May 11, 2018
Unrecognisable from its former incarnation as a sports bar, Modern is an extraordinarily swanky lounge bar that’s taking DC by storm and although reports suggest it has perhaps lost some glamour since its heyday, it still manages to pack them in. It’s the décor that is the standout here, with white curtains, smooth pillars, a low slung orange-lit ceiling, curved silver bar counters and pipes that look like something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey (except more Modern, of course). The highlight, though, is a sunken, hexagonally-shaped central bar that looks like a space-console, with five cream leather Ottomans instead of stools to sit at. Music is funk, soul and pop with some hip hop and reggae mixed in, all adding up to a gorgeous retro-meets funk atmosphere. Being in Georgetown, it’s pleasingly unpretentious too: it might even be a good idea to get some of those uptight folk at the Pentagon down here. It is, however, unsurprising charged at Georgetown prices all that décor doesn’t come cheap so don’t expect a bargain night out, as the drinks can be a little on the steep side. The place gets very busy at peak times (though if you hit it at a quiet time, it can seem eerily quiet so the trick is to plan your night carefully as it’s a venue that works best with a lively crowd inside. Modern tends to attract a fairly young crowd, drawn by decent music, a low cover charge free if you know the password and a not-too-strict dress code (though generally no trainers or sneakers, as the locals would have it if you want to get in).