The Bar Belle

Originally Published 09/24/98

Bar: Heaven and Hell
Where: 18th Street in Adams Morgan
Crowd: College students and recent grads
Getting in: IDs required
Prices: Steep
Food: Nope
Dancing: That’s all there is
Pick-ups: More choices than an all-you-can-eat buffet
Pluses: Lots of dancing and plenty of chances to try out pick-up lines
Minuses: Lots of dancing and plenty of chances to try out pick-up lines

On a recent trip to the nightclub mecca of Adams Morgan, The Bar Belle and her Bar Buddies stumbled across Heaven and Hell. Actually, no stumbling was required – the long lines, pulsing music and gruff-looking bouncers signaled Heaven and Hell was the place to be. Saturday meant a $5 cover charge, and The Bar Buddies forked it over. Inside, Heaven is a glorified fraternity party: black lights, leering college boys and young women in all kinds of bizarre get-ups. The drinks border on obscenely expensive – beer runs close to $4 and mixed drinks are $5 for a Dixie cup-sized drink. Heaven’s bartenders are quick, that’s for sure – you’ll never wait for your drink. The club’s most redeeming feature is an outdoor deck with its own bar, which means no trips back inside for a refill. But even outside, the college party atmosphere prevails – sophistication is not the rule at Heaven.

Unless you spend every weekend on the D.C. club circuit, the music at Heaven won’t ring a bell, it will only leave your ears ringing. The mostly-techno soundtrack pulsates, but The Bar Belle thought all the songs sounded pretty much the same. Pick-ups abound at Heaven – The Bar Belle even saw several clubgoers getting picked up in line for the bathroom. In fact, one of The Bar Belle’s buddies was accosted by a women in a wedding veil who was seeking to “borrow” a condom. The Bar Belle successfully avoided eye contact with several unseemly characters outside, but other clubgoers weren’t so fortunate.

This isn’t the place for a quiet night with friends. Do what The Bar Buddies did and drink at a cheaper, quieter place beforehand. But if you’re looking for a night of loud music topped off by a possible hook-up, Heaven’s a good bet.

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