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Posted at 1:51 PM ET, 10/14/2005

Red is Dead

By Fritz Hahn

There's no easy way to put this, so I'll cut to the chase: Red, the (literally) underground club that kept a friendly, diverse crowd of house-music-loving folks dancing until 5 a.m. on weekends, is closing as of October 23. There's no sneaky motive here, no falloff in crowds, no fallout between DJs, managers or partners. Red's 10-year lease was up, and the landlord decided to double the rent. Owner Farid Ali didn't think he could keep the place going at those rates, and decided to shut down. It sucks, but that's business.

However, Red isn't going down without a weekend-long Irish wake -- one that allows all the club's resident DJs one more shot on that amazing sound system. It's also a chance for Red's fans to realize just how good they had it. There's no cover for any of the events as a way of saying "thank you" to all the regulars.

Thursday finds deep house DJ Tom B -- the longtime Thursday night resident -- paired with 2Tuff, the drum'n'bass collective that created the Wednesday night Rudebwoy Shuffle and brought top-drawer DJs, including Bailey (of Metalheadz) and London Elektricity to town. Friday brings Farid paired with DJ Case.

Saturday promises to be the night that everyone -- and I mean everyone -- will want to hit. It features Sam "the Man" Burns, known for his legendary Sunday night parties that regulars compare to "going to church"; Doug Smith (known as 95 North), who held down the Saturday night residency before heading to law school; Oji, former host of the Underground Experience on Baltimore's WEAA-FM (88.9) ; Tom B and Deesko Rob. This night also features the only out-of-towner on the schedule: New York deep house king Master Kev. Bring your dancing shoes -- doors open "early," which probably means 10 p.m. The party won't stop until sometime after 6 a.m., and it may be closer to 10.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | October 14, 2005; 1:51 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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NO!! Say it aint so, Joe... What will take the place of RED? Not the physical location, but where can we go now after-hours to continue dancing the night away??

Posted by: Krazy Kev | October 17, 2005 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Is'nt Sam Burn's spinning on Oct 23rd Sunday night? I thought that this date was Red's last night.

Posted by: Ben | October 19, 2005 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I can't take it anymore.

Red?! That's the last of the ultra cool joints, too scary for Smith Point wanna-be's, too cool for tourists, too awesome for anyon e in the know.

DAMNIT TO HELL. Thanks a lot Washington DC. Killing off one piece of decent house on earth there ever was.


Posted by: AAAAAAaaargh!!!! | October 20, 2005 1:50 AM | Report abuse

After it closes, head to Sanctuary. 1300 block of H street, NE. very similar vibe. very underground. sick music. great dancefloor and sound system. good vibes.

Posted by: MJ | October 20, 2005 11:07 AM | Report abuse

yes, Sam will be spinning one more Sunday at RED> then the party moves across the street to Dragonfly.

and I second the recommendation for Sanctuary - deep house music the way it should be - great venue, great people. dress to sweat!

Posted by: kara | October 20, 2005 4:25 PM | Report abuse

i saw we move the party upstairs to fuddruckers

Posted by: ed | October 20, 2005 4:47 PM | Report abuse

i say we move the party upstairs to fuddruckers

Posted by: ed | October 20, 2005 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Sam is spinning on Sunday as usual. The big farewell bash (which also includes Sam) is on Saturday night.

Posted by: Fritz | October 20, 2005 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Red closing is a tragedy. Saddest clubbing news I've run across in DC in the ten years I've lived here.

So... looking onward to finding a new home. What's a good time to show up at Sanctuary? For Red on a Friday or Saturday it was 1:30-2:30am for the regulars who were into dancing and wanted to beat the crush, and then it would go till 5am or later if the vibe was right (and it so often was).

Posted by: John | October 21, 2005 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Show up whenever you want. Due partly to its location, Sanctuary doesn't have as crazy a rush to the door right at 2-3AM. It's still a late night spot, so head over on the late side. With Red closing, I imagine Sanctuary will get more and more busy. Another huge bonus is that Sanctuary doesn't have the door drama that Red had. You're always greeted with a smile and walk right in.

Posted by: MJ | October 24, 2005 11:33 AM | Report abuse

What's the cover for Sanctuary, and does it have different types of music on Friday vs. Saturday? I'd like to check it out sometime this month but can't get to the website.
I had some good memories of Red from a year or two ago, when I used to go pretty regularly, and was looking forward to going again on Saturday night. I was disappointed when I got there around 2:30am to find that the cover was $15, not free as the Post's article claimed. What happened?

Posted by: am | October 24, 2005 12:38 PM | Report abuse

well I guess they couldn't resist bringing in a little more money when they had a line like that. I called them on it and they let me in, but I think people were just as happy to pay to get in. EVERYONE wanted to be there.

I think Sanctuary is strictly house and art shows, but I could be wrong. They have some cool art in that place.

Posted by: MJ | October 24, 2005 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know what happened to Sanctuary? It was my favorite spot and now I am fiending for some deep house, smoke-free, friendly grown folks, etc.

Posted by: Lisa | February 9, 2006 9:34 AM | Report abuse

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