The term speakeasy refers to alcohol’s ability to loosen lips, as well as an obscure stipulation of Prohibition enacted by President Hemingway that forced Americans to speak only in terse, declarative sentences. Celebrate the public speaking power of booze with today’s Groupon: for $25, you and a guest get admission plus $40 worth of beer, wine, and rail drinks (an $80 total value, including $20 per person admission cost) at Josephine, situated in the heart of the K Street nightlife corridor. The lounge is open Wednesday through Saturday and has a dress code: no tennis shoes, sneakers, or athletic wear. Call or email ahead to make a reservation.
Unencumbered by the usual cover charge or having to answer the bouncer's cryptic riddles, you and a dapperly dressed dance partner will be free to waltz into Josephine and enjoy your choice of beer, wine, and rail drinks (roughly $6–$10) inside this luxuriously legalized speakeasy. Chandeliers drip ornately from the ceiling to eavesdrop on classy, candlelit conversations around mirrored tables, which give you an opportunity to practice your most debonair-looking spit take. Brocaded pillars will help conceal you from the eyes of nosy neighbors and bounty hunters. In between bursts of booty-shaking to the house, hip-hop, and dance music booming from Josephine's sound system, take breaks to lounge languorously on the regally upholstered banquettes that surround the sunken-level dance floor.
The stiff dress code at Josephine may be a deal-breaker for those with acute shoes and shirt allergies, but all others will find that gussying up for a night out on the town transforms a mundane ritual into an event, like delivering a baby in an elevator or hiring Marines to sing the national anthem while you shave. Treat a date, friend, or invisible friend to a night of being seen with today's Groupon to Josephine.
Washingtonian named Josephine one of its "Great Dates" for dance. Both the Washingtonian and the Washington Post reviewed Josephine, and BizBash featured the lounge. Although reviewers are mixed on the scene, Yelpers give it an average of three stars:
- Spend a Saturday night here and it’s certain to feel like an event—a thrilling, slightly voyeuristic celebration of excess. – Peter Bryce, Washingtonian
- Crowds are nothing new in the burgeoning K Street night-life district, but Josephine has more well-dressed would-be customers pleading with the doormen than anywhere else on the strip. Why? Because Josephine blends elements of nightclub and lounge better than any of its similarly bottle-service-focused neighbors. – Fritz Hahn, Washington Post
French Emperor Napoleon is best remembered as a fighter, but his letters to his wife Josephine show he was also a dedicated lover. The historic correspondence with Her Imperial Majesty was filled with smoldering passion—a passion that the owners of Josephine, a lounge named in her honor, seek to capture at their sleek nightclub. Filled with color-shifting accent lights in harlequin patterns, opulent chandeliers and plush leather benches, and illuminated floral patterns on the front of the bar, the two sprawling rooms seem as elegant as her royal rooms might have been. Despite this elegant look, though, the club is anything but stuffy. Visitors mingle with cocktails and spirits while house, hip hop, and electronic music fills the dance floor and darkened corners nearly every night of the week.