Club Five (Washington, D.C.)



Purse-snatchers and big men dancing on speakers.

Club Five in our nation’s capital is owned by Primacy Company, who also owned the recently shutdown nightclub Nation and Modern in Georgetown, which suffered a fire that gutted the place recently. With three floors, Five is open five nights a week, typically until 5:00 am. The club boasts a “Full Bass Heavy EAW Avalon Sound System” on its website, and paints a majestic picture of the rooftop patio, somewhat different from the feeling our Stalkers got. We sent them to search for skeletons in Washington DC’s closets, the ones outside of Capitol Hill, that is.

Stalker #1
Parking was a bitch! Take the metro or the bus if you can. We heard most nights here are free until a certain time as long as you get on “the list.” So when we saw the line, we weaseled our way to the front. My friend shouted about being on so-and-so’s guest list, threw the security guy a tip, and got us in “free” two hours before the rest of the mob.

Inside, this club had the loudest, best sounding speaker system anywhere in DC – rumor has it the speakers are double-stacked now because they took a bunch of the Nation speakers and piled them on (insane).

On the main floor ladies danced on the speakers – real girls, although I’ve heard paid dancers often use the same space. When a well-fed man attempted to maneuver like the girls, he was briefly cheered on by the crowd, then kicked off by the club staff.

We eventually moved up to the second floor, which shared sound with the main level. After crawling along a line we reached a hallway-like mezzanine running above the dancefloor, which had a small bar, coat check, bathrooms, and a handful of bottle service tables, plus a pole for voyeuristic ladies. Up on the roof we found a cabana area that had a separate sound system, a smallish dancefloor with umbrellas and benches, plus a little tiki bar and hammocks in a VIP area.

We retreated back to the main room’s dancefloor and stayed there, breaking for drinks throughout the night. Dirty, sweaty, covered in people’s drinks, bruised feet, half drunk, dead tired close to sunrise, pushed, pulled, groped, yelled at, throat hurt from screaming, hands hurt from clapping – it was a great night!

Stalker #2
Young aristocrats, government men in suits, party kids, Euro-scenesters, old-skool ravers, DJs, locals, every color and age made for great people watching. But because of the mix of people, combined with the smushed-in-like-sardines feeling, a girl has to continually watch her back, and her boyfriend’s back as well. We’d easily lose each other, or get pushed away by the other dancers. My experience was aggravating, even though overall it seemed like a fun and happening place. And the speaker-dancing was on, as promised.

There wasn’t any place to put my purse down. I kept it in tow, but I had my bag stolen right off my arm, and couldn’t get to the guy to give it back. It was found after closing, dumped of its contents in one of the garbage containers.

Stalker #3
When I went to visit a friend in DC he said I had to check out Club Five. Besides the great DJs that spin there – Ceballos, Josh Wink, Donald Glaude, Steve Porter – [there are] the live performances. DJs will come out of the booth to jump around in with the packed club, along with saxophonists, guitarists and vocalists.

Unfortunately, there weren’t many parking garages downtown, and the streets were confusing and seemingly all one-way. Once we finally ditched the car, getting inside the club was bliss. The crowd was already screaming and dancing with enough exuberance to blow the roof off the club.

We worked our way to the bar for a strong drink, served by a smiling hottie. Upstairs the roof was open and we hung out at the little cabana bar before fighting crowds on the second floor to make our way to the dancefloor. Five was definitely one of the best party clubs in town. If you come to D.C. and don’t go, you’ve missed something.

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Copyright 2006 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2006 TESTA Communications