L2 Lounge

It has been a while since I visited L2 Lounge, located down on Cady’s Alley in Georgetown.  The reason I haven’t frequented L2 in is not because I didn’t appreciate the venue; in fact, after initially visiting L2 over a year ago I immediately rated it as one of the top lounges in the District.  The reason I haven’t been a regular is because of my sense that L2 wasn’t a fan of me (well not me per se but anyone who isn’t a member).

Since launching, L2 Lounge has generally been known as a members-only establishment that caters to a limited population of internationals and DC socialites who have been willing to pay the price tag for an annual membership.  In the past few months however, the L2 brain trust has been working to shift this perception of absolute exclusivity.  They have been loosening the entrance restrictions (non-members can get in for a cover on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays) and hosting events like Art Soiree (who was hosting the event I attended this past week) and Apres Work, which is a no-cover event that takes place every Wednesday from 6PM – 2AM.

The result has been an infusion of new faces and a broadening diversity that is putting L2 back on many radars including my own.

Cost – $$$
The price points are on the higher end but certainly not outrageous.

Service – A-
Years back, the only black eye on my experience with L2 was at the door where I encountered a couple doormen who were obviously took the idea of being discerning too far.  This time around however, they were certainly far more polite and professional.  I’ve always thought the service inside the door was fantastic and that has continued.

Food – B+
L2 Lounge serves appetizers and smaller plates.  I nibbled on one of the sliders but a little piggy in my group (you know who you are) devoured the remainder before I had a chance to enjoy them.  I didn’t get to meet the mixologist at L2 but rank the cocktails I sampled highly, which one would expect at such a venue.

Decor – A
I loved the decor the first time I visited and that hasn’t changed.  The designers did a fantastic job mixing slick, modern furnishings in a Manhattan-esque loft setting complete with exposed brick walls.   Being located Cady’s Alley, L2 has high aesthetic standards to live up to and certainly meets the challenge.

Feel – A
I initially gave L2 an “A” for feel and there was nothing about my experience that would make me change that.  I actually think they have begun to meet their new mission of broadening their base of members and customers, yet have managed to maintain the ambiance of exclusivity (in a good way).  I remember thinking to myself upon first visiting L2, that it was the antithesis of an Adams Morgan bar and I think that is still a good way to think about it.  If you’re looking for a sweaty place to drink beer, be stupid and meet underage girls, then please don’t go here.  However, if you are looking for a sophisticated, sexy venue to meet interesting people or enjoy an evening out with your friends then this should be on your short list.

For an annual fee of $1500, membership comes with waived venue rental fees, table booking at no minimum, exclusive discounts to a variety of DC luxury services and products and of course the ability to enter the lounge at any time for no cost with up to five guests.  For more information on membership, visit their Web site.   For recent news and events information, follow them on Twitter.

L2 Lounge is located on Cady’s Alley in Georgetown and can be reached at (202) 965-2001.

What’s the Buzz:

March 22, 2008 – L2 Lounge, Georgetown (That Guy at the Bar) – I’m not going to be able to write this without gushing like a school girl. I LOVE L2 Lounge. That Guy at the Bar has been to L2 three times over the last couple of weeks with different groups of friends, and every time the experience has been fantastic. Full article…

11 Responses to “L2 Lounge”

  1. Steve December 3, 2008 at 9:03 pm #


    I haven’t yet been there, but regardless of the interior, I wonder about your criteria when it comes to late night venues, and in particular the notion of what brings “a certain sense of legitimacy to the nightlife in DC.” Legitimacy is quality and style, not exclusivity. The Nazi Party and Al Qaeda entail membership, but that doesn’t confer legitimacy on either. Great venues create extraordinary ambience through context and, to some degree, social engineering. They are exclusionary based upon a standard of behavior, not net worth. “Clubbing” in a number of large cities for over 2 decades, including NYC, Tokyo and Hong Kong, I’ve noticed a common thread through all of the truly great establishments: Admission was almost always a function of style and a spirit of inclusive fun. More often than not, these locations were filled with individuals who couldn’t remotely afford a private establishment, but were intriguing, interesting people. In other words, individuals with individuality. Imposing a high financial barrier to participation only ensures the attendance of a very narrow slice of society. Since we all know that money doesn’t buy class (rather, as A.Onassis once said, it only buys a tolerance of the lack of it), clubs that try to establish appeal by levying a high tarriff are only making it that much harder for themselves to establish a truly unique, first-class ambience. Only authenticity has any real staying power.

  2. Jiyan December 4, 2008 at 2:59 am #

    Steve, I think you make some valid points and thanks for your contribution. However I really can’t critique L2 for wanting to create a members-only establishment. What I would like to see is more of these types of venues crop up that cater to other sub-communities within DC.

  3. Lillian December 7, 2008 at 10:42 pm #

    I am pretty much a regular of L2 & have been since it opened. I find any day of the week L2 is the best place in town. The only minus was the music. I have noticed the dj’s there have a high turn over rate. I sacrificed that for the atmosphere. Within the last month or so Saturday nights there have been outstanding. All my friends agree. I went over to the extremely good looking dj to introduce myself & he gave me a cd. Last night we returned & Dimitris George wasn’t there. I don’t understand why? He is the best dj they’ve had. I hope he isn’t gone for good.


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