[Eric Lund, Ryan Seelbach] It was impossible to know what to expect of The Huxley, a new venue which has gathered endless hype since Eric Lund and Ryan Seelbach decided to go into the nightlife business together. The two themselves are an unconventional pair: Ryan is a fixture in the competitive Georgetown social scene, while Eric is a famous DC club promoter.
The two introduced the Huxley to a few hundred Washingtonians with rose gold (and a few black) metal VIP member cards enclosed in heavy duty invitations sealed with wax marked with an "H" stamp about a week ago. In the invitation, they request "black tie." Some invitees uploaded photos of the cards with panties and cash to LateNightShots.com to poke fun at the pretentiousness of the invitation.
Black tie attire was a huge risk for the two to take with a crowd that defaults to business cocktail attire for, well, everything. Why black tie? "I wanted to do something different," Seelbach told Guest of a Guest. It turns out that the formal feel really made the evening magical, and ultimately made it the best venue opening I have ever been to.
DC Mayor Vincent Gray stopped by at 10pm for a ribbon cutting, but his son Carlos Gray arrived at least two hours before his dad did to take in the scene. We also spotted Zachary Leonsis, Miss Sweden 2012 Hanni Beronius, Erika Gutierrez, Rodrigo Garcia, Joel Holland, Britt McHenry, Tony Cord, Karina Gutierrez, Carlos Gutierrez Jr., Becca Thorsen, Liz Owens, Lisa Gillenwater, Katherine Kennedy, Erwin Gomez, Paul Wharton, Grant Allen, Jesse Biggers, Bess Chapman, Chip Dent, Dr. Mark Drapeau, George Foulard, Fletcher Gill, Karla Gonzalez, John Paul Hamilton, Anne Harper, Daniel Heider, Michele Hudson, Krista Johnson, Samir Kapadia, James Kennedy, Sery Kim, Becky Lee, Jason Mandel, Camelia Mazard, James Merrill, Kate Michael, David Miller, Eve Monica, Sondra Ortagus, Maggie O'Neill, Tina Palmer, Ray Regan, Lloyd Regas, Bennett Richardson, Courtney Jane Rosellini, Leo Schmid, Jana Sedlakova, Rich Shea, Arash Shirazi, Kelly Anne Smolinski, Nina Snow, Ken Suarez, Dan Swartz, Andrea Szempruch, Danielle Theroux, David Van Fleet Bloys, Michael Clements, Anchyi Wei, Lauren Wynns and so many more....
Guests enjoyed open bar and light passed bites served by pretty cocktail waitresses. By 9pm, guests were drunk and in good spirits, complimenting each others' formal attire and then pairing off toward the end of the night (ho hum).
The Huxley has two main rooms: the glittery, sparkly Ballroom where lights twinkle from behind huge chandeliers; and the Study, a cozier area lined with bookshelves. The Huxley was designed by architects Brian Miller and Lauren Winter, the award-winning duo behind The Gibson, The Brixton and U Street Music Hall.
The Huxley's biggest challenge will be maintaining their momentum in DC's homogeneous nightlife scene. Their first test comes Thanksgiving Eve on the 21st, which has George, Mason Inn, Smith Point and The Huxley eyeing the same few hundred Washington socials.
Admittance to The Huxley will be by guest list and table service only. It will be open 10pm-3am only on Fridays and Saturdays, and will host private events Sunday-Thursday.
[Jesse Biggers, Bess Chapman] [Ryan Seelbach, Becca Thorsen, Kelly Anne Smolinski, Sondra Ortagus]
[Lucien Zeigler, Kelly Anne Smolinski, George Foulard, Lisa Gillenwater, Joel Holland]
[Eve Monica, Michele Hudson, Erin Lyons, John Paul Hamilton, Miss Sweden, Ashley Boalch]
Best $2k is a category Guest of a Guest attributes to stories that are particularly flashy in nature.
Thursday, May 23
We sat down with Anne Pasternak for a few questions about Creative Time's past and future, as well as the importance of having an awareness about public art in the city.