U Street Corridor, Washington, DC.
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U Street Corridor is a roughly nine block stretch with some of the most popular music venues in the city, but there’s much more than just live bands to warrant the Corridor’s designation as a major nightlife area, including culturally diverse restaurants, bars, and landmark theaters.

Much like the Harlem Renaissance in New York, U Street was a central figure in Washington, DC’s early jazz scene, when Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and hometown hero Duke Ellington were just a few of the musical geniuses that designated the area as “Black Broadway.”

The Corridor fell into disrepair for decades following the civil rights riots that destroyed much of the city in the 1960s, but has since undergone a second revival, with rapid gentrification creating a diverse mix of multiethnic young professionals and older, working-class African-Americans.

Today, the hip bars, restaurants, and music halls that line the U Street Corridor attract diverse scenesters looking to grab a bite, catch the latest musical act, or dance the night away to trendy DJs, and the sidewalks are full almost as soon as the sun sets.

The daytime street scene tends to be more relaxed, with residents usually outnumbering tourists at the furniture stores, organic markets, and boutique fashion outlets, and on the third Thursday of each month, U Street shops stay open late to offer light refreshments and special deals.

Both Bill Cosby and President Barack Obama have been known to get a hot dog and a milkshake at the landmark Ben’s Chili Bowl restaurant, while more adventurous eaters enjoy the variety of ethnic establishments – including DC’s unofficial “Little Ethiopia” – as well as neighborhood diners that take their food as seriously as a chichi restaurant, minus the price tag.


Where to Go in the U Street Corridor

  • * Black Cat 20s / 80s Music / ATM / All Ages
  • * Local 16 30s / Burgers / Casual / Couples

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