Photos By Chris Chen, Words By Brandon Wetherbee
The Wonderland Ballroom turned 10 on Sunday. The 100 or so people on the patio at 7 p.m. were treated to a High Life, the champagne of beers, shower. No one complained.
Full Disclosure: I host a show at The Wonderland Ballroom.
Columbia Heights royalty/Wonderland owners Matt and Rose toasted on a patio table. Previous years have included slow dances on bars, sing-alongs and shots. Way too many shots.
Full Disclosure: I once ran social media for The Wonderland Ballroom.
In addition to humans, dogs enjoyed the last 10 years of the Wonderland. Lots of happy dogs.
Full Disclosure: I programmed Wednesday nights at The Wonderland Ballroom.
The Wonderland Ballroom will most likely never be featured in our Your Weekend Cocktail series. It’s not a cocktail bar. It’s a beer and a shot bar. It’s a place for all walks of life. Children as young as a few months and people well into their AARP years enjoy the outdoor patio.
Full Disclosure: The Wonderland Ballroom was the first place I wanted to do my talk show in Washington D.C.
I’ve seen millionaires act like assholes on weekend nights at the Wonderland. I’ve seen 21-year-olds that can’t afford their rent act like upstanding citizens on weekday nights at the Wonderland.
Full Disclosure: My wedding D.J. and I planned my wedding reception music on the patio of The Wonderland Ballroom.
I own two Wonderland Ballroom shirts. I received my first in 2010. It’s now a running shirt. No sleeves with a foul odor. I received my second on Sunday. It’s now a running shirt. Sleeves but with a foul beer odor. Remember the champagne of beers shower?
Full Disclosure: I found my first D.C. house band, Ian Walters, on a Sunday night at The Wonderland Ballroom.
In addition to serving all walks of life, the Wonderland has given their stage to performers of all levels. I’ve been lucky enough to host a show there for three years. I’ve had great shows and horrible shows. Owners Matt and Rose understand that I’m human and are OK with failure as long as I’m trying. They’re also smart enough to bring in people like Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh.
Full Disclosure: I celebrated my 30th birthday at The Wonderland Ballroom. I had one of my worst talk shows and one of my best times. Amazing friends and acquaintances came out and a really great friend made me a heart cake.
The Wonderland Ballroom serves Columbia Heights. The best and worst parts of the neighborhood are welcome. A kind staff, welcoming atmosphere and two nice people with a healthy vision have created a place for people to make new friends. It’s no different than what this site tries to do. It’s no different than what any good show tries to do. In a fair and just world they’ll be open for at least another 100 years.
Full Disclosure: I’m writing this after spending a few hours at the anniversary party. I had a few drinks. They were reasonably priced and delicious. I’ll be back soon.