African Night Clubs in DC

~ Exploring African affairs and cultural events in the DMV

2013072895203851Update: I understand that as of 1/1/14, this establishment is now closed.

Last night, after an early dinner and drinks in Bethesda, I took the bus over to Silver Spring (which is more or less where I live). On my walk home, I passed Nectar Lounge on Georgia Ave, which I knew had some sort of African connection, but didn’t really come on my radar until it was the official venue for the Miss Africa USA after party.

I was particularly pleased to discover that there was absolutely no cover to enter (had I known that, I probably would have tried it earlier). Once Inside, I found a very large and spacious establishment, with plenty of space to move around. There was not a huge crowd, but there were a decent number of bodies on the dance floor and lounging at the bar or tables (of which there were also plenty).

My Heineken was $5, which seemed reasonable by nightclub/longe prices and the kitchen was open quite late. I’m not sure what was on the menu, but it seemed to be West African fish/chicken/beef dishes. I was also able to get in wearing shorts and with a bunch of cigars in my pocket, another plus.


The crowd was predominantly, though not exclusively of African origins. The same was true of the music. I heard Nigerian, Ghanaian, and I think some Ivorian. This was also interspersed with some American music. The bar closed at 2am, but I believe the dj continued on for another hour.

I really enjoyed the relaxed vibe at Nectar. I did not get the sense that it was a pick-up joint, but rather a laid back place to relax and have fun on the weekend. For those Africa in DC readers who may be interested in checking out the west African nightlife scene in DC but may have a few inhibitions, I highly recommend Nectar as a starting point.

For those of you who do move regularly in such circles, I encourage you to patronize Nectar Lounge, based on my experience last night it seems worthy of it.

Interesting facts

  • Patrick Forge (born Ipswich, Suffolk) is a British jazz, jazz-dance and soul music DJ who spent much of the late 1980s and early 1990s DJing alongside Gilles Peterson at the famous Dingwalls club in Camden, North London.
    Back in the 80s, Patrick worked for Reckless...

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