Showtime Lounge

Jukebox Hero

A No-Frills Bar with a Great Jukebox

None 4 Photos Showtime Lounge
There are two kinds of DJs. The ones with light shows and fake mouse ears.

And the other kind. The ones who, you know, just play cool records.

Here’s a story about one of the second kind. And the bar he just opened.

He’s DJ Soul Call Paul, it’s Showtime Lounge, and you’ll find it in a former beauty parlor (also called Showtime) in Bloomingdale.

What we have here: a no-frills neighborhood joint. A tad divey, in a good way. Low ceilings, concrete floors, safari-print wallpaper, a coffeemaker percolating on a shelf. Oh, and one of the greatest jukeboxes you’ll ever encounter.

But first things first: grab the window seat in the front, or a bar stool in the back with a view of the mural of great DC artists and record labels. Get a shot of something or other and a beer from the draft tower fashioned from an old water tank.

Then ask for the “Treasure Chest” book, which is the key to Paul’s knowledge of ’50s and ’60s soul and R&B music. Each page corresponds to one of the 100 CDs in the old-school (and free) jukebox, conveniently categorized not just by artist (Otis Redding, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins), but by places (DC, Detroit, Sun Records) and themes (“Booze”).

Yes, there’s more than just that one theme.


Showtime Lounge
113 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC, 20001


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