Nightlife options for the under 21 crowd

Originally Published 10/26/00

D.C. is a city that certainly does sleep. It is a challenge for any local to find a place other than bars and clubs open after midnight. Add the under-21 factor most students face and the nightly entertainment the city has to offer is even more limited. But the city offers several places that are not bars or clubs that are open after midnight for those too young to drink but old enough to have some fun.

Dupont Circle

KramerBooks and Afterwards Caf?, located on 1517 Connecticut Ave. in Dupont Circle, is a nice place to go to listen to live music while munching on a late night dessert. The Caf? is open until 1 a.m. on weeknights and 24 hours on weekends.

Although the bookstore and caf? run as separate businesses, the two establishments are connected and play off each other’s business. Patrons waiting for an open table at Afterwards Caf? are encouraged to browse through the bookstore that offers books serving a variety of interests.

They had an awesome selection of books, freshman Becky Wolf said.

Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening, Afterwards Caf? hosts live music performances by mostly local singers and bands. The vibe of the caf? and bookstore are both mellow and the perfect place for a quiet evening.

XandO is a coffee caf? with two locations in Dupont Circle. One is next to the Dupont Circle metro stop and the other is across the circle on Connecticut Avenue.

It has a good atmosphere, freshman Brock Dahl said. It’s a relaxing place where you can easily interact with your friends.

Both XandOs stay open until 2 a.m. on the weekends and offer a hip, young atmosphere. The caf? serves a wide variety of coffees and desserts, as well as tea and apple cider. One of the most creative desserts XandO offers is its famous make your own s’mores. S’mores are a dessert sandwich made of a marshmellow and a piece of chocolate between two graham crackers.

A little campfire is brought to the table along with marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers. Instructions are given explaining how to make the s’mores, which include roasting the marshmallow and placing it with a piece of chocolate between the two graham crackers.

For an evening with a little more action, there is Buffalo Billiards, a pool hall located at 1330 19th St. The pool hall is open until 2 a.m. on Thursday night and until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The establishment offers 32 pool tables, five dartboards, a shuffle board table, two outdoor patios and a restaurant.

For those seeking a few laughs there is the Improv comedy club located at 1140 Connecticut Ave. The Improv has shows Sunday through Thursday at 8:30 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday nights a second showing at 10:30 p.m. The shows usually have two acts and last an hour and a half. Thursday through Sunday tickets are $12 and on the Friday and Saturday tickets are $15. Appearing this weekend is Dave Attell from MTV and Comedy Central, and upcoming acts include Will Durst from Politically Incorrect and Brett Butler from Grace Under Fire. The Improv also serves dinner.


Georgetown is a good place to hit the streets and curb late night munchies. The Georgetown Caf?, located at 1623 Wisconsin Ave., is open 24 hours. The Caf? serves all types of food, ranging from American to Middle Eastern cuisine. It also offers breakfast plates around the clock.

Also located in Georgetown is Caf? Myth – a cyber cafe located at 3241 M St. It has computers with fast internet hook ups so everyone can get surf the net and play games, chat or even do work. The Caf? serves coffee, smoothies and an extensive food menu. Caf? Myth is open until 1 a.m. on Friday and 3 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

On Campus

There are options on campus for students who do not want to venture off campus late at night. For some people who do not want to leave campus there are some things for you to do, too. GW’s sketch comedy/improv group Recess performs once a month at Lisner Downstage. The group performs rehearsed sketches and shows comedic videos, as well as improvisational comedy.

I thought they were good, freshman Avisek Rana said. I especially liked their video productions.

Recess’s next show is Friday, Oct. 27. The shows start at midnight, but students must get there early because the venue is very small and seats fill up fast.

There is also GW’s own Hippodrome, located on the fifth floor of the Marvin Center. The Hippodrome offers six pool tables, video games, short-order food and a bowling alley. It stays open until midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on the weekends.

It may seem that there is nothing to do at night in D.C. if you are under 21, but take a closer look. Bars and clubs are not the only options for nightly entertainment.

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