D.C. Mega Clubs Closing

The days of massive clubs in Washington, D.C., appear to be numbered with the recent auction of the Love nightclub. 

The sale marked the third large club in a year to close its doors as redevelopment has swept through the District, situating high-rise condos, hotels and retail next door to what had once been a hotbed of nightlife.

Skip Coburn, president of the D.C. Nightlife Association, told the Washington Times the popularity of clubs is waning with investors and owners.

“It used to be that an owner could lease a crappy building in a warehouse district at a reasonable rate and put a million into renovations to have a nice bar and nice decor,” Coburn said. “As development has eliminated all those crappy areas in town the problem is that everybody has doubled or tripled their leases when they’ve come up for renewal.”

Clubs such as Love, which got its start as Dream in 2001, once drew crowds by the thousands and celebrities for concerts featuring the likes of Destiny’s Child, Sean Combs, and Lil Wayne.

But the lure of higher rent from condos has brought in new developers and new residents near the venues who aren’t always keen on all the noise.

Former Love owner Dean Smothers, who filed for bankruptcy last fall, told the Times the sun may have set on massive clubs.

“The mega-clubs are basically the dinosaurs in this day and age,” he said. “We can’t just put a Band-Aid on this open-heart surgery. Better use for that location would be a different use, more community-friendly.” Other D.C. clubs that have called it quits in recent times include Fur and Nation.