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Sep 7, 2013 03:53 PM

Need DC'ers who may be familiar with nightclubs about 15yrs back????

Stayed near the capital, hit up a really cool club that was fashioned around and old electric plant/house whatever you would call it.
I remember it being off the Main Street and the entrance was down an alleyway. Bottom floor was the dance floor, 2nd floor was a catwalk where you could look down to the dance floor.

I imagine its long gn but wonder if it was resurrected to something new?

Thanks in advance

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  1. I wonder if you're referring to Capital Ballroom / Nation? (To be somewhat on topic,--I can't remember the food (if any)). It's gone.

    1. The Zei Club on Zei Alley between McPherson Sq. and Farragut West? it's now home to a couple of architecture firms. I did a freelance gig for one of them a few years ago. cool space. the industrial feel of the interior is largely intact.

      2 Replies
      1. re: hill food

        I believe from club planets description this is it

        1. re: hill food

          oh gosh, i had forgotten all about that club. that HAS to be it!

        2. If it was Nation, I used to hang out there a lot on goth/industrial night. There was also a rave/techno night and a gay night.

          Here's a bad picture of it, if it rings any bells. That whole area of town has been razed for Nationals stadium now.

          3 Replies
          1. re: JonParker

            I was going to say either Nation or Tracks.

            1. re: monkeyrotica

              I like to think that the Nationals were named after Nation. I had so many good times there, and saw so many good bands. With the death of Jay the Bartender acouple of years ago and Josh Burdette passing, the DC club scene is changing for the worse, IMO.

            2. re: JonParker

              Sorry, wasn't that place I don't think. That looks more outdoor rooftop than my memory.

              No worry, guess it wasn't as memorable for others.

              Reason for asking is we are making a weekend trip there in 2 weeks

            3. Definitely sounds like the Zei Club down Zei Alley of McPherson Square. From Club Planet: lZei Club - Caters to a teenage contingent 18 and older and a Euro-style crowd over 21. Has a state-of-the-art sound system. In a warehouse that originally was an electric utility substation, ZEI is a three-level dance club. The two upper tiers overlook a 1500 square foot dance floor and a three floor video wall - See more at:

              I went there until it closed. Very cool!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Chessie54

                Thank you so much. I googled also and came back with the opera lounge. Some pics resemble my memory but the clear decider was the electric substation and the open floor on 2 and 3 or maybe just 2.


                1. re: tommygphotos

                  Here is an article that shows the evolution of both the Zei and Spy clubs located in Zei Alley (14th & I). Yes, Opera Lounge is there now, but back in the 1990s, you had Spy and Zei:


                  1. re: Chessie54

                    wow, Opera's on the same alley but a different building. makes me chuckle as had I lived in DC in the 80's I'd probably have been there. but no, instead 20 years later I was quite sober and doing DTP and copy editing 9-5 where once hot boys and girls had some fun and I was minding my billable hours.

                    is the 18th St. Lounge/Thievery Corporation still chugging along?