When Jamie Hess dropped us a line last week and mentioned that he had switched from Spot over to Stir Lounge and was throwing a party with special guest Sean Kingston, my initial reaction was, “Who is Sean Kingston?” Deciding I didn’t really care that much, my second question was “What is Stir Lounge?” Dean quickly informed me that Stir Lounge was essentially Indebleu, rebranded for the evening. Confident in Jamie’s track record I decided it was worthwhile to go and check it out thinking that it was about time someone created a great party in Chinatown.
Cost – $$$
Service – B+
“Hey guys, we charge crazy prices so I’m going to make you guys two crazy drinks,” said the bartender. “You had me at ‘hey guys,'” I thought to myself as I gingerly sipped what literally amounted to a cup of vodka with a dash of soda. Between the generous libations and omnipresent silicon behind the bar, my overall impression of the bartenders at Stir Lounge was pretty favorable. There was one passing moment when the security staff wouldn’t let us leave the 18-and-over party we stumbled into (not on purpose I swear) on the top floor because apparently Sean Kingston was walking in the door but it was nothing out of the ordinary for security at an ultra-lounge.
Décor – B
It was so packed I didn’t have much of an opportunity to look critically at the general decor throughout the venue so I’m mostly going off what I can recollect from the few times I’ve eaten at Indebleu. The main floor of Stir has light gray walls with a long bar one one side, an open area segmented by thin, metallic pillars and a peculiar repitilian print. Nothing really sticks out to me about the decor but as I mentioned, it was a little too crowded to sit back and take it all in.
Feel – A–
Chinatown has been waiting for a good ultra-lounge and I think Stir has done a great job filling that void. The venue was completely packed and there was an enormous line out the door. The crowd did skew a bit younger but that may have been due to the appearance of Sean Kingston, who I later found out is an overweight 16-year-old R&B singer. For the mid-to-young twenties crowd looking for a packed, wild ultra-lounge outside of K Street or Dupont, Stir Lounge is definitely worth a visit.