''The past year has been a great experience and has given me an even greater understanding of our lesbian community,'' says the venue's owner Allen Carroll. Carroll started the club as a bigger offshoot of D.C.'s legendary lesbian bar Phase 1, which he opened in Capitol Hill with his late partner Chris Jansen in 1970. Carroll is the first to admit that the first year was a bit of a learning curve. ''We've tried different ventures – some have been successful, some have not,'' he concedes.
Among its successes is the monthly drag king show Phasepex, which returns this Friday, Feb. 15, with a Valentine's Day-themed ''Kill Cupid Edition.'' But the main event in a weekend of celebrating comes Saturday, Feb. 16, with a one-year anniversary party that will include prizes and giveaways, plus a benefit show for the local drag organization the Gay United States Pageantry System.
The anniversary party will also include a performance by Drop Electric, a local Radiohead-inspired band – and a performer at last year's PhaseFest – that incorporates film into its live act.
As it turns out, the concert from the buzz-building band, recently featured on NPR's All Songs Considered, is a harbinger of what's expected in the venue's second year.
Chad Cox, the manager of Phase 1 of Dupont, says he and his crew have learned that lesbian clubgoers are more into catching live shows than they initially thought. So at least once a month from now on, the club will feature live performances. Glitterlust and the Coolots are two popular local bands that Cox identified as on tap for upcoming shows. To meet patron demands, Cox is also putting in pool tables and will soon start a pool tournament at the club. Expect to hear of other new parties and events too.
Says Carroll: ''We will keep striving to bring the best entertainment for the community as possible.''
Phasepex is Friday, Feb. 15, and the One Year Anniversary Party is Saturday, Feb. 16, at Phase 1 of Dupont, 1415 22nd St. NW. Cover is $5. Call 202-974-6832 or visit phase1dupont.com.