How much of a cultural phenomenon is “Black Panther”? It's getting its own pop-up bar before the movie hits theaters.
Enter Wakanda, a bar inspired by the highly anticipated film, is taking over the Red Lounge near 14th and U streets NW from Thursday through Sunday, with DJs, themed cocktails and “interactive experiences,” including displays by painter Demont Pinder and other D.C. area artists.
“I'm a fanatic about pop-up bars, whether it's 'Game of Thrones' or Halloween,” says Greg Jackson, co-founder of the pop-up's organizer, the Wave. “I've always told people we should do something like this for Black History Month or comic books.”
Jackson says Enter Wakanda will include musical and visual “tributes to what this movie means to our people,” with artists honoring the history of the Black Panther character as well as sports and entertainment figures “who impacted social justice.”
Like other D.C. pop-ups in the last year, expect Enter Wakanda to be immersive: Jackson says artists and creatives worked on a “throne room” based on a scene from the the movie, as well as traditional African thrones. Different artists and performers will be featured throughout the weekend, so “if you come on a Thursday and come back on a Sunday, there will be different interactive experiences,” Jackson says. Costumes are encouraged, “but it won't be like Comicon or anything like that,” Jackson says, laughing.
Part of the pop-up's appeal is its late-night parties, which will be fueled by a crew of five DJs, including WKYS's DJ Schemes, spinning a mix of hip-hop, Afrobeat and other sounds. There are also Black Panther-inspired cocktails, including Vibranium and the Heart of Wakanda.
Enter Wakanda hopes to avoid the long lines that plagued last summer's “Game of Thrones” pop-up by selling reserved tickets that allow holders to enter at a certain time — every two hours beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and noon on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $5 before 10 p.m. and $10 after if purchased in advance. (Some time slots, such as midnight Saturday, are already sold out.)
Without reservations, prices will be higher, and entrance will be limited by capacity. Given the hype around “Black Panther,” don't be surprised if you're stuck in line all night.
Enter Wakanda, 2013 14th St. NW. Open 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday and Friday, noon to 2 a.m. Saturday, and noon to 4 a.m. Sunday. $5-$10.