Live Review: Funk Parade @ U Street NW — 5/11/19

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A reveler leads a march in the Funk Parade on May 11, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

The rain started before it ended — but just barely. The “it” in this case being DC’s annual Funk Parade and Festival, which took place last weekend along the city’s U Street corridor. A celebration of music, art, dance, and community, the Funk Parade, now in its sixth year, adopted #DontMuteDC as its theme for 2019.

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Around Town: Funk Parade @ U Street NW (DC), 5/12/18

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The Funk Parade March, free and open to the public, rolls down U Street NW, DC, on May 6, 2017. (Photo by John Sonderman)

Editor’s Note: Funk Parade recent introduced a general festival wristband, providing priority entry into select evening music venues during its showcase on May 12. Funk Parade also will host its first-ever Featured Showcase at the Lincoln Theatre, featuring Ari Lennox, Mannywellz, and more.

Buy the General Music Fest Wristband online here, and buy your tickets to the Lincoln Theatre Showcase online here.

For other details, Parklife DC presents the full text of a press release issued by Funk Parade on Thursday below.

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Don’t Miss: Funk Parade @ U Street NW (DC), 5/12/18

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Revelers dance at the Main Stage of Funk Parade 2017. (Photo by John Sonderman)

Editor’s note: Parklife DC was glad to receive word Friday that the fifth annual Funk Parade will proceed on Saturday, May 12, after being rescued by a massive-last minute fundraising effort. We present the official press release from Funk Parade in its entirety below. Visit www.funkparade.com for all details! 

Washington, DC — It’s on.

The 5th Annual Funk Parade will happen Saturday, May 12, after last-minute fundraising raised over $60,000 in just a few weeks. Organizers had announced March 6 the event was unlikely to take place because of a massive budget shortfall.

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Around Town: RAMMY Awards @ Washington Convention Center — 7/30/17

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Rose Previte, owner of Compass Rose, accepts the award for Best Casual Restaurant of the Year with her team at the 2017 RAMMY Awards on July 30, 2017.

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington CEO Kathy Hollinger launched the 35th annual RAMMY Awards with an eloquent description of how DC has become a true dining destination in the past decade, a description that was more than ably demonstrated by 20 award recipients recognized by the association Sunday night at the Washington Convention Center.

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Stars and Bars: Cherry Blossom Season @ Chaplin’s Restaurant — 3/21/16

Kirin Ichiban Kicks Off Cherry Blossom Season in DC by Joy Asico
A Kirin beer and a shot of sake (Photo by Joy Asico)

With the assistance of Japanese beer Kirin Ichiban, Chaplin’s Restaurant (1501 9th St. NW, DC) introduced a couple of Japanese-themed cocktails on Monday, March 21, to celebrate the DC cherry blossom season.

Chaplin’s, a popular ramen house in Shaw, is known as a cocktail destination, and the introduction of its two “beertails,” both using Kirin Ichiban as an ingredient, comes as DC cherry blossoms are about to hit peak bloom on Wednesday, March 23, and Thursday, March 24.

MoKi Media Co-Founder Dannia Hakki and Chaplins Owner Ari Wilder kick off cherry blossom season with Kirin Ichiban by Joy Asico
MoKi Media co-founder Dannia Hakki and Chaplin’s Restaurant owner Ari Wilder (Photo by Joy Asico)

The two specialty cocktails available at Chaplin’s during cherry blossom season are Bread & Soda, made with Kirin Ichiban and Bulleit Bourbon, and Honzo’s Steel, a mix of Kirin Ichiban orange-blossom honey reduction and Nolet’s Gin. Chaplin’s is also offering pints of Kirin Ichiban and shots of Sakura Emaki Rose sake as a “Cherry Blossom Bomb.”

Chaplin’s offers all three drink specials — $8 Kirin beertails and $5 Kirin pints or pints-and-sake — through April 17.

By the way, we loved the Kill Bill reference, Chaplin’s, as we presume Honzo’s Steel is named for Hattori Hanz?, master swordsmith who outfitted Bill and his Deadly Viper Assassination Squad!

Here are the ingredients for the two cocktails:

Bread & Soda
Bulleit Bourbon
Kirin Ichiban
Maple ginger
Lemon
Ginger beer cake
Cardamom caramel

Honzo’s Steel
Nolet’s Gin
Tozai Plum
Ichiban Orange Blossom Honey
Lemon

For more information on Chaplin’s or to make a reservation, visit http://chaplinrestaurantdc.com.

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Chaplin’s barstaff put the finishing touches on Bread & Soda cocktails (Photo by Parklife DC)

Stars and Bars: First Look @ Columbia Room, 2/9/16

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The view from behind the bar in the Tasting Room at the Columbia Room (Photo by Jeff Elkins)

Over the weekend, DC cocktail mogul Derek Brown held a soft launch party for his new flagship spirits destination, the Columbia Room (124 Blagden Alley NW, DC).

Starting tomorrow, Feb. 9, the Columbia Room is open to the public! But before you go, Derek kindly provided pictures of the space so that you can orient yourself to the stylish surroundings, sure to inspire many long, intellectual conversations stimulated by the bar’s sophisticated drinks.

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Don’t Miss: 9:30 World’s Fair @ 9:30 Club, 1/5-1/7/16

The 930 Club!
The 9:30 Club itself (Photo by Dan Reed)

For days, the 9:30 Club posted cryptic notice of a big event, scheduled to happen during the first full week of January, a traditionally dead time for nightclubs.

Well, yesterday on Facebook, the 9:30 Club revealed its plan to liven up that week with a three-day observance of its 35th anniversary called 9:30 World’s Fair.

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Stars and Bars: Second Anniversary Party @ 2 Birds 1 Stone — 8/24/15

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A simple sign marks the subterranean entrance to 2 Birds 1 Stone.

A modest crowd gathered for the second anniversary party of 2 Birds 1 Stone (Lower Level, 1800 14th St NW, DC), the approachable yet intimate cocktail bar established by Adam Bernbach in Shaw.

From 7pm-midnight on Monday evening, the bar served up $5 punches and $6 pina coladas and dark & stormys. There were consistent opportunities to get seats at the small bar, which holds seats perhaps a dozen people.

The crowd may have remained light due to the waning days of August in DC or due to the torrential rain then struck in the first 90 minutes of the party.

“If you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain, then the 2 Birds 1 Stone party is for you,” this blogger quipped after enjoying a pina colada special at the bar. IMG_8938
Do you like pina coladas? And rain? Then last night was for you.

2 Birds 1 Stone actually offered two $5 punch specials: one with peach, bourbon, sherry, and cava; a second with watermelon, tequila, Hefeweizen, and lime. Both were light and refreshing.

Cheers to Adam and two years of offering weary travelers a welcome respite in the quiet den of 2 Birds 1 Stone. Since its opening, the bar has operated with integrity and transparency, and it always just seems a little bit more pleasant than many other cocktail destinations.
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Peach and bourbon punch was a crowd-pleaser.

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Happy birthday, 2 Birds 1 Stone!

Stars and Bars: The Return of The Passenger?, 2/8/15

The Passenger - God Save the District

Update: Fritz Hahn, bar sage of the Washington Post, reports on Jan. 15 that the Passenger is holding a pop-up in its former neighbor Bar 7 (1015 Seventh St. NW, DC) on Sunday, Feb. 8 from 7pm-1am. Apparently, Tom Brown will hold a series of pop-ups.

“Brown promises live-band karaoke with the Hari Karaoke Band, a special cocktail menu and possibly tiki drinks in Bar 7’s lower-level lounge,” Fritz says.

Personally I don’t see the point. Tom could just go work at another joint and make his cocktails there while waiting for a new space for the Passenger?

The Twitter account of The Passenger, the popular DC cocktail bar that closed New Year’s Eve, suggests it may return to a new location faster than many anticipated.

Via Twitter, the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 13: “Mark Sunday, February 8th on your calendar! Deets forthcoming. #wemissyou”

Many mourned the passing of The Passenger, founded by DC mixologist Derek Brown, when it announced last fall it would close its old location (1021 7th St. NW, DC) on Dec. 31, 2014. For the previous five years, the bar sat on a block long-scheduled for demolition. Its inventive cocktails, dive bar atmosphere and gracious ambience appealed to a wide audience, including myself — and I’m a beer guy. I visited the bar on its last day around dinnertime and I found things as congenial and the cocktails as tasty as ever.

Derek Brown went on to co-found three new bars outside the Shaw metro station but vowed his brother Tom Brown, the popular and friendly face usually behind the bar at The Passenger, would reestablish the bar in a new location, hopefully in the Shaw neighboorhood.

It appears The Passenger may indeed already have found a new home?

Stars and Bars: Imbibe Names Derek Brown ‘Bartender of the Year’

DC cocktail mogul Derek Brown was named 2015 Bartender of the Year by Imbibe magazine Tuesday.

Derek currently is best known as the common partner in a string of bars by the Shaw metro station along 7th Street NW in Shaw: Mockingbird Hill (1843 7th St. NW, DC), Southern Efficiency (1841 7th St. NW, DC) and Eat the Rich (1839 7th St. NW, DC).

On New Year’s Day, Derek closed the Passenger and the Columbia Room (1021 7th St. NW, DC), previously located in Mount Vernon Square. Those low-key and high-end establishments respectively served to make him a household name in the DC bar scene over the past five years.

In a profile video posted by Imbibe (above), Derek says, “Cocktails are truly a conversation with the world. When I think about cocktails, I think about how they connect to nature; I think about how they connect to history; and I think about how they connect to the people who made them and the time they were living in.”

Imbibe, based in Portland, Ore., is a bimonthly magazine covering the gamut of the U.S. bar scene. “From wine, spirits and beer to coffee and tea, Imbibe celebrates the world in a glass. We feature the world’s top drink destinations, recipes and in-depth stories covering the people, places and flavors of liquid culture,” the magazine says on its Facebook.

Congratulations, Derek!