ESL: The Beginning
"Our model was a place where we would like to frequent ourselves. Enough energy for a party, but also a place where people are able to socialize in an intimate environment," is what co-owner and original operator Farid (Ali) Nouri and his business partners Eric Hilton and Yama Jewayni felt Washington, DC, needed. After almost two decades of premiere house parties, their vision has created a legacy unmatched by any other venue in the District.

Nestled between the established neighborhood of Dupont Circle and the power corridors of Connecticut Ave and K Street, 1212 Eighteenth Street NW is an unassuming entrance to one of DC's cultural gems: The Eighteenth Street Lounge (ESL). ESL opened its doors in April 1995 and unknowingly changed the face of DC's dance culture forever. The Lounge has been independently operated since its inception and has spawned multiple businesses in DC operated by the different partners. Eighteenth Street Lounge is also the birthplace of the internationally renowned Electronic Music duo Thievery Corporation, and its affiliates record label, ESL Music.

ESL has been spearheaded by Farid Nouri from its beginning; he holds the longest DJ residency, expanded the original space to what it is today and guided the direction of the establishment by curating its music bookings and events since 1995.

Energy. Music. Culture.

ESL now includes five areas: The Main Room, The Gold Room, The Jazz Bar, The Studio Bar and Deck Bar. The Eighteenth Street Lounge, with the direction of Farid Nouri is dedicated to providing Washington, DC, with the greatest regional and world-class DJ talent as well as live music ranging from traditional Jazz and Funk, to Reggae and a hybrid of Latin sounds. ESL showcases live bands Tuesday through Saturday.

Please visit our Schedule page to see our entertainment line-up.

ESL - Photo Book

A collection of photos capturing the essence of Eighteenth Street lounge, The Photo Book provides a window into every aspect of this iconic, internally-recognized DC establishment.

Press

ESL is also featured in The New York Times’ “36 Hours: 150 Weekends in the USA & Canada.”