Metro Weekly

Distrkt C is DC’s newest gay dance party

Bruce Yelk's new party Distrkt C will christen the third floor of the DC Eagle this weekend

Photo: Todd Franson

Photo: Todd Franson

Promoter Bruce Yelk had been looking for a venue to throw “a raw, sexy dance party” in D.C. when he learned that the DC Eagle was getting ready to open its top floor.

“I walked in the space, and I immediately knew it was the right place to do it,” says Yelk. “It’s a very old-school space.”

A Philadelphia native, Yelk frequented both Tracks and Nation in D.C. and got his start as a promoter at Philadelphia’s former gay nightclub Shampoo and one of the organizers of Philly’s legendary circuit party, Blue Ball. The result of his experience is Distrkt C, a party with a name partially inspired by The Hunger Games. This Saturday, Feb. 13, Distrkt C will christen the DC Eagle’s top floor, fifteen months after the DC Eagle opened in its new location on Benning Road NE.

The party will be held the second Saturday of every month and Yelk has plans to hire DJs who spin “fun, upbeat, happy music” for a diverse crowd. “The concept is of a party that appeals to the leather guys,” he says. “It appeals to the circuit guys. It appeals to the jocks. And they all mix and mingle.” Mobile app Scruff is the main sponsor of Distrkt C, which Yelk expects to have a similar vibe to New York’s scruff-oriented Brut party.

DJ Mark DeMarko from New York will be the party’s resident DJ, and he’ll spin at the launch party this weekend with Manny Lehman, the Los Angeles-based DJ who served as one of VelvetNation’s residents. Also appearing this Saturday are adult film stars Rocco Steele and Ray Diesel. Just don’t expect them to perform, beyond a little parading and dancing. Yelk anticipates only ever having little incidental performances — “something that draws you in and hopefully gets you to participate in a fun, happy way.”

And patrons can plan to stay and dance all night: Distrkt C will close at 8 a.m. Sunday morning. Though Ted Clements of the DC Eagle says the club has not previously stayed open all night, it can. It has a special, rare license that allows it to remain open 24 hours from Friday night to Monday morning if it so chooses. “We’re not allowed to serve liquor [past normal hours] but we’re allowed to stay open and serve juices, water and sodas,” he says.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Clements says about the top floor. It will be christened The Exile, in honor of D.C.’s legendary, now-defunct leather dance club, and can accommodate 350. There are still some finishing touches to be made, including installation of a wood dance floor (it’s currently concrete — wear comfortable, padded shoes).

“Everyone is really excited about this,” says Clements. “We’re chomping at the bit…to have the entire building up and running.”

Distrkt C is Saturday, Feb. 13, from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., at the DC Eagle, 3701 Benning Rd. NE. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 before midnight the day-of, $40 after. Visit distrktc.com or dceagle.com.

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.