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Posted at 3:37 PM ET, 03/24/2008

Play Time Is Over, Current to Open

By Fritz Hahn

The block north of Connecticut Avenue and M Street is one of the city's most popular nightlife destinations, home to clubs like Eighteenth Street Lounge, Five and MCCXXIII. In the next few months, they're going to be joined by two new venues.

Michael Romeo, the owner of Tattoo Bar, Lotus Lounge and Fur Nightclub, recently purchased Play, the one-room lounge with an "anything goes" atmosphere that includes DJs spinning mashups and '80s remixes while women dance on ottomans and couches.

In "two or three months," Romeo says, Play is going to close for three months of extensive renovation. When it reopens, it will be known as Midtown Lofts, which sounds more like a Columbia Heights condo development than a happening downtown club. Plans call for the floor above the existing lounge to be removed, extending the ceiling to almost 32 feet. "I want it to feel like you're in a really cool New York loft," Romeo says. He promises less of a club feeling and more of a lounge, with fireplaces and fancy cocktails.

"I love K Street because there are so many venues," Romeo says, "and Connecticut Avenue is the same. It's a really good location. You have MCCXXIII, you have Current opening up, you have Fly, you get a lot of foot traffic."

Next door, the long-awaited Current -- formerly known as Dragonfly -- is in the final stages of construction, and if everything goes well with staff training, the lounge should be ready to welcome its first customers in early April, with a grand opening in the middle of the month.

Operated by the team that runs the popular airplane-themed Fly Lounge, Current's multi-level design is based on "an ultra-futuristic luxury yacht," or so Fly's Richard Eidman told me last year. The lounge, which will sport an outdoor deck, was supposed to open in time for New Year's Eve, but construction delays pushed back the opening.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | March 24, 2008; 3:37 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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