Kennedy Center, Heist collaboration postponed over public health concerns

Media Credit: Ilena Peng | Staff Photographer

The planned collaboration between Dupont Circle nightclub Heist and the Kennedy Center has been postponed to comply with D.C.'s Phase Two reopening guidelines.

The Kennedy Center postponed the opening night of a pop-up collaboration with Heist due to public health concerns.

Heist, a nightclub and lounge in Dupont Circle, and the Kennedy Center planned to host about 360 attendees on the rooftop of the performing arts venue every Saturday. Neither Heist nor the Kennedy Center has shared when they will host the new opening night, which was originally scheduled for Saturday.

“The Kennedy Center has determined the opening of the HEIST pop-up, an outdoor rental event, will not take place this weekend [Oct. 3] to allow for further evaluation and to ensure such gatherings meet our building’s health and safety standards as well as respect the city’s latest reopening guidelines,” the Kennedy Center told Washington City Paper.

The two venues may have put off the opening date to determine whether Heist is considered a restaurant under the District’s Phase Two reopening guidelines, which is subject to different safety guidelines than entertainment venues, according to DC Eater. Gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited under Phase Two regulations, but restaurants are allowed to remain open as long as they operate at half capacity.

The announcement of the collaboration came shortly after rolling out Mayor Muriel Bowser’s “Phase Two Live Entertainment Pilot,” which allows six venues to host live entertainment, including the Kennedy Center. Kennedy Center staff said the Heist pop-up was “misreported” as being a participant in this program.

John Falcicchio, Bowser’s chief of staff, told Washington City Paper that in an effort to operate as a restaurant under Phase Two reopening guidelines instead of a venue, the pop-up would not include live entertainment.

Live entertainment venues are already struggling in the District, and Phase Three doesn’t indicate whether they can reopen anytime soon. While other bars can open outdoor set-ups, Heist’s sidewalk was not wide enough to become an outdoor “streatery” –  an outdoor seating venue that takes up a portion of the street – Heist staff told Washington City Paper.

The originally scheduled opening night sold out in 15 minutes after the tickets went live, according to a Heist Instagram post. The nightclub pop-up was originally planned as a weekly event, and tickets for each Saturday event were slated to go live each Tuesday morning.

Attendees could purchase tables ranging from $240 for “VIP” level tables to their most expensive option of a $1,000 minimum. Alcoholic drinks, snack trays, desserts and single-use mixers were available for attendees to purchase.

The Kennedy Center and Heist did not return requests for comment.

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