ESL: The Beginning

"Enough energy for a party, but also a place where people are able to socialize in an intimate environment" is what owner and Executive Creative Director Farid Nouri and his business partners felt Washington, DC needed at the time. After almost two decades of premiere house parties, Farid’s dream has created a legacy unmatched by any other venue in the District.

The unassuming entrance of 1212 18th Street NW is nestled between the established neighborhood of Dupont Circle and the power corridors of Connecticut Ave and K Street. The Eighteenth Street Lounge opened its doors in April 1995 and unknowingly changed the face of DC’s dance music culture forever. The Lounge has been independently operated, and its music programming curated under the auspices of Farid since its inception in 1995. Eighteenth Street Lounge is also the birthplace of the internationally renowned Electronic Music duo Thievery Corporation, and its affiliates record label, ESL Music.

Energy. Music. Culture.

ESL now includes five areas: The Main Room, The Gold Room, The Jazz Bar, The Studio Bar and Deck Bar. Please visit our Tour page to view photographs of the aforementioned areas. 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. We showcase live bands Tuesday through Saturday. 

Please visit our Schedule page to see our entertainment line-up on our website

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.


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