Around Town: Grand Opening @ Vida Fitness Penthouse Pool Club — 5/7/15

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The Penthouse Pool Club by Vida Fitness, Yards location, at dusk.

A hop, skip and a jump away from the Nationals Park stadium, Vida Fitness has opened its new Penthouse Pool Club (1212 4th St., SE, DC). There, Vida hosted a grand opening party for the summer 2015 pool season on Thursday, May 7, kicking off a comfortably upscale experience for club members.

DJ Finn spun some tracks over the crystal blue water of the Vida pool as guests sampled margaritas made with the Vida Tequila. The event served to showcase the amenities of the Penthouse Pool Club, which include a bar with a grill offering a full menu. The bar offers cocktails, beer and wine, and among the cocktails was the MargaVIDA — a tart blend of Vida blanco tequila, Grand Marnier, house-made sour, fresh-squeezed lime juice and fresh orange juice.

The menu, designed by Chef Spike Mendelsohn, includes salads (Watermelon Feta Salad, West Coast Kale Salad, others), sandwiches (Bacon Cheddar Burger, Lamb Burger, etc.), seafood (shrimp cocktail, ceviche, etc.) and additional offerings (hummus, mushroom quesadilla, etc.).

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The bar at the Penthouse Pool Club

Guests can rent daybeds alongside the pool, or even on it, for a price, and of course they can rent private cabanas as well, which offer individual televisions and other creature comforts. Servers roamed the daybeds, taking bar and grill orders while guests lounged about.

From the roof at the Yards location, guests can enjoy views of the cityscape around them and peer down into the streets to see visitors to Bluejacket and other surrounding destinations. The luxuries of the Penthouse Pool Club are akin to those you would find in a Vegas resort, and the environment has quite a different feel than what many of us may have grown accustomed to in DC.

Vida Fitness offers a second location of its rooftop Penthouse Pool Club at its U Street location (1612 U St. NW, DC). The fitness club invites applications for membership through its website at http://penthousepoolclub.com.

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Daybeds and cabana for rent at the Penthouse Pool Club

Food Park: Soft Opening @ El Camino, 11/5/14

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Bloomingdale residents have long been anticipating a splash of new restaurants opening in their rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, and El Camino (108 Rhode Island Ave., NW, DC) became the latest to welcome them last night.

The section of Rhode Island Ave. NW in Bloomingdale, labeled by at least one observer as “Hipsters Row,” is cultivately what I consider to be a wonderfully cozy selection of bars and restaurants, and in this aspect El Camino doesn’t disappoint. You walk into the restaurant/bar under a sign that still advertises the space as a uniforms outlet, but once inside, you are greeted with warm browns, reds and blacks adorning a comfortable dining space.

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