Stars and Bars: Grand Opening @ Buckeye + Bear, 6/21/16

Buckeye And Bear Interior 5 by Joy Asico
The Ballroom in Buckeye + Bear (Photo by Joy Asico)

A cool new rock and roll bar has opened up in an unlikely location, just south of Dupont Circle. In the spot that once housed the Huxley, you can now find the laidback Buckeye + Bear (1730 M St. NW, DC), a 280-person concert venue.

From the concert posters on the walls to the red and black decor, Buckeye + Bear gives off a good vibe. It’s almost like the place belongs in an ‘80s movie about an aspiring musician who alternates between solving his life problems at the bar and jumping up on stage to rock the night away.

You will be able to catch some bands at Buckeye + Bear, of course, including the ever-popular ‘90s cover band White Ford Bronco this Thursday, June 23 in an intimate show. (Tickets are available online! $15)  But Buckeye + Bear aims to provide a diverse range of entertainment, hosting comedy shows, trivia nights, and most importantly karaoke.

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Around Town: Flywheel Sports to Open @ Dupont Circle in March

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An indoor bicycling gym is set to take over the space once occupied by the former Visions Cinema (1907 Florida Avenue NW, DC), which closed way back in 2004.

The bicycling studio in question is the rapidly expanding Flywheel Sports, which is opening its first DC studio and 33rd U.S. location overall with the Dupont Circle-area location later this month.

“We are excited to open our largest studio yet in the heart of our nation’s capital,” said Flywheel co-founder Ruth Zukerman in a statement. “Given that Washington, DC, is one of America’s healthiest cities, we understand the need to provide the most effective, results-driven workout — a product that we consistently deliver every single day.”

At the former Visions site, Flywheel will open its largest gym to date with more than 60 high-tech bikes. The studio will feature the TorqBoard, a proprietary performance-tracking technology that provides riders with information such as their resistance (Torq), speed (RPM) and power throughout each class. After working out, riders also can find data including calories burned, average speed and total miles on their performance pages at http://www.flywheelshports.com and on the Flywheel iPhone app.

“Flywheel’s advanced technology is one of the many unique elements that have positioned the brand at the forefront of the indoor cycling industry,” said Ed Kinnaly, Flywheel CEO, in a statement. “We are thrilled to add something new and innovative to the DC fitness scene.”

The company also will offer FlyBarre, its complementary total body sculpting class, in a “theatre-style studio.”

FlyBarre consists of “small, intense interval exercises choreographed to contemporary and inspiring music,” said the company. The exercises are designed to “reshape the body for strong, lean and elongated muscles.” Class exercises target arms, abs, thighs and butts.

Founded in Manhattan’s Flatiron district in February 2010, Flywheel Sports has expanded nationally to include locations in the New York tri-state area, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, South Florida and more.

For class times and more information, visit http://www.flywheelsports.com.

Grapevine: Chef Alex McCoy Departs @ Duke’s Grocery

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Chef Alex McCoy, one of Duke’s Grocery’s three founding partners

Alex McCoy, former chef and founding partner at Duke’s Grocery, left the Dupont Circle-area gastropub in December and plans to open a new restaurant focused on southeast Asian food, Tim Carman of The Washington Post reported Monday.

On his Facebook page Monday, McCoy said, “Friends, after a year and a half of working with my awesome partners over at Duke’s Grocery, I am excited to announce that I will be leaving to work on a new project in the DC area. You guys and gals have been legends and I appreciate all of the amazing support you have given myself and the Duke’s family. The team is still working hard in the Duke’s kitchen and the burgers are still flippin’! 2015 is going to be a very tasty year!”

Carman delivered the scoop on McCoy’s new project: “a restaurant that will focus on Southeast Asian cooking, continuing the District’s trend of opening eateries that channel the authentic flavors of Thailand, Laos and other countries.”

McCoy vowed to travel throughout southeast Asia over the next few months to refine his menu, which comes as no surprise to me, as the chef is very fond of traveling to a dish’s country of origin before he perfects it, as he told me a few months ago.

Daniel Kramer, another co-founder at Duke’s, announced Rick Koplau, who has been overseeing the late night food program at Duke’s Grocery, will become head chef. Koplau previously worked at Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Lake Tahoe and Sarasota, along with stints in England, Germany and Poland.