Peace Out, Dupont: D.C. House Venue Babe City Has A New Location

By Ally Schweitzer

D.C. DIY venue Babe City has a new home, and it's hosting a housewarming, of sorts.
D.C. DIY venue Babe City has a new home, and it's hosting a housewarming, of sorts. Greta Weber

Less than four months after celebrating the first anniversary of its in-house record label Babe City Records, Dupont Circle house venue Babe City has relocated.

“It was time for us to leave,” emails Peter Lillis, a Babe City resident who runs the label’s publicity. According to Lillis, Babe City met the same fate as dozens of D.C. house venues before it: The property at 22nd and N streets NW is being “gutted and flipped and sold for big money,” he writes.

Lillis says he and his roommates have moved to a house near Fort Totten Metro. (For privacy reasons, he asked Bandwidth not to publish the address.)

After Babe City began hosting basement shows last fall, the spot became one of D.C.’s most reliable hosts of underground, rock-skewing bands, putting on at least a few gigs a month. Raucous New Paltz punk duo Diet Cig played there twice this year; pop-rock Virginians RDGLDGRN packed the basement in July.

When Jon Weiss (of The Sea Life and Witch Coast) and Erik Strander launched Babe City Records, the house became its headquarters.

But the location — in one of D.C.’s most expensive neighborhoods — felt temporary from the beginning, Lillis points out. “As much as we love it, [Babe City] was never meant to be our permanent home,” he writes. “We quickly outgrew the space, with five people living in a three-bedroom house, and many bands operating out of our living room and basement.”

Moving elsewhere promises to be a money-saver. “We were happy to move to a more comfortable (and cheaper) home up in north D.C.,” Lillis writes.

The second incarnation of Babe City hosts a kickoff show Dec. 27 featuring Babe City act Den-Mate, San Francisco’s Sports and a solo version of Maryland’s Go Cozy. Donations will be taken at the door.

In true punk-rock fashion, the residents of Babe City exited Dupont with little pomp and circumstance, Lillis says. “We packed and moved in the middle of the night with a 24-foot U-Haul,” he writes. “It was an experience.” 

Babe City II hosts its first show Dec. 27. See Facebook for details.