A Million Dollar Nightcap
Dancing & Clubs
Josephine is a thrilling and voyeuristic celebration of success and excess,
blending nightclub and lounge elements better than any other
park-area venue on K Street.
N amed after Napoleon’s wife, ‘Josephine’ opened in February 2oo8 and offers an exclusive
grandeur fit for an emperor. Those on the guest list can mingle and drink with some of
Washington’s prettiest people in the elegant 5,500 square foot upscale lounge.
Stunning on Saturday and come midnight, the ‘other side’ of the velvet rope is so crowded
that one might think the glamorous lounge is giving away free Grey Goose cocktails inside.
Co-owner David Karim says the crush at the door is because of 22 private tables, reserved for
parties that agree to spend a minimum amount for guaranteed priority admission and bottled
service. “Approximately 80 people (maximum) without reservations are allowed inside on an
average Saturday” but the demographics change, as there are about five people outside waiting
per one guest inside.
The Josephine experience feels like an event, with modern design spurned in favor of ornate
furnishings and gold walls - into a thrilling, voyeuristic celebration of success and excess. Those
without a table stand in circles of prestige, power, and pairs around the seated who lounge
comfortably on the Christopher Guy-designed furniture.
Once the fortunate few are waved in by the well-developed/well-dressed ‘Hosts’ in their
athletic-fit black suits, the proud guests then find a cavernous underground space that has a
retro-chic French touch. The sides of the room are lined with elegant overstuffed couches and
settees covered with bright fabrics, with sturdy coffee tables strong enough to support drinking
glasses and large champagne vases full of ice.
Large flamboyant chandeliers cascade over the bar, the walls feature flocked wallpaper, and
the pattern-covered columns resemble a contemporary Versailles. Down a short flight of stairs
is a sunken area with the main dance floor and more comfortable couches, with raised platforms
for dancers in sexy dress and stylish costumes. A sunken level outlined with banquettes
features a dance floor that is enhanced by premier sound and intelligent lighting equipment.
With its calculated racy edge, Josephine identifies as not only one of the most exclusive clubs in
the Nation’s Capital, but also a leader in the nightlife and entertainment industry... which makes
the luxury venue ‘no easy walk in the park’ for just anyone to buy their way in.
National celebrities and international VIPs dance on couches and tables, or anywhere
else they can find space. Through a guarded door is the Gold Room, with wallpaper depicting
gigantic gold bracelets and necklaces with couches and bar following the same color scheme.
There’s a separate sound system and DJ, so that Gold Room guests can rock to hip-hop while
the main room grooves to tribal house music. The acoustics at Josephine are among the best in
the city, with crisp highs and deep bass no matter where you stand.
The cost of admission and cocktails is priceless, depending on your attitude toward fashion,
society, and consumption in a capitalist society. But whether you love-to-hate it or hate-to-love
it, Josephine is for those with something to celebrate.
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