After a tumultuous three years, the owners of the District's largest nightclub decided to wake up from their Dream and show the Love. Dream, of course, is the late-night hot spot that garnered as much press for its patrons' bad behavior as it did for its hip music scene. As of last weekend, it's been reincarnated as Love (1350 Okie St. NE, 202-636-9030, www.lovetheclub.com, $10-20 cover).
"People got too focused on the negative of Dream," explains owner Marc Barnes. "We wanted a fresh start." The club's location, ownership and management haven't changed, nor have the nightly themes -- college night on Thursdays for the 18-and-over crowd; urban on Fridays, with DJs spinning hip-hop, R&B and old-school rap; and Masoud A's Seductive Saturdays, offering a mix of Spanish, hip-hop and house music.
So what's new? For starters, more than $750,000 in renovations, including ultra-luxe carpeting throughout, plush velvet chaises, stiletto-friendly Trex wood decks and 47 VIP areas with amenities such as lounging beds and private bars. There's also a Caribbean-accented tapas menu courtesy of chef Lois Spencer. A free nightly shuttle runs every 15 minutes, chauffering the District's party people from 18th and M streets NW to Love's red carpet. Catch the shuttle before 10:30 p.m., and you'll garner free admission.
"We're building on our success," says Barnes, "and taking everything one step higher."
Jennifer M. Lipner