The Washington Post

Want to run your own nightclub? Love is going on the auction block.

Love Nightclub It seems so long ago: Gilbert Arenas' 25th birthday party, in January 2007, featured appearances by Diddy (right), Lil Wayne, T.I. and The Game. (Photo by Kevin Clark/The Washington Post)

If you've ever dreamed of running a lavish nightclub with 35,000 square feet of space, including two rooftop decks and a VIP penthouse suite, you'll have your chance next month. Love, the troubled nightclub once owned by promoter Marc Barnes, will be sold at a bankruptcy auction on May 1.

This probably won't come as much of a surprise to anyone who follows D.C.'s nightlife scene: Last fall, the club was shuttered and had its liquor license suspended due to an unpaid tax bill of more than $160,000.

A listing on the Tranzon International auction site sings the praises of the "marble floorings, granite counter-tops and mahogany paneling along the walls and upscale lighting fixtures," as well as the "commercial-grade kitchen" in the basement.

There's no starting price for bids, but Barnes sold the club to current owner Dean Smothers for for $7.1 million in 2010, according to city tax records. (Barnes had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier the same year.) The city's preliminary tax assessment for 2015 values the land and the building at $6,436,230, according to Office of Tax and Revenue documents provided by the auction service.

Instructions to prospective bidders state that "All bidders, other than secured creditors, must bring a cashier's or certified check in the amount of $200,000 in order to bid."

The auction takes place at the club, at 1350 Okie St. NE, at 11 a.m. on May 1. Prospective buyers can view the property on April 17 or 24.

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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