Editors' pick


HR-57 photo
J Carrier/For The Washington Post

Editorial Review

Nobody is gonna answer the phone if you call during the day. The shutters will be closed if you walk by before the appointed hour. HR-57 doesn't go out of its way to pull you inside, but maybe that's the point: You have to sort of know. And it's worth knowing, especially if you're into jazz. (Or if you're looking to impress a date with pseudo-sophistication.) This nonprofit jazz house is the antithesis of those haughty table-service-type places. Low couches, shabby chairs and not a waitress in sight. At the front, a set of musicians makes you feel like you found a wormhole to a different city, a different decade. Someplace cooler, a time with more verve.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays, musicians from around town and beyond show up for jam sessions. On Fridays and Saturdays, the club, named for a congressional resolution designating jazz a "rare and valuable national American treasure," plays host to polished quartets.

Tip: HR-57 is BYOB. So bring a bottle of whatever, but plan on paying a $3 corking fee per person. The staff will sell you wine and beer by the glass if you forget your own.

-- Ellen McCarthy (January 25, 2008)