Top 9 U Street Nightclubs and Bars: Washington, DC

Enjoy Great Live Music Along DC's U Street Corridor

Howard Theatre
••• Photo © Howard Theatre

U Street ranks among Washington, DC’s nightlife hot spots and is home to some of the city’s best nightclubs and theaters. Known as the home to jazz legend Duke Ellington, the U Street neighborhood was once the nation’s "Black Broadway" and home to the largest concentration of African American social clubs, religious organizations, theaters, and jazz clubs. In the 1990s, the opening of the U Street Metro station provided better access to the area and the neighborhood has experienced an ongoing revitalization. Here’s an alphabetical guide to the nightclubs along the U Street Corridor. 

  • 01 of 09
    1847 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC (202) 265-7839.
    Gate 54 is described as an art deco inspired hangar-lounge featuring a wide range of DJ music from classic jazz to British-pop, to 70s soul-funk.
  • 02 of 09
    Howard Theatre
    ••• Photo © Howard Theatre
    620 T Street NW Washington, DC. (800) 653-8000. The historic theater that launched the careers of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye and The Supremes, re-openeed in April 2012 after a $29 million renovation. The remodeled theater features a state-of-the-art acoustic system and offers a wide-range of live entertainment.
  • 03 of 09
    1518 U Street NW, Washington, DC (202) 319-9350.
    This small club features live jazz on the weekends and American cuisine in a cozy setting.
  • 04 of 09
    2009 8th St., NW Washington, DC. (202) 234-TOWN.
    This new gay dance club features cabaret style performances in an upscale atmosphere. There are two levels and multiple dance floors.
    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    1215 U Street, NW Washington, DC.
    The historic theater opened in 1922 as a movie theater and ballroom catering to DC's black middle-class community who danced and were entertained by legends such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday. The theatre closed after the 1968 race-related riots. In 1994, the Lincoln Theatre was refurbished and its reopening led the way to the revival of DC's U Street Corridor.
  • 06 of 09
    1344 U Street NW, Washington, DC (202) 234-0072.
    Twins Jazz features live jazz and American, Ethiopian and Caribbean cuisine. Live music: Tues.-Thurs. at 8 p.m.; Friday & Saturday from 9-11 p.m.; Jam Session Every Sunday with the Ron Gary Trio.
  • 07 of 09
    Dance
    ••• Dancing. © CaiaImage/Getty Images
    1115A U Street NW Washington, DC (202) 588-1880. Opened in 2010. The live music and dance club is the newest addition to the U Street entertainment district. The nightclub features a state-of-the-art sound systems, a 1200 square foot dance floor, and two fully stocked bars.
  • 08 of 09
    1418 U Street NW, Washington, DC. (202) 483-7669.
    The international restaurant offers live jazz and blues by local musicians. Entertainment offered Tuesday – Sunday nights.
    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    915 U Street, NW Washington, DC (202) 462-3213.
    This small Washington, DC bar in the U Street neighborhood features a variety of live music ranging from punk rock to alternative-folk.

    See also, A Guide to U Street Restaurants and Dining and 6 Things to Do in the U Street Corridor