Click in with Coach!, a virtual “bar talk” social hour hosted by A League of Her Own, is every Monday at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
This free weekly event provides an opportunity for the newly out or those new to the area to virtually meet other queer women and develop a connection with the community despite the ongoing pandemic. Venmo will also be available to tip the bartender and further help the community through the crisis.
For more information, visit this event page on Facebook.
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.
Kiki quickly becomes popular LGBTQ destination
New bar on U Street plans summer expansion, patio space
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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