After 30-Plus Years, DC’s Gay Bar Remingtons Closes

Remingtons DC LogoAnd another one bites the dust. Remingtons, a Washington, D.C.’s gay bar located on Capitol Hill, is closing it’s doors after 30-plus years in business.

From The Washington Blade:

[Remingtons owner Douglas Bogaev] said the new owner, which city property records identify as Mountain View Burleson, LLC, did not tell him what it plans to do with the building when the renovation is completed.

According to Bogaev, the previous owner offered to sell him the building but he declined, saying he wasn’t in a position financially to make the purchase. He said the company didn’t offer to rent him space in the building following the renovation. City records show Mountain View Burleson paid just over $3 million for the two-story structure that consists of two adjacent buildings. “The rent was high and our country-western crowd died out,” Bogaev said. “I have a day job, and it was getting to be too much for me.”

Remingtons was DC’s premiere country-western venue for many years; often turning over 600 customers in a weekend night.

As the story goes, sometime during Garth Brooks popularity, the bar decided to do a country night and discovered that it turned out more people than any of the other nights the bar was doing. After that, it became full-time country.

I often spent my early years in DC at Remingtons; frequenting the place four nights a week. The Monday night two-step lessons and Wednesday line dance lessons were popular nights to learn how to dance and provided a great atmosphere for socializing with folks. The best thing of all was during the partner dancing the instructors made you switch partners frequently. That forced you to really learn the dance because you couldn’t cling to someone with whom you felt safe dancing. Sadly, Remington’s became the victim of a changing nightlife scene in DC and changing tastes.

The population around Capitol Hill trended toward more couples and families who settle down and nest. The singles and night owls all moved over to the U Street Corridor of DC, which has a string of bars that you can frequent all without having to climb in a cab. Capitol Hill has a string of restaurants, but once you’re done eating, there’s not any options other than Remington’s and Phase 1 for nightlife.

The perception of country music changed as well. In the mid-2000, when country music went from being something about good times and partying to being more political commentary, many gays hung up their hats and let their boots get dusty. The “American Way” songs of that time reminded the gay community not-so-subtly of country’s conservative roots. At that time conservativism was seriously partnered up with opposition to equality. This was at at time when marriage equality for gays was just beginning to take hold in Massachusetts. Many gays felt they shouldn’t support a music genre that catered to a fan base was so obviously set against their civil rights.

Read the full article

See photos of times gone by at Remington’s through METROWEEKLY’S Scene photos

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