After the Turkey, It's the Afterparty
You love your family, but after a few hours of turkey, stuffing and football, you're going to be looking for something else to do on Thursday night. Maybe you'll need to escape after Uncle Fred tells one too many stories about his latest surgery, you're trying to avoid babysitting the "precious" nieces and nephews, or you'd just like to catch up with your siblings and cousins without worrying about watching your language around Grandma. Or maybe you're one of the urban singles who isn't going home for the holiday and wants to get together with other friends in the same boat.
Because we're here to help, I called a bunch of bars and lounges to see what they were doing on the 23rd. If a favorite Thursday hangout isn't on this list, you're strongly advised to call first. There will be no $2 Buds at Lucky Bar, free drinks at Tapatinis, pool and darts at Buffalo Billiards or live bands at Clarendon Grill, Iota or the Wonderland Ballroom -- all are closed for the holiday. Even the Kimpton hotel bars (Helix Lounge, Bar Rouge, Topaz) are shuttered.
The following bars and clubs will be open on Thursday night.
(UPDATE: On Tuesday afternoon, we added 14 more places that will welcome customers after Thanksgiving dinner as well as a few that won't. Skip down to the bottom to see that list.)
Aroma: Open at 6 as usual.
Atomic Billiards: Open at 6.
Bedrock Billiards: Open at 9.
The Black Cat: The Red Room opens at 9. No live music or DJs.
Bohemian Caverns: Here's one that made me sit up and take notice: Daz-I-Kue of the incredible U.K. brokenbeat DJ team Bugz in the Attic is headlining the stalactite-filled basement of Bohemian Caverns. Known for their quirky, bass-driven remixes of artists as diverse as Macy Gray, Zero 7, Basement Jaxx and Jazzanova, it should be incredible to see Daz in such an intimate spot. Full disclosure: Our own DJ Stylus (Rhome Anderson) is opening the night. There's a $10 cover.
Bungalow Billiards: All four locations (Alexandria, Cascades, Chantilly and Shirlington) are open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., with $1 longnecks for women until 8.
DC9: Taint, an indie-rock and electro party for those tired of the same-old gay club circuit, usually takes over DC9 on long holiday weekends. On Thanksgiving, promoters welcome 24-year-old Iowan Leslie Hall, whom you may have seen rapping about tacky gem-encrusted sweaters on YouTube. (If you haven't, go run a search for "Gem Sweater." Now.) Doors open at 9.
Eyebar: When a holiday rolls around, you know SOuL BaBY has something planned. Tonight, WKYS's DJ Alizay is spinning hip-hop, reggae and soul from 9:30 to close. Leave the athletic wear at home.
JV's: Wicked Jezabel, an all-female band that plays everything from Motown to classic rock to new wave, performs. No cover charge for the 9 p.m. show.
Love: It's college night as usual, with three floors of DJs and dancing. Free admission with passes from lovetheclub.com.
Madam's Organ: Open at 8, no live music.
Modern: DJ Jesse Tittsworth remains an office favorite because his sets blend hip-hop, Baltimore club and old-school classics in a style few local turntablists can match. When he's on the decks, breakdancers and groove-lovers don't let up all night long. On Thanksgiving, doors open at 9. Free admission is available with a pass from AllOutParty.com.
Tommy Joe's: The Bethesda bar has DJs and dancing like every other Thursday, but doors open at 8.
Whitlows on Wilson: Open at 8. No live music.
Zanzibar on the Waterfront: Familiar Faces and Soul Sponge bring the soulful go-go at Zanzibar's weekly Soul Sessions. If you've still got room after dinner, there's a free soul food buffet from 9 to 11. Doors open at 9, and there's no cover until 11.
Following on a commenter below, neighborhood bars go both ways on Thanksgiving. Some, like Lil' Pub, the Argonaut and Wonderland close to let staff members spend the day with their families. Others stay open so the regulars have someplace to go.
Closed on Thursday: The Brickskeller, Ireland's Four Courts, kstreet Lounge, Play and several downtown bars, like Mackey's.
Now for the good news:
Cafe Saint-Ex: Open at 9 p.m.
Chi-Cha Lounge: Open at 9.
Flanagan's Harp and Fiddle: Open at 5.
Fox and Hounds: Open at 11:30 a.m.
Gua-Rapo: Open at 9 p.m.
Halo: Doors open at 7, so there's still two hours for the two-for-one happy hour.
Indebleu: Open as usual.
Ireland's Four Fields: Open at 5.
The Reef: The main floor opens at 8. The lower level and roof will be closed.
Stetson's: Open as usual at 4:30.
Steve's Bar Room: Ladies get free champagne all night, while everyone can partake of $3 Budweiser and Bud Light bottles. DJ Saint James is on the turntables. Doors open at 9.
Tonic: The restaurant will be closed, but the bar opens at 9.
Tune Inn: Open as usual. As the waitress told me, "The only day we close is Christmas."
Ultrabar: All-night open bar for $20. 18 and over. Doors at 10.
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