda Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for duplicate bridge. No reservations needed and newcomers are welcome. Call 202-841-0279 if you need a partner.

Thursday, Sept. 13

Pretty Boi Drag presents #AmateurKingNight at Bier Baron (1523 22nd St., N.W.) tonight from 8-11 p.m. The stage will be open to new and first time drag kings. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Performers do not need to purchase tickets. For more details, visit facebook.com/prettyboidrag.

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Bars & Parties

KINETIC: Pride DC launches with 3 major events

Weekend kicks off Friday with UNCUT XL at BLISS

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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

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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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Bars & Parties

Kiki quickly becomes popular LGBTQ destination

New bar on U Street plans summer expansion, patio space

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Kiki, at 915 U St., is already drawing crowds. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

After a New Year’s Eve soft opening, Kiki has become one of the most popular LGBTQ destinations in Washington, D.C.

The two-floor bar takes over the space vacated by Velvet Lounge and Dodge City on the 900 block of U Street. Both closed during the pandemic. The locale is directly adjacent to another gay bar, Dirty Goose.

Owner and gay man Keaton Fedak, a general manager at Dirty Goose, noticed that these two next-door bars had gone dark during the pandemic, and met with the owners of the two buildings, who are cousins. Plans quickly developed to use both buildings to craft an expansive, interconnected, inclusive space to transform the city’s gay bar landscape.

Fedak called the bar “Kiki” both after himself (it’s a nickname) and for its connection with the LGBTQ community. “The word wasn’t invented by the Scissor Sisters song,” he explains. “It’s been an important concept in the community for decades.”

The first half of Fedak’s vision has already opened. The ground floor of the 915 U St. building is open-plan space with bar stools and a color-block wall of rainbow panels. A bar sits in the back up a short flight of stairs. This level will feature music, but quieter than the second-floor space. There, a DJ booth presides over a large dance floor. Disco lights flood this space; there is a bar on this level as well. The elevated dance floor is set to hold drag shows.

In the spring, a small patio will open, strung with fairy lights. It will have a “backyard aesthetic,” he says, to be green, bright, and relaxing. “It’s a good place to chill on a nice day outside.” It may even be reminiscent of Town Danceboutique’s popular patio.

The second half, at 917 U St., is still waiting for permits, and Fedak hopes to open this section in the summer.

It will connect to the current space via the outdoor patio. This section will have more of a sports bar feel, given Fedak’s connection to D.C.’s Gay Flag Football League (he is a former board member). The bar will welcome Stonewall Sports and other LGBTQ sports teams, and will be replete with plenty of mounted TVs to show various games.

After the closing of Cobalt and Town, Fedak wanted to ensure that Kiki was “an inclusive space, so that there’s vibes for everyone,” he says. “It should be a place where regulars would just show up and hang out.” He made sure that he recruited staff from different professional and personal backgrounds.

Fedak began working in food and hospitality at age 17 in his hometown in Pennsylvania. After moving to the D.C. area for work, he continued to moonlight as a bartender. Fedak joined Dirty Goose as general manager in 2019 before starting his Kiki journey.

To stock the bar, Fedak has plenty of spirits to go around. There is a focus on the vodka offerings, but he ensures that local distilleries take center stage: He carries District Made Vodka and Rye Whiskey, as well as Green Hat Gin. The beer game is also a winning strategy: there are more than 25 bottles and cans available, with three beers on tap. Local options are first-string, including selections from DC Brau, Right Proper, and Anxo Cider. Finally, the bar comes complete with a house margarita on tap (“ it’s a homemade recipe,” notes Fedak, using agave nectar syrup instead of sugar). The 16-ounce marg is always on special for $10.

While Kiki doesn’t serve food, Fedak is exploring options for a small truck or stand in the backyard.
Moving forward, Kiki will host weekly events. The bar already hosts drag shows during “RuPaul’s Drag Race” viewing parties. Fedak plans to begin a “Cobalt-style underwear contest” as well. Once COVID cases decline, he also wants to resurrect the Sunday funday parties that Cobalt would host with sports teams.

Fedak’s mantra for Kiki is evident in the mural that will take up the backyard patio – a quote from “Schitt’s Creek”: “I like the wine and not the label.”

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