Gay/Lesbian, Lounge, Bar, Upscale

Editorial Review

Shortly after Gazuza opened in the middle of May 2001, the patio overlooking Connecticut Avenue became Dupont Circle's latest see-and-be-seen location. Although there are more than a dozen tables, it's such a hotly contested spot for socializing that we heard customers were taking tables inside with a view of the patio – in order to move in and grab a table as soon as it became available.

If you can't sit outside, don't worry – despite the buzz, the patio is only one feature of Gazuza. The new digs are immediately eye-catching, with a sleek and modern decor of glass and metal, enhanced with low lighting. This lounge is the latest venture from the owners of such downtown hot spots as Paper Moon and Chi-Cha Lounge, and their experience shows.

By virtue of its location, within a block of Dupont Circle proper, it has become popular with gay men, like the space's previous client, the Circle Bar. But after several visits, it's clear that this lounge is attracting an eclectic clientele: Yuppies, Euro-types and the sneakered have been seen sharing tables.

With such a diverse crowd coming through the doors, it's unfortunate that inside, the space isn't terribly conducive to mingling. The low slung tables have been distributed around the perimeter of a single room, and the bar lacks stools.

Ambient house music suits the lounge vibe and is kept low as to not impede conversation. Perhaps the musical offerings could embrace more variety and energy as the spot's popularity grows -- which it certainly will; Dupont lacks of another establishment that fills this particular "upscale lounge" niche.

These are minor kinks for a lounge already creating an upscale but non-exclusive atmosphere. The refreshingly pleasant bar staff helps greatly on that front, as do the tasty apple martinis.

– Rhome Anderson