Jim Graham is preparing for his third act. The former Ward 1 Councilmember is taking the path less chosen for his post-political career by launching a new nightlife venture, Rock Hard Sundays.
Graham has contracted with The House, a gentlemen’s club featuring female dancers on Georgia Ave. NW, to offer two nights of male entertainment. On Sundays, the club will feature male dancers for a mostly gay audience, and on Thursdays, male dancers geared toward a female audience.
“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after leaving the Council,” Graham says. “I knew I didn’t want to work full time. I’ve had two jobs in 31 years. Fifteen years at Whitman-Walker, 16 years on the Council, and I really wanted to do something different. And I did want to make some money, and I also wanted to have some fun.”
Graham emphasizes the entertainment angle and performance aspects of the nights. “The dancers are not just going to be standing, gyrating,” he says. “They’re going to be giving a performance. They’re going to start with their clothes on and take them off. There will be an opportunity for them to speak. It’s just a very different atmosphere.”
Graham foresees the club eventually serving food and even offering valet parking. And at least one evening a month will support local nonprofits. On Sunday, April 19, which will serve as the night’s kickoff party, $5 of the $15 cover charge will benefit Whitman-Walker Health. “It’s closing a circle for me,” he says. “I was head of Whitman-Walker from 1984 to 1999, during the height of the AIDS crisis, and some of the strip clubs would host benefits for us.”
As for the possibility he will be criticized for his latest venture, Graham is nonplussed.
“People are a little bit surprised about the career choice,” he says. “I’ve been through a lot of public controversy. I don’t know why there would be that much more associated with this, because it’s a business venture, I’m a private citizen, and it’s fully legal. I know it’s considered an unusual path for a former D.C. councilmember, but it’s preferable to peddling influence, which is what some councilmembers do. I’m peddling entertainment.”
The House is located at 3530 Georgia Ave. NW. The male dancer launch party benefiting Whitman-Walker Health will be held on April 19 from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information, visit thehouse3530.com.
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