Stars and Bars: Grand Opening @ Vieux Carre — 9/14/16

Vieux Carre 03 Bartender Chris makes a slow gin fizz at the Vieux Carre grand opening party on Sept. 14, 2016.

Cocktails mecca Vieux Carre opened on K Street in July, and last week the bar welcomed guests for a grand opening party.

Creative Director Seth McClelland personally greeted people at the door like a proud father, and he’s got a lot to be proud of. Vieux Carre is a lovely place, recreating the experience of being in an old-school French Quarter bar from New Orleans. You can immediately make yourself comfortable at small tables around the first floor or balcony or pull up to the grand bar that dominates the first floor at the right of the door.

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Music Park: Grand Opening @ Soundcheck — 8/20/15

Soundcheck owners address the crowd - by Joy Asico
Soundcheck partners Antonis Karagounis, Pete Kalamoutsos, and Win Sheridan toast the opening of Soundcheck. (Photo courtesy MoKi Media)

The premise of Soundcheck (1420 K St. NW, DC), a stylish new nightspot, is to bring the feel of the recording studio to the club scene. As a person who has spent a fair amount of time around recording studios, I was very pleased to have the opportunity to experience that feel firsthand at their recent grand opening party on Thursday.

From the street level entrance, one descends a staircase to the below ground facility. Few things isolate sound transmission like good old Mother Earth, so this is in keeping with the theme. The walls along the stairway and corridors are lined with Aurelex-type acoustic foam and cork, reminiscent of studio interiors (Dr. Wallace Clement Sabine, creator of the absorption coefficient for sound, would be proud).

Upon entering the main room, one is greeted by a sound system that is neither harsh or overbearing. Line array-type speakers buttress the DJ booth, complemented by a satisfying aggressive low end. Speakers are also part of the decor, inset into the glowing lucite cubes that serve as drink tables. Soundcheck Interior by Joy Asico
The interior of the Soundcheck nightclub (Photo by Joy Asico)

Thankfully the lighting system is not modeled after that of a typical recording studio, as the latter seldom have use for mirror balls. Here, we are treated to a high tech assortment of moving heads and L.E.D. PAR lights. In addition to the huge video display behind the DJ booth, there are numerous other screens lining the walls from the dance floor to the VIP room. Compliments to the people who set up the opening night promotional reel, nicely done!

On the night we attended, the music started out low to allow for conversation and mingling. It was nice to hear a P.A. system that maintains clarity and power even at low levels, such that it doesn’t drown out discussion. Clearly, the DJ was eager to break loose and drive the system a little harder, which he did as the evening progressed. At the higher levels, the system still maintained thick lows and clear high end. I predict it will keep the dancers in motion on many nights to come!
Soundcheck Interior 2 by Joy Asico
The disco balls are a welcome touch. (Photo by Joy Asico)

Parklife DC contributor Neal Keller is a professional sound engineer at Omega Studios as well as DJ of the long-running 80’s Dance Party at Tropicalia! For more on Neal, visit http://www.80sdanceparty.com.

Music Park: Grand Opening @ Soundcheck, 8/12/15

DANCEFLOOR
A rendering of the dancefloor at Soundcheck (Art courtesy of MoKi Media)

A new intimate nightclub will open on K Street, courtesy of the owners of Echostage, on Wednesday, August 12.

Soundcheck (1420 K St. NW, DC) will open with a DJ set by Kennedy Jones as part of a weekly event Bass Nation from promoters Steez Promo.

While the large Echostage covers more than 30,000 square feet, the boutique Soundcheck will encompass only 4,400 square feet. The Soundcheck concept is a homage to ‘80s and ‘90s club spaces fondly remembered by Echostage and Soundcheck Managing Partner Antonis Karagounis, who reflected on that time in an interview with Fritz Hahn of the Washington Post on August 4.

“With Soundcheck, we’re interested in tapping into the atmosphere of early DC nightlife while still delivering what makes Echostage so popular: quality sound, outstanding artists, and an unparalleled sensory experience,” Karagounis said in a press release.

Soundcheck will house a German-imported d&b audiotechnik Y-series sound system, state-of-the-art music technology. The acoustics mimic those of a recording studio in a nightclub setting with the installation of 4,000 square feet of cork hardwood floors and 4-inch-thick soundproof foam in its walls and ceiling. The venue will have two bars, 14 tables and a dance floor as well as six LED TVs and three LED video projectors. Two walls will be floor-to-ceiling LED screens. The room has roughly 85 lighting fixtures, which will support a nightly laser light show, and two jumbo disco balls.

Club-goers can reserve private tables for bottle service or get more ambitious and reserve the private “purple room,” which has a dedicated private bar. In addition to hosting club nights, Soundcheck will be available for corporate events as well.

In addition to Bass Nation Wednesdays, Soundcheck will host Glow Thursdays to focus on EDM. A regular feature called Afterglow, which hosts techno artists, will occur on Sundays.

“Soundcheck will be the perfect complement to Echostage,” said Soundcheck Partner Pete Kalamoutsos in a press release. “In addition to booking the superstars, we’ll be able to take more risks by welcoming up-and-coming talent during our new Afterglow party on Sundays. We want to be a part of their growth as artists.”

For more information, visit http://www.soundcheckdc.com. VIP 2-2
A rendering of a VIP area in Soundcheck (Art courtesy of MoKi Media)