Jump to content

Black Fox Lounge, North Dupont Circle - "Executive Lounge" on Connecticut Ave. and R Street NW - Closed Jan 1, 2015


Recommended Posts

Saw an ad for this in the City Paper today and don't know quite what to make of it: Black Fox Lounge. PX for the bling palace crowd? Faux classy hotel bar (sans hotel)? Some of the copy is cringe-inducing:

The anticipation is building. Coming to the Northwest section of the District of Columbia, a world-class lounge in the heart of the very fashionable and historic Dupont Circle, on Connecticut Avenue, between R and S Streets.

Black Fox is a well-thought-out repose. Sleek and fresh, yet possessing an Old World sensibility, it offers an atmosphere where one can relax, delight in simple pleasures, and if need be, transact business. Relish our impeccable club service, classic and original cocktails, premium wines from luxury wineries around the world, and savory hors d'oeuvres in a quiet, opulent setting.


I actually appreciate the concept and think that it's a good idea in the abstract (upscale classic cocktail lounge), but the see-and-be-seen vibe I'm getting makes me want to avert my eyes. I can't picture exactly where this is going either (right next to City Lights?), but I haven't walked that block in awhile.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Black fox is a James A. McGlade joint, James apparently being the owner of the The Leather Rack (where Al Dente gets his assless chaps) at the same address as the new lounge, and a guy who helped buy a bike for the cop who answered the call when my house got broken into (he has been transferred since the picture on Page 6 of both the cop and McGlade was taken). Wine and hospitality consultant is Daniel Mahdavian, is late of Cafe Milano, the St. Regis and the short-lived Jordan's, among other spots. He appears to have been around long enough and at high enough levels that one of the wine geeks on the board may have insight into his palate and style.

I am skeptical of non-restaurant people deciding suddenly to go into the biz, and then hiring a series of consultants to help them do it. And the web-site prose is deeply puke-inducing:

"A unique, world-class lounge that caters to executives living in or traveling to DC for commerce, politics or pleasure," said James A. McGlade, as clear as that day in May 2006. His unequivocal statement was in response to a question on vision."

But, on the other hand, having a decent martini spot immediately across the street from my office (yes, we can watch the people going in the front door of 1723 from my office-mate's window and try to decide if they're headed for The Leather Rack or the Chinese carryout) would be a good thing. And McGlade is a local boy and deserves the benefit of the doubt. So I volunteer to check it out when the doors open. I suppose I'll have to wear a tie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I volunteer to check it out when the doors open. I suppose I'll have to wear a tie.

"Executive Lounge" always makes me think of the club rooms at airports.

Have you signed up for the VIP Executive Ultra-Super-Important-Guy mailing list yet?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And some assless chaps! :blink:

I have been told that -- my being an assless sort of chap in the first place -- wearing a pair would be redundant.

Is this going to be in the space which long housed that mediocre Chinese take-out place? I can't imagine a worse location for this kind of pretension. Lord, love a duck. When will people get the first clue? ;)

According to the web site, they gutted the building to the masonry, so all visual memories of the Chinese place will be gone. It's the aroma that lingers after 20 years of Kung Pao and General Tso's that will be hard to eliminate. :P

Have you looked at the menu yet?

Not, perhaps, inspiring. So far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not, perhaps, inspiring. So far.

"Not inspiring" is a very kind description.

If anyplace on that block deserved to be gutted to the studs it was that awful Chinese carryout. The only competititors for Black Fox on that side of the street are La Tomate and Anna Maria's, so they might do well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Not inspiring" is a very kind description.

If anyplace on that block deserved to be gutted to the studs it was that awful Chinese carryout. The only competititors for Black Fox on that side of the street are La Tomate and Anna Maria's, so they might do well.

You forget the Royal Palace. :blink: Also, Banana Leaf is almost right there.

Their front window is decked out, but such that you can't see the interior. Not surprisingly, very Ralph Lauren/Hunt Country -- a saddle, a riding helmet on a leather chair, an antique lamp.

We'll see.

ETA: It should be noted that, until the photos of the windows in the second story are trued up thematically with the street-level picture window, the Ralph Lauren interior/Tom of Finland poster boy looks are going to be a bit clash-y.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Executive Lounge" always makes me think of the club rooms at airports.

Have you signed up for the VIP Executive Ultra-Super-Important-Guy mailing list yet?

This may sound rediculous, but my United Red Carpet Club membership is hands down the most important travel item I own next to my toiletry kit. It's the only place in many airports to get refuge from screaming children, to have a decent drink and catch Bloomberg. That said, I'm curious what this place is going to be like- is it really going to be as obnoxious as they make it sound?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This may sound rediculous, but my United Red Carpet Club membership is hands down the most important travel item I own next to my toiletry kit. It's the only place in many airports to get refuge from screaming children, to have a decent drink and catch Bloomberg. That said, I'm curious what this place is going to be like- is it really going to be as obnoxious as they make it sound?

I've read so many pukey websites for what are otherwise decent -- even excellent -- restaurants (not to mention the press releases their publicists send out), that I no longer judge places based on that.

I'm hoping for an understated and civilized hard-liquor place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You forget the Royal Palace. :blink:

You're right.

And what is wrong with seeing and beeing seen, anyway?

Is that what this place is about? They might want to up the glam factor a little.

Someone mentioned not having a kitchen upthread. They would have to have one, wouldn't they?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dress code is "elegant casual" so I suspect assless chaps are out.

parvenu pathetic attempt at a gentlemen's club

Yeah, I mean, that block already has the Royal Palace. It doesn't get any classier than that. :blink:

They will probably do OK with business clientele, although if they really wanted to rake in the Hilton conventioneer dollars they'd position themselves like the high-class strip club whose name I am forgetting (17-something?), as the high-roller Royal Palace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dress code is "elegant casual" so I suspect assless chaps are out.Yeah, I mean, that block already has the Royal Palace. It doesn't get any classier than that. :blink:

They will probably do OK with business clientele, although if they really wanted to rake in the Hilton conventioneer dollars they'd position themselves like the high-class strip club whose name I am forgetting (17-something?), as the high-roller Royal Palace.

Sadly, strip club licenses in DC are capped and I believe the locations are non-transferable.

And I think they're going to have to get those posters out of the top window before the convetioneers will go in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've read so many pukey websites for what are otherwise decent -- even excellent -- restaurants (not to mention the press releases their publicists send out), that I no longer judge places based on that.

The web site sorta reminds me of the J. Peterman catalog.

When does it open?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

" He wants a name that would conjure a feeling or even a memory of a period in the not-so-distant past when traditions were sacred and a courtly code of conduct governed etiquette and worldly interactions.

A quintessential representation is the fox chase in an idyllic countryside replete with English gentlemen costumed in scarlet piques and tweeds with their hounds. "

I'm speechless except to complain that they stole my favorite prostprandial word which I most recently used after consuming the Bouchee a la Reine at Cafe du Parc last Sunday - "replete."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, some of you people have really close minds. Why jump all over this place before it opens!

Snark?

My mind isn't closed, my jaw is dropped, have you taken a close look at the window both above and below and taken it all in together with the website?

The target is too easy to resist. It's just silly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, some of you people have really close minds. Why jump all over this place before it opens!

Because the website says stuff like "Realizing An Opulent Repose in Washington DC," that's why.

And the riding crop in the window is just delicious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And I think they're going to have to get those posters out of the top window before the convetioneers will go in.

Checked out the place last night, and while I love the juxtaposition, I suspect Waitman is correct.

And it appears that they are a long way from opening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dress code is "elegant casual" so I suspect assless chaps are out.

parvenu pathetic attempt at a gentlemen's club

Yeah, I mean, that block already has the Royal Palace. It doesn't get any classier than that. :blink:

They will probably do OK with business clientele, although if they really wanted to rake in the Hilton conventioneer dollars they'd position themselves like the high-class strip club whose name I am forgetting (17-something?), as the high-roller Royal Palace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

random drug tests? sorry, has the owner ever been in the business before?

Don't make assumptions. Maybe they just want to test the quality of your stash before they'll let you work there. Nothing worse than being served by someone on a bad trip.

And I totally agree with you on the whole airport execute lounge thing. I have had an Admirals Club membership for several years and wouldn't dream of travelling without it. People's IQs plummet upon entering an airport (a phenomena which can also be observed in many SS parking lots). Executive clubs are an oasis amongst a sea of stupidity.

The dress code doesn't seem too prohibitive and I like their music selection and cell phone policy. A well made martini and relatively quiet place to enjoy a drink/chat sounds like a great idea. I'm willing to give it a shot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I honestly thought Black Fox Lounge might never open, but I was wrong.

First of all, congratulations!

Now, I hope they won't mind me poking a little fun at this email, which says, "We are offering a prefix of $65 per person...."

Hello!

If you just signed on to our email list, here's A Warm Welcome to Black Fox Lounge.

If you have been on our list for quite some time now, well... we FINALLY made it! WE'RE OPEN! We quietly opened on Tuesday, December 15, with no advance notice or huge email blast. We wanted to ensure that we had our ducks in a row first. So, watch for an email regarding our Grand Opening Gala--sometime in mid-January.

In the meantime, we hope you'll join us for our New Year's Eve Celebration. We are offering a prefix of $65 per person which includes our house brands (wine, beer and liquor), a glass of sparkling wine at midnight and more. We will feature live jazz piano and bass. Our kitchen will be open until 3am. Of course, you can also join the fun a la carte (cash bar/pay as you go!). Space is limited, so we suggest making reservations. Visit http://www.blackfoxlounge.com to RSVP. A flyer is attached to this message. Feel free to spread the word. Black tie optional.

Find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Washington/Black-Fox-Lounge/200993359505?ref=search&sid=1487985939.2861951197..1

See you at the lounge!

Black Fox Lounge

1723 Connecticut Avenue NW

Washington DC 20009

202.483.1723 Lounge

202.797.7401 Office

202.797.7406 Office Fax

http://www.blackfoxlounge.com

If you go to their website, click on "Menu," then "Wine Selection," you'll see that they're offering NV Veuve Cliquot Brut Yellow Label for $125.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We happened into Black Fox very early Saturday evening because their windows were open and we wanted to enjoy the last of the warm air. Soon after we ordered drinks, an elderly man entered and sat at the bar. He was stooped, moving slowly, but was elegantly dressed and clearly at ease with being solo. He ordered a drink and asked for a menu.

When the giant cheesburger arrived, he dismantled it. He piled the raw onion and tomato on the top bun. He added a generous shake of salt and pepper, and ate this element first. He then ate every french fry, carefully dipping each in ketchup. Finally, he used a knife and fork to eat every bit of the cheesburger and bottom bun. It was both adorable and life-affirming to watch him so clearly enjoying his own experience, displaying courtly manners and gusto at the same time. He then asked for black coffee, which he sipped while he read one of the papers piled at the end of the bar. He paid with cash, and handed the tip to the bartender, looking directly at him while saying, "this is for you."

Perhaps he reminded me of my own father, of similar age, less stooped and also slighly less elegant, who has taken to enjoying an occasional solo weekday lunch while my Mom is otherwise occupied. His friends his own age are all deceased and He can't drive at night. I know how much he enjoys a meal "his way," and how sweet he is to servers who treat him as the gentleman he is. So maybe I was overcome with a wave of stupid sentimentality thinking about my Dad, but watching this lovely man practically made me weepy. For this, I will always have a soft spot for the Black Fox.

Oh, and the bartender was super friendly and interesting, and the burger looked delicious. This place may be a poser douche parade later at night, but on a warm, breezy early spring evening it was as welcoming as could be.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...