U Street has historically brought Washingtonians together to the sound of its homegrown music, from jazz and blues to rock and go-go. Today its renovated clubs, new restaurants and shops are once again the center of DC’s humming nightlife. U Street is home for those who want to march to their own beat.
Known as Washington’s cultural center at the turn of the century, U Street has long been a backbone of the city’s homegrown jazz, arts, and civil rights movements. Once bearing the scars of riots and protests, today it has regained its rightful place as the street to showcase DC’s vibrant cultural life, from music and food to activism and art.
Most of U Street’s businesses were hollowed out by riots in 1968, but longtime residents weathered the years of economic decline to see the recent rebirth of the neighborhood. Artists and professionals started pouring in more than a decade ago, helping U Street regain much of its funky vibe and economic vitality. Today you’ll find members of all segments of Washington professionals living in modest row homes and new developments just off of U Street, a Supreme Court Justice among them.
U Street sees a critical mass of revelers pass down its narrow sidewalks each weekend–increasingly on weeknights, too. The area is no longer just for nightlife, though, and its lifestyle amenities have evolved to support the dramatic influx of new residents. Grocery stores, markets, and hardware stores have popped up to serve all of the neighborhood’s basic and luxury needs.
Residents can walk to an endless array of entertainment options. The metro and ample bus lines make it an easy launching point for downtown commutes. U Street sports a self-confidence and a brash style that’s unique in the city.