One more nightlife destination in Washington D.C. has shuttered. Cobalt (located in the heart of Washington D.C.’s “Gayborhood”) is closed, effective immediately, with no closing party or events announced.
Owner Eric Little posted on Facebook late yesterday the following post:
“It’s no secret that the building that housed Cobalt (1639 R St NW) and the adjacent property recently sold.
With the combination of the sale of the buildings, the start of demolition, costly infrastructure repairs and upgrades that we would need to shoulder to remain open for the short remainder of our lease (without an opportunity to extend the lease) along with a slow decline in sales we decided it was the right time to close the business to focus on our other businesses and some personal family needs.
For more than 20 years, our amazing customers and incredible staff have contributed greatly to the DC-area LGBT community and we have always strived to do our part to strengthen local organizations, businesses, and the entire 17th Street neighborhood and we couldn’t be prouder of the legacy Cobalt leaves behind.
The gay bar industry has been changing over the past few years with the popularity of dating apps, changing social norms, and pop-up parties/events at non-gay venues and we applaud these evolutions as positive progress. And it is our hope that patrons will encourage these businesses to support the greater LGBT community to continue the good work and social change that Cobalt and all of the many other gay bars, restaurants, and businesses (past and present) have worked so hard to achieve.
We understand the property will be redeveloped into residential use and we wish the new building owners and future residents the best of success and hope that the buildings will bring them all as much joy and happiness as it has brought the entire Cobalt family”.
How this will impact the nightlife denizens of Washington D.C. remains to be seen. Their sign off was low key to say the least (a sign indicated “Closed For Water Problems” as recently as last week). Compared to Town Danceboutique’s dynamic and sparking exit from the Beltway’s nightlife world, Cobalt quietly exited with nary a sound.
The nightlife scene in Washington D.C. is currently in a state of transition to say the least. While spots like Nellie’s and JR’s continue to pack in crowds weekly, the closing of spaces like Cobalt and Town will no doubt have a significant impact on the nightlife culture in Washington D.C.
Without Town and now Cobalt, something tells me though, that D.C.’s nightlife will rebound and continue to flourish. Ziegfeld’s/Secrets in Southwest still remains, which combines downstairs drag show venue with an upstairs club with nude male dancers, (although the Washington Business Journal reported in 2016 that MRP Realty has an agreement to acquire several properties at Buzzard Point, which includes the nightclub. Nellie’s still has their upstairs dance floor, which remains packed on the weekend, as does Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct NW, Washington, DC 20005). DJ Matt Bailer continues his long standing and uber successful Peach Pit parties at DC9 Nightclub (1940 9th St NW Washington D.C.), a monthly party that has gained serious traction recently. Trade (1410 14th St NW) has also been a hit since their opening, recently hosting a “Night of 1000 Moira’s” (inspired by the hit show “Schitt’s Creek) and even had a surprise appearance by some of the “Schitt’s Creek” cast members, including the ultra dreamy fan favorite Dan Levy!
Since the era of Nation and the large clubs in D.C. and beyond closing, D.C. is one of the cities that somehow manages to find their footing. Be it the resilience of the LGBT community in D.C, or the transient environment the city is in, the LGBT community in Washington D.C. always seems to find a way to rise up and make sure both the presence of the LGBT community and places for them to meet remain a vibrant part of our nation’s capital.