Nightlife Agenda: Outdoor drinking and early St. Patrick’s Day

March 11, 2014

Every Tuesday, the Going Out Guide staff highlights the week's best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties.

Tuesday, March 11

Dacha was packed on its opening weekend of 2014. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)
Dacha was packed on its opening weekend of 2014. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

Last weekend’s sun and moderate temperatures were heaven for those who’ve been waiting months to drink beer outdoors. Dacha, the no-frills beer garden in Shaw, opened Saturday for the first time in more than three months, and there wasn’t a spare seat at picnic tables or around the small bar. With temperatures expected to stay in the 60s through Wednesday, the bar has announced that it will be open during the week and launching a happy hour that includes $5 half-liters of Weihenstephaner beers from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. (Those who prefer novelty glasses can grab a 33-ounce glass boot of beer for $10.) There are loose themes for each night — Wednesday is “Shaw Neighborhood Happy Hour” — but the deals are offered to all comers. As a reminder: Dacha is outdoors-only and doesn’t serve food, so you might want to get snacks at the new Giant down the street. You can, however, bring your dog: There’s a big glass of treats at the bar.

You may not know Chicago house music legend Cajmere, but you’ve certainly danced to his enormous hit “Percolator,” if not the deep house standards “Dream States” or “Keep Movin’.” Cajmere is on a U.S. tour  with BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac, whose compelling dance mixes encompass dubstep, drum’n’bass and A$AP Rocky. This intriguing double bill is at U Street Music Hall.

Wayne “The Train” Hancock plays a stripped-down mix of honky tonk and jump blues, sounding like Hank Thompson and Red Sovine in the 21st century. His 1995 debut, “Thunderstorms and Neon Signs,” is a classic – especially the title track, which finds Hancock singing with a Hank Williams-esque drawl. The Austin resident, escaping South by Southwest, is at Hill Country BBQ this week.

Wednesday, March 12
Charlotteville’s Starr Hill Brewery has announced that Grateful Pale Ale, which was a summer-only release last yearin 2013, will be sold year-round. It’s not hard to see why: Hoppy and piney yet easy drinking, Grateful also is less than 5 percent alcohol, jumping on the trend for more “sessionable” pale ales. Grateful gets its official Washington launch at ’60s-influenced Georgetown rock venue Gypsy Sally’s, and it’s easy to guess the theme: An all-star team of Charlottesville musicians called Uncle Charlie will perform Grateful Dead tunes all night.

Thursday, March 13
On May 3, the organizers of the Funk Parade promise to bring “a one-of-a-kind parade, street fair, and music festival” to U Street, with participation from the Howard Theatre, Bohemian Caverns and U Street Music Hall. The countdown to the Funk Parade begins this week with a kickoff party and fundraiser at Liv. Headlining is the Funk Parade All-Star Band, which includes members of local Afrobeat outfit Elikeh and reggae group Lucky Dub. DJ Nitekrawler of all-vinyl soul party Moneytown and DJ Michael Saretsky of Haydee’s popular TNT night will keep the funk flying. A tip: Tickets are $15 in advance, but $20 at the door.

Washington native Jimmy Cobb played drums on Miles Davis’s landmark “Kind of Blue” and was a fixture in Davis’s late-‘50s and early-‘60s bands. Saxophonist Sonny Fortune joined Davis’s band in 1974. Buster Williams was the bassist in the 1960s Miles Davis Quintet alongside Herbie Hancock. Mike Stern played guitar for Davis’s band during two stints in the 1980s. Together, these four musicians are 4 Generations of Miles, a unique Davis tribute band that plays classic tunes without the use of trumpet. (Seriously, once you’ve played with Miles Davis, how could anyone ever fill his shoes?) The quartet performs two shows a night at Blues Alley (8 and 10 p.m.) Thursday through Sunday.

Friday, March 14
The current diva landscape is sparse, pretty much consisting of RiRi and Bey above everyone else, and it has been easy to forget the lineage of the past few decades. For a refresher, head to the Howard Theatre with some dance-appropriate footwear and immerse yourself in Chakateenare, a party dedicated to Chaka Khan, Teena Marie, Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin, all of whom celebrate birthdays in March, which also is Women’s History Month. DJs Lance Reynolds, I:Wah and 2-Tone Jones will take the decks in service of these four queens of soul.

Dance parties in small, off-the-beaten-path neighborhood spots are really where it's at. Keep your drink tab low, avoid the crowds and get down to unique sounds by linking up with the right DJs in various nooks and crannies around town. Graham Hatke and Benoit Benoit feature for Petworth Funk at Looking Glass Lounge, dropping deep house, boogie and disco vibes all night.

Saturday, March 15
St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Monday this year, and since not everyone can take the day off, enterprising bars are getting a jump on parties on Saturday. Here are a few to be aware of:

Lindy Promotions’ annual Shamrock and Shenanigans at Rumors is basically a college party with an Irish theme: In addition to Irish music by Baltimore’s Shamrogues, there are green beads, beat-the-clock drink specials with those renowned Irish beers Coors Light and Blue Moon ($1.17 and $2.17 each from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and contests for “Best Irish Outfit” and “Best Irish Accent.” (Let’s hope an Irish person wins the latter.) Doors open at 11 a.m.; the cover charge starts at $5 and will increase throughout the day.

Fifteen Clarendon bars are participating in the Shamrock Crawl, which offers food and drink specials from 2 to 9 p.m. Your $15 cover charge ($20 at the door) includes a refillable mug and access to Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill, Spider Kelly’s, Bracket Room and Whitlow’s, among others.

The whole day at McFadden's is one big beat-the-clock special: Doors open at 10 a.m. for a free Kegs and Eggs brunch buffet. Selected beers are only 15 cents from 10 to 11, $1.15 from 11 to noon and $2.15 from noon to 1 p.m. From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Jameson is $5, and from 3 to close, Coors Light is $3. An optional $10 open bar runs from 7 to 9 p.m. The best part? There’s an “Irish” mechanical bull from noon to 9 p.m.

If you’re of the persuasion that enjoys green beer and green Jello shooters, Duffy’s is opening at noon, blasting Irish tunes on the jukebox.

Irish group Scythian, which is performing at Fado every Thursday this month, brings its jigs and rebel songs to Flanagan’s Harp and Fiddle in Bethesda, beginning at 10 p.m.

The Shamrock Beer Bash doesn’t really have much to do with St. Patrick’s Day, other than the fact they’re giving away green Bud Light. Instead the parking lots across from Nationals Park will be filled with all-you-can-sample beers from more than 20 breweries, including Fort Collins, Devils Backbone, Natty Greene’s and Sweetwater. (We did groan when we saw Shock Top and Bud Light listed as their own breweries.) As much as this event is about the beer, it's also about spending time outdoors, so they’ll have live music, corn hole, bocce and beer pong, and food from a dozen food trucks. There are sessions from 1-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Each is $40 in advance or $50 at the door, and includes beer and games, but not food.

Sunday, March 16
The 2Tuff collective has been driving drum’n’bass forward for two decades, hosting their own events all over the city, from warehouses raves to Red and U Street Music Hall. Beyond DJs Slant and Bjoo spinning at weekly parites, 2Tuff brought such drum’n’bass royalty to D.C., including Grooverider, Dieselboy and LTJ Bukem. To mark 20 years in the game, 2Tuff is hosting a series of parties with special guests, beginning with Metalheadz’s king selector Bailey, who’s flying over from London for the party at Tropicalia, where he’ll join Slant and Bjoo on the decks.

The Analog Underground takes its traveling vinyl club to Adams Morgan with an Afro-Caribbean boogie session at one of the longest running corners of weekend mambo action in town, Rumba Cafe. The guest DJ is Nuyorican selector Christian Martir of Rice & Beans Soundsystem. Come early with a sweet piece of wax to share during the open turntable hour from 5 to 6 p.m.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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