Ultrabar is aptly named. The “Ultra” in “Ultrabar” can be taken to mean a number of things. For example, “ultra” could be used to reference the venue itself: five floors that contain a chaotic blend of sounds, aesthetics and experiences. Or “ultra” could mean the horde of clubbers (a head count that tops 1000 heads on many nights) that fills the club and stretches down the block, a truly heterogeneous blend of ages, races and ethnicities. “Ultra” might also refer to the international mix of events that work their way through Ultrabar.
Or it could refer to the synthesis of all these different things, which results in a slightly overwhelming, Cancun-ish vibe that extends itself throughout a wide breadth of sensibilities.
It has been more than a while since I visited the establishment. It caters to the 18-25 crowd (and I unfortunately am a few years removed from their demographic) but Ultrabar Owner Antonis Karagounis’ birthday provided us with a good reason to drop in and see how the venue has come along and Karagounis was cool enough to take a few moments to chat with us about the venue that has become a landmark in the DC nightlife scene.
Cost – $$$
Service – A-
When most people think of large club venues, they assume they’ll be manhandled at the door and receive rude service at the bar (if they ever get served). According to Karagounis, “The front door staff is comprised of nightlife veterans who have worked in many clubs and lounges and understand the importance of customer service.” True to form, the service at the door was professional and polite. Inside, the wait staff was prompt and friendly in spite of the chaos that surrounded the bar. The service – both inside and out – was far better than what we have experienced at some of the other multi-floor clubs in DC.
Décor – B
The structure that houses Ultrabar is over 100 years old and has been a night club for the past twenty years. Each floor has a slightly different visual sense to it and the age and history of the establishment – it feels like DC – pervades the venue (except for possibly the top floor, which felt a bit more modernized than the others).
Feel – A-
There are a lot of opinions about Ultrabar but you can’t argue with the following: First, that everyone has an opinion on the place…people have been talking about Ultrabar for years now. Second, you can’t argue that Ultrabar has been drawing an enormous crowd for several years, based on a loyal following and a relatively simple formula.
The club doesn’t try to overstep into exclusivity; instead, it focuses on creating an open, fun environment that offers enough diversity to be a true “destination” venue. With this winning formula, Ultrabar has become the “go to” destination for the 18-25 crowd in DC. According to Karagounis, “We want to create a comfortable and welcoming venue without the crazy door policies. Everyone is welcome as long as they make the effort.”
Ultrabar is located at 911 F Street Northwest. They can be reached at (202) 638-4663 or on the Web at http://www.ultrabardc.com.
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Pictures courtesy of dcnightclubs’ photostream
What’s the Buzz:
Ultrabar (Metromix) – For a place with a name like Ultrabar, they truly do have a superhuman line-up of events. Hosting a varied array of parties per week in the club’s four bars, there is no shortage of dance mayhem. Full article…