The Museum of Arts and Sciences opened yesterday, and PQ Insider was there.
You may remember the controversy that surrounded this "museum." The proprietors, who paid $10 million for the space at 915 F Street N.W. that used to be the Platinum Nightclub, originally filed an application for a beverage license saying the "museum" would be used for "lectures, poetry readings, comedy acts, and chamber music." However, in real life it is clearly a bar. Neighbors were weary after Platinum closed in 2008 after a shooting there. The application included late hours, alcohol, and three dance floors--not exactly necessary for poetry readings.
The "museum" was allowed to open though. After several soft openings, the Museum of Arts and Sciences opened last night. They will have what they call a "real" grand opening on New Year's Eve.
The space is incredible. It has an incredibly high ceiling with an enormous skylight. Hanging from the skylight are massive chandeliers and all sorts of dance-floor lighting. Yet the bartender told us they expect it to be a place "where people can sit and talk." The building was originally one of D.C.'s first savings and loans.
Upstairs there is a private party room and a balcony where you (and security) can see all the action below.
There were small bites on the menu, which features foods from neighbors Cowgirl Creamery and CoCo Sala. They had an extensive drink menu, and the bartenders put a lot of work into each drink - making them just right.
There was a lot of staff - both wait staff and security. They are continually updating their list of wines and beers, and the staff was trying them all at the bar last night (they didn't give PQ Insider any samples, however).
It is hard to tell what kind of crowd this venue will draw and what it will turn into. For now, it is an incredible space with a very polite and attentive staff. PQ Insider will definitely be back.
UPDATE: Less than a week later, Museum closes