As a symptom of changing times and a reminder that nothing beautiful lasts forever, Darnell’s closed its doors this weekend. Darnell’s Bar is a small but comfy bar/lounge just off of U street, so discrete you might not even notice it if you weren’t looking. It was a reliable home for good music and great jerk wings and mac & cheese.
Darnell’s was a bubbling black hub: it was cozy, refined and consistent. Every Friday night was good for a fun night whether with friends or on a date; the dimly lit, homey vibe and mix of the best music from the 80s to today was perfect for any mood.
The results of D.C. changing while trying to “broaden” its horizons, seems to affect the black mainstays; they always seem to be the first to go. When black businesses come and go, it hits harder than the closing of a store branch or corporate entity. Black businesses can easily become a proto-home with enough time and when they leave you they take a part of you with them. It may be business as usual but for the people who spent time there it’s a somber fact of life. So farewell to Darnell’s, your last night was like every night before it: a fun time with a good meal as a bonus.