Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pure Lounge - A Paradise for Salsa Dancer's

Pure is a DC gem for rueda de casino salsa dancers. This is a local hangout with regulars frequenting the club. Salsa nights are on Wednesday nights.  The cover is $5 if you enter around 9pm and doubles after 9. I try to get in early so I don't have to pay so much, but it is worth paying for. The energy in the dancers is contagious and everyone dances with everyone. This isn't a cliquish type of place, instead people are accepting of all dancers, whether you are a "pro" or you're just starting out. You don't see many dancers dancing New York or LA style, instead it is Cuban style where the men are able to shine just as much as the women. I'm not a salsa music aficionado but I do know most of what is played at the club is salsa, a little bachata, and sometimes even zouk. In terms of age range of the dancers you will find an eclectic mix. From people in their early twenty's to a much elderly person as well. 
If you do get thirsty I do warn that the bartenders do not give free tap water but charge you $5 for a bottle of voss water. Also if you get hungry don't expect to order anything from the bar, there is no food even early on in the night. The dance floor space consists of one floor and can get a little crowded. However even with these few problems I understand why the Pure regulars go on Wednesday nights because of the fun people, great music, and good salsa dancers.

For more information on Pure:

1326 U street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

Eden Lounge - A Hump Day Experience

Is it Hump day yet? If so, then Eden lounge is the place for you.  Wednesday nights you can get all the Latin flavor’s you want.  Primo Productions ( is also the promoter for this night at Eden’s.  This is a great place to get the weekend started.  Eden has a unique environment where all of its three floors have a different look.  The first floor is hip-hop, the second floor is Latin music and the third floor is house and techno.  The best part of the third floor, even though it is not the Latin floor, is that it has an open rooftop.  Ladies and Gentlemen, now you have a place to go cool off after showing off your salsa moves or displaying your smooth bachata turns.  The décor also makes this hotspot standout, especially the televisions that are part of the mirrors on the second floor.      

Eden is definitely a fun atmosphere especially if you go with your group of friends.  Now just a warning to all of my partiers, this place does turn into a sweat box.  Eden is also a narrow building with not enough dance space.  There were times where I will hit other dancers by accident as I’m turning my dancing partner, which is not a good look.  However, the tight space does make it more intimate and makes it easier for our singles to meet other people.      

No Cover! Eden is free all night.  However, for ladies only, its open bar until 11pm.     

For more information on Eden:   

1716 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Lima Lounge - Salsa Lessons for Free!

Welcome to Lima!  No, not Peru’s capital but one of the hottest and trendiest lounges in DC.  This is another one of Primo Production’s lounges to promote.  According to the experts, Monday’s are the nights to go for Salsa lessons and for an incredible International experience. We all know how stressful Monday’s can be at work especially because it’s the beginning of the working week.  Therefore why not go to Lima for a stress reliever. 

Lima is also a restaurant but the manager does such a great job with the shift of looks that when its time for the lounge and dancing portion, Lima looks exactly as a lounge or club.  There are three floors and the bottom floor is where the salsa lessons occur plus the Latin beats played by the DJ.  The top floor is mainly for the restaurant part of the venue; however, at times it may be used for private parties or VIP sections. 

NO COVER!  Yes, you read this right.  There is no cover. 

Warnings: You should get there a little early or by 11pm because it does get packed.  The bouncers are also very strict with the clientele that are allowed in.  Men, once again, you should always come with a group of ladies.  Be cautious if you are coming as a group of men only.  You may be turned away or you may wait on the line for a while.    

Overall, Lima is a great time as long as you come with your beautiful ladies.  The environment is great and the décor is definitely a plus. For a better feel on a Lima experience, check out the video below.  

For more information on Lima:
1401 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Muse Nightclub and Lounge - A DC Downtown Experience

This next stop was an all out experience.  After a stressful week, my friends and I wanted to go out have and have a blast.  One of my good friends who work for Primo Productions ( suggested for a great Latin night, we must check out Muse.  Muse is a nightclub and lounge specifically catered to people who want to dance and get their drink on.  It is located near Chinatown, Washington, DC.  The best part of this location is that it is metro accessible unlike the other locations I have mentioned.  This is great especially that it’s so hard to find parking in DC especially with the meters requirement going all the way to the evening.

Muse has three floors of excitement to offer their customers, which includes VIP sections in all of them.  The best thing about this spot and other typical clubs is that there are options for guests to choose from.  On Saturday nights, the first floor is the Latin floor where one of my good friends DJ Bomba drops the hottest Spanish music out there.  According to one of the bartenders, Thursday nights are also Latin nights, but I personally have not checked out Muse on this night.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it was as popping as Saturday nights.

Warning: Due to its narrow shape, the place does get packed, however, for some it may be worth it if you want to have a good time listening to great music.  There is a cover if you are not on the guest list which ranges from $10 to $20.  Men make sure to get there on time or bring with you a group of ladies.      

Thursday and Saturdays are nights to go if you want to make sure you hear Latin music.  It will always be playing on the first floor; therefore once you enter Muse, you will immediately feel the vibrations of salsa, merengue, bachata, reggaeton or any other Latin music. 

For more information on the Club:
Muse Nightclub and Lounge
717 6 Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Saturday, April 23, 2011

La Molienda - Karaoke Anyone?

What about those chill nights?  Are you one of those people that want to leave your house, but at the same time you want to keep it low key?  If so, La Molienda is the place for you.  This is not a normal Latin venue as it is infamous for its Karaoke nights.  One can still come to dance as there are breaks from karaoke where the DJ will play bachata, merengue, salsa and cumbia.  This is a great place for low key nights with your friends.  You do not need to dress to impress.  You can come as you are and still be welcome by the employees of La Molienda.  The theme of 

As soon as I entered the place, the smell of great typical Latin cuisine was in the air.  This venue has two floors. The second floor was where the entertainment happened and the first floor was for those people that just wanted to eat and not be around the loud music.  However, the second floor, one can still eat while singing or dancing.  It’s great to have a place that serves food after-hours at such inexpensive prices along with pitchers of margaritas.  The waitresses were very attentive and the service overall was great.  The orders came out quickly.  This could have been because it was not a packed place but most of the tables were filled.  The clientele looked like the majority was local.  Everyone was having a great time either participating in the karaoke or dancing the night away.  And Guess What Mi Gente?  There was No Cover!  

Remember! If you want a chill and low key night, check out La Molienda, an authentic Central American and Mexican experience.

3568 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010

Johana's - A Tropical Lifestyle

My next adventure was on a Sunday evening at Johana’s, a restaurant located in Northwest Washington, DC.  Johana’s serves both Dominican and Central American food; however, it has a heavy Dominican influence.  One can definitely notice the authenticity of the culture.  The walls are painted blue and red which is a reflection of the Dominican flag.  Some of the visitors were wearing the traditional straw hats which makes one feel you are back in the Dominican Republic.  The manager was acting as one of the bartenders and was on his game. The service was great, prompt and very attentive.  Of course, the drinks were inexpensive. 

In regards to the bar itself, it was simple.  They had few selections but top shelf.  After 11pm the lights were dimmed for mood lighting.  The interesting part was that it was majority males.  There were few females to select from, but it could have been the night it self.  The music was on point.  The Dj was playing oldies but goodies.  Initially, salsa was the dominant genre played but when the lights were dimmed, the music varied to merengue, perique ripiao (traditional Dominican music), bachata and salsa.  Even though it seemed that the recession hit this venue, the Latinos are still coming for that Dominican experience with the DC locals. 

Below is the contact information for Johana’s

4728    14th street, NW
Washington, Dc 20011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lupe Cantina - A Mexican Modern Experience

On Saturday, February 19, 2011, I visited Lupe Cantina, a new and contemporary looking Mexican restaurant.  This venue is located on 18th street, which used to be Sesto Senso.  Since there are other nightlife venues on the same block, it does make it harder for Lupe Cantina to stand out.  The night I visited, there was no line, however, there were long lines for the other venues.  Lupe is a newer spot compared to the other ones, which is probably the cause of the short line.  The evening was a slow start, however, once the dancers kept flowing in, the place was packed and the music was bumping with the hottest salsa, bachata, reggaeton and other mixes.   

However, with these minor setbacks, Lupe is still a spot to be recognized.  It is a restaurant by day and a Latin Dancing haven by night.  It has a Mexican theme to it and the outstanding décor supports it.  Once again, the drinks, especially the margaritas, made the night more popular and gave Lupe a real Mexican feeling along with its décor. 

Shout outs to my girls who took this journey with me.   They had some interesting comments to make:
It was convenient that they had seating available.  DJ was ok.  Bartenders were nice.  Margaritas were even better.”  Iris
“I really enjoyed the look of the venue.  I LOVED that it was free.  The crowd was pretty small but the dj was pretty good.  Def a great place to go to for a good variety of margaritas. The feel is very Mexican tequila bar.” – Stacy

“The venue itself is very spacious and modern.” Karol

Check back soon for my next reveiw.