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Emma Semanyuk plays jenga – and loses – at the H Street Country Club. (Dennis Drenner)
Emma Semanyuk plays jenga – and loses – at the H Street Country Club. (Dennis Drenner)

the city

Inauguration fever: The best places to party in Washington Add to ...

The raucous Rock & Roll Hotel is in a former funeral home decked out with giant mirrors and music posters of legends such as Jim Morrison and David Bowie. On weekends, lines for this venue extend down the block and the entrance is patrolled by NFL-size bouncers. 1353 H St. NE, rockandrollhoteldc.com

Twelve (a.k.a. XII) has live reggae and R&B plus Southern comfort food. Owner Bernard Gibson says “all welcome” and, indeed, the club brings in a diverse group. 1123 H St. NE, twelvedc.com

The Pug is one of Washington’s best dive bars. A poster instructs: “No idiots. No specials. No shooters. No politics. No bombs. Relax. Be cool. Drink. Behave.” 1234 H St. NE, thepugdc.com

HR 57, a jazz and blues venue, is technically a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of those genres. It’s a hangout for jazz aficionados and musicians. Wynton Marsalis, Chuchito Valdés, and pianist Eric Lewis have all made appearances. 1007 H St. NE, hr57.org

WHAT TO SEE

Take in the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony on Sundays at Sidamo Coffee & Tea. Customers watch while the café owners hand-roast rich beans. This tranquil hideaway, once a rectory, specializes in organic, fair-trade coffees from the owners’ native Ethiopia. 417 H St. NE sidamocoffeeandtea.com

The Atlas Performing Arts Center, a venue for jazz, theatre, dance and world music, is the anchor of the H Street arts revival. “This is our Kennedy Center,” Anwar Saleem says proudly. Catch a performance of the likes of Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi or the up and coming Mary Halvorson Quintet in this restored art deco movie house. 1333 H St. NE, atlasarts.org

Follow the Greater H Street NE Heritage Trail for a self-guided walking tour. The five-kilometre route introduces visitors to early immigrant communities, old Baptist churches and a 19th-century brewery. culturaltourismdc.org 

Randall Scott Projects This gallery will have its first show in February, with works from such under-the-radar artists as L.A.’s Robert Kingston and Brooklyn’s Mason Saltarrelli. randallscottprojects.com

WHERE TO SHOP

Grab some wheels at an H Street Capital Bikeshare station and pedal over to the newly opened Union Market. Located on the two-century-old site of DC’s first outdoor vendors, this is the place for gourmet shops, crafts and home goods. And don’t miss Buffalo and Bergen, where lauded mixolologist Gina Chersevani offers her grownup take on a retro Brooklyn soda shop. unionmarketdc.com

Time travel to the midcentury America of Mad Men at Hunted House. It’s the perfect place to find that Eames chair or kidney-shaped teak coffee table. There’s also a knockout collection of women’s vintage hats. 510 H St. NE, huntedhousedc.com

WHERE TO STAY

The George, a cozy boutique hotel offers a luxe in-room spa/makeup do-over for partygoers. The adjacent Bistro Bis is headquarters for eavesdropping on politicians. hotelgeorge.com

TheLiaison, a five-minute cab ride away, is the closest hotel to the Capitol. The Art and Soul restaurant offers food served up by Oprah’s former chef Art Smith. affina.com

 

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