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Development News

New live music venue in Trinidad to open

Tree House Lounge

A new bar and music venue called the Tree House Lounge is soft-opening tonight, April 10, at 1006 Florida Ave NE. The ground, or first, level will remain closed for renovations, but the second floor will be open for business until midnight. 

"We are for people living in the neighborhood that don’t want to walk in the middle of the night up to H Street," says Khaled Hossainkhail, owner. "You can just walk less than a block and have a place to relax and meet your friends."

Hossainkhail says he closed on the roughly 2,200 square-foot property that used to be the Capitol Hill Premium Cigar and Tobacco club and switched the licenses in just three short weeks. While the upstairs remains relatively untouched, Hossainkhail says he hired architect Olivia Jenkins to renovate the downstairs. The upscale oak hardwood flooring will stay intact.

The former cigar lounge used to be a members-only club upstairs and a bar downstairs, but the new venue is open to the public. The first level will be a modern—but "with English flavor"—bar downstairs and a live music venue with bar upstairs. People can hear live music about three to four times a week and will be open until1 a.m. on most weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends. Light-fare food is coming, but only bags of pretzels and chips are available for the munchies right now.

"We wanted it [the downstairs] to be a laid-back atmosphere to hang out and watch TV and chit chat in and if you’re interested in seeing live music, then you can go up."

Right now Hossainkhail estimates about 50 to 60 people can fit upstairs with a total of 100 people once the downstairs is finished being renovated. Music will range from jazz to pop music, anything but hard-core music, says Hossainkhail, who cited being empathetic to the neighbors as the reason for the exclusion.

As for parking, Hossainkhail says he is meeting with the Trinidad Neighborhood Association on Friday to discuss, and show his support for, opening up parking on both sides of Florida Avenue after 6:30 p.m.

"It would be less of a headache for the neighbors and anyone trying to get in the area," he says.

While Florida Avenue NE does not have a multitude of commercial and retail venues, it is very close to H Street. The proximity to the H Street corridor—one of the most under-construction areas of D.C.—has had a trickle-down effect in neighborhoods like Trinidad where the cost of housing is increasing and crime statistics are on the decline, especially on those streets close to H Street.

Read more articles by Lisa Spinelli.

Lisa Spinelli is Elevation DC's development editor as well as a freelance journalist, copy editor and mother of two. After receiving her Master of Science in print journalism from Columbia University in 2004, Lisa worked across the country and in Italy as a journalist, editor and Web editor. Her website LisaSpinelli.com has links to a smattering of her published clips.
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