Friday, June 24, 2016

Buckeye + Bear Unveiling Recap

Inside Buckeye + Bear

A Literal Free-for-All
by Haylee Grey Pearson (Contributing Editor)

Dupont Circle, Washington DC. Enough is said in the name. It’s the center of relevance for the nation's capital, and home to loudest night life in the country. It’s no surprise that we see every make and model of bar, club, and lounge on the block either thriving or grasping for attention. 18th Street Lounge dominates the music scene and will never see a Saturday night without a line, CafĂ© Citron hosts every bachelorette gaggle in DC, and Sign of the Whale is the apex for college kids meeting their Tinders

In an area like Dupont Circle, that's focused on finding and reserving its niche, there is one bar that is a literal free-for-all: Buckeye + Bear. What was formally The Huxley has transformed into a country rock music venue, that is also kind of a sports bar. It doesn’t stop there. Buckeye + Bear has more diverse and eclectic activities in week than a Harvard applicant. Underground comedy, Latin night, Country rock cover bands, and even Costume Karaoke packs the week. If all or none of the nightly events don’t have you scheduling your next meet up, there’s no need to worry. Buckeye + Bear’s venue has plenty of space for bad decisions and even worse dancing.

Feeling nostalgic?

Buckeye + Bear wins where a number of bars fail in Dupont. The available food and familiar domestic beers stray from the typical, pretentious drink selections of neighboring bars and lounges. Understandably, a friendly, welcoming staff is an anomaly in the fast-paced, crowded bars of Dupont Circle. Yet, Buckeye + Bear has the bartenders that smile, as you waffle on whether to go with DC Brau or Stella. They have the doorman who makes small talk while you pull out your Banana Republic and Metro card before finding your ID. Hooray!

Now, Buckeye + Bear isn’t perfect by any means. A quick makeover from its Huxley phase didn’t transition to the grunge country bar it’s striving to be. The paint is too fresh, the posters of famous bands are strategically hung, and there are still chandeliers: It’s cool, but doesn’t (yet) match the vibe. It has the vibe of a bar where tourists have the best night of their vacation belting out Bon Jovi, directly next to a drunk collegian crying about whatever drunk collegians cry about.

Buckeye + Bear is the fresh, pimple-faced bar that will find itself in the next year. Maybe it drops some of the excess weight, and turns into Dupont Circle’s destination for live music? Maybe it doesn't? Maybe Bon Jovi plays? That’s the beauty of relevance.