all photos: Stephanie Breijo
Over here at BYT, we VERY MUCH appreciate the miracle that is a truly good neighborhood bar. Just one gander at our LEAST DOUCHEY BARS IN DC list shows how true that fact is. And as such, we’re super excited to see Showtime Lounge, a true, legit neighborhood dive open its doors in Bloomingdale.
Nestled across the street from Boundary Stone, it inherited its name from the now defunct hair salon that occupied the space beforehand and is owned by Paul Vivari (who resides upstairs) a longtime BYT fav bartending fixture on 14th street, also known as DJ SoulCall Paul. Vivari obviously knows what makes for a good bar and all of it is on display here.
Showtime will be open 7 days a week (2pm during weekdays, and 3pm on the weekend), is a cash only establishment (there is an ATM though) and no, there is no cocktail menu here. The bar staff is an all-star round-up of 14th street veterans from Black Cat and Saint-Ex and if anyone knows how to serve a beer-and-a-whiskey in town, it is them. The fact that there will be a rolling $5 special on those helps as well. The beers are not too fancy either , with Natty Boh and Tecate cans starting at $3, and a trim but solid four draft beer selection includes Bells Oberon and DC Brau Public Ale. Also on the menu: $4 wine and solid plans to start pouring coffee for the neighborhood as early as 7 or 8 am in the morning.
Then, there’s the music. If you’ve ever been to a SoulCall Paul dance party (Big Bad City, or otherwise), you know that he knows his vinyl. The jukebox is completely stacked with his personal selections (the jukebox book is aptly named “The Treasure Chest”) which, in his own words, he spent the last year sorting into perfect jukebox stacks (Songs about food, Detroit songs, DC artists and more). The jukebox is also free. FREE.
The music love extends to the decor with Laura Harris painted murals depicting local music legends and labels, and the Vivari family love of Redskins led to a pretty amazing bathroom situation which is completely plastered with old Redskins programs in lieu of wallpaper. “The best room in the house”-Vivari states confidently.
If all that is not enough to motivate you to come hang out, then we don’t know what is.
Showtime is located at 113 Rhode Island AVE NW, and, obviously, waiting for you.