Since the domain was down for the count recently, I haven’t been able to post this until now. The Carlyle Club, located on John Carlyle Street in our neighborhood, was featured in the Mount Vernon Gazette recently.
Maya Horowitz wrote about the club:
The Carlyle Club seats about 300 for an evening of dancing, dinner and 1940s-style fun in Old Town Alexandria. The supper-club experience starts as guests walk down the red carpet outside of the club.
“How many places can you go to dine and dance in an elegant style?” asks Arlene Hewitt, co-owner of the club. “We are the only facility like this in metropolitan Washington.”
Decorated in 1940s art deco style, the club has dimly lit lamps on each table, retro wallpaper and carpeting and waiters dressed in tuxedos. It is meant to evoke the famous Copacabana nightclub from New York. But it’s not just the décor, the experience, claim the owners, is unique.
“I don’t really know that there is another place like this in D.C. Maybe not even in New York,” said Brennan Reilly, co-owner.
“There’s a fair amount of places to see live music and a number of nice restaurants but there isn’t anywhere to do both,” said Sharon Reilly, also co-owner.
They wanted to create an alternative to standard date nights.
“TV kind of killed the night club. Once you hit 30, it’s kind of dinner and a movie and that’s all there is,” said Brennan Reilly. “[The Carlyle Club] is a substitute instead of dinner and a movie. A live show for really not that much difference in price.”
That price is generally about $15-$20 for admission to the show and $20-$35 for dinner.
Tracy Goodnough, a patron from Fauquier County, said, “It’s date night — I love it. It’s really hard to find a place that has big band swing music and a certain décor.”
The idea for the Carlyle Club came from the Reillys. They had owned a previous restaurant that was a 1940s style diner. “In the couple years it took to find a spot it evolved into a night club,” said Brennan.
They opened in October 2007.
The concept for the Carlyle Club has continued to grow and change over time. “We’re not even what we originally thought we would be. We weren’t going to do private events. It’s kind of taken on a life of its own,” said Brennan Reilly. Now, the club does about 50 percent private events, 50 percent shows.
They had also hoped that the area surrounding the night club would be a destination for shopping and restaurants. But at present, the area has a relatively few number of businesses. The parking garage that was built to accommodate customers for the area is now almost exclusively for guests of the Carlyle Club.
“This area was supposed to be like Clarendon,” said Brennan Reilly. “We’re kind of the last man standing … What saved us is that people find out about our shows online. They don’t just wander in. We’ve found one thing that actually works.”
You can read more of the profile at this link.