If the preppy, cookie cutter or hip-hop bar scene is not your style then you’re in luck. DC is home to a wide variety of bars and clubs to suit your musical tastes, especially rock music. Whether you’re a fan of big hair bands from the ’80s or prefer the sounds of modern-day rock n’ roll artists, swing by one of these DC rock hot spots.
Hours: Sun – Thurs 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Fri – Sat 7 p.m. – 3 a.m.
At the Black Cat, you won’t find any teeny boppers or pop stars. What you will find include two concert rooms that host local, national and international independent and alternative music artists including Death Cab for Cutie, the Foo Fighters, the Killers, Radiohead and more. The Black Cat also features other live events like poetry readings, independent film nights, and jukebox tunes. The Food for Thought Cafe provides delicious meals for both herbivores and carnivores alike.
Hours: Daily 6 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Any long-term DC resident knows that for the best rock music experience, the 9:30 Club is the place to be. At the 9:30 Club, you can find live musical performances just about every night — from the rap styling of Snoop Dogg to the rock n’ roll sounds of British sensation Kasabian and everything in between. The venue provides an awesome surround sound system, four full-service bars and food that’s also vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
Hours: Mon – Fri 5 p.m. – 2: a.m.; Sat 7p.m. – 3 a.m.; Sun 7 p.m.- 12 a.m.
For a truly unique experience, head on over to the Red Palace where you will find live music, Vaudeville performances, a museum of sideshow artifacts and oddities and more. Formerly known as the Red and the Black and the Palace of Wonders, the Red Palace features more bar space, a larger performance stage, new lighting and sound systems. It also offers drink specials and a new kitchen featuring gourmet burgers, sandwiches and other delish treats. Come early, grab a beer at one of three full-service bars and find a seat to catch truly one-of-a-kind shows, like the Burlesque on the Go-Go or live musical performances by local artists like the Silver Liners.
Hours: Sun to Thurs – 7 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Fri to Sat 7 p.m. – 3 a.m
If you despise the traditional DC bar scene, then head on over to the U Street Music Hall where you will find a simple large room with a DJ booth and a line of full-service bars along the side. There’s no dress code, no party photographers to shoo away and definitely no Top 40 hits. The venue hosts both live musical performances as well as the musical styling of talented DJs. U Street Music Hall features a top-of-the-line 20,000 watt sound system plus a 1,200 square foot cork-cushioned dance floor, which means you can dance the night away without the pain. The venue also features light snacks.
Hours: Mon to Fri 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Sat 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sun 11 a.m. – 3 a.m.
Rock and roll, punk, indie and heavy metal fans unite at the Asylum, DC’s rock and roll lounge since 1991. The venue features vegetarian and vegan-friendly foods, daily drink specials, an internet jukebox and live musical performances all in a low-key atmosphere. The Asylum also hosts a wide variety of other interesting events including belly dancing performances, the legendary Saturday night Natty Light Countdown and art shows.
Related: Best local bands in D.C.
Susan Diranian is a freelance writer and relationships
expert living in Ashburn, VA. When she’s not dishing out awesome tips and advice on love and relationships, she’s working hard to achieve her dreams as a published author. Her work can be found at http://www.examiner.com/dating-in-washington-dc/susan-diranian