The aftermath of a fire is never easy to deal with, so it's nice when the local community comes together to help.
Kingpin, which caught fire on Christmas Day, remains closed while its owners deal with insurance issues. In the meantime, members of the Kingpin staff are taking over the top floor of Wonderland in Columbia Heights on Sunday nights and resurrecting a bit of the old Kingpin vibe. From 9 to close, Kingpin's bartending owner Joel Didriksen slings drinks, and regular DJs Seth B and Big Nick spin tunes. This started two weeks ago, and even if you weren't a Kingpin regular, it's worth a visit.
More recently, the Spy Lounge caught fire on March 2, and will be closed for a couple of months. None of the residents of the apartments above the bar was injured; their personal property sustained smoke and water damage. One of those affected is Asylum bartender Boo, who got out of the building but lost clothes and possessions. Boo's friends and Asylum regulars are encouraging everyone to come by the bar this Wednesday during his regular shift (beginning at 6), purchase a drink, say hello and tip well. It's not an "official" charity event by any means, but it's a wonderful gesture for a very nice guy.
And finally, you can also help fire victims by heading to one of the local Rock Bottom Breweries and purchasing a pint of Fire Chief Ale. Every spring, each of the chain's restaurants creates its own special beer, dubs it "Fire Chief Ale," and donates a portion of the sales to firefighter-chosen charities. In Bethesda, Geoff Lively brewed an Irish Red to benefit the Burn Foundation of Montgomery County; Ballston's Gary Winn came up with an English-style Extra Special Bitter for the Aluminum Cans for Burned Children campaign. (You can read more about the beers in the March 10 edition of our This Week in Nightlife column.) The fundraising lasts through April 3.
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