Gypsy Sally’s is a nostalgic live music venue and bar stashed away in the District’s Georgetown neighborhood. Anyone with a love of music, past or present will want to come back for more at this cozy hidden gem.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Andrew Williams Contributing writer
Every city deserves a no-fuss nostalgia-inducing bar. We found our huckleberry at Gypsy Sally’s, the well-hid music venue and bar featuring a blend of Americana, blues, bluegrass, rock, folk and country performances. Besides outstanding live performances, its easy-does-it atmosphere keeps you coming back for more.
When a bar is self-avowed as a spot for “serious music lovers,” there’s naturally some skepticism. But, one night at Gypsy Sally’s is enough to convince you otherwise. It doesn’t ask anything of you that it wouldn’t ask of itself, and specifically not to take yourself too seriously.
You’re also encouraged to bring your own record to spin on the turntable – redefining the idea of a curated soundtrack.
The nook where Gypsy Sally’s is stashed away makes it one of the city’s hidden gems and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Tucked below the Whitehurst Freeway in the Georgetown neighborhood – an area traditionally known for retail, old money, and lavish properties – it’s the perfect contradiction. There’s a rebellious tone at play and tangible pining to preserve the memory of Georgetown’s musical heyday, one that’s kept alive by places like the nearby iconic Blues Alley, which has played host to Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, Tony Bennett, and Eva Cassidy.
With a ticketed concert space designed to keep you from running for earplugs, the Vinyl Lounge featuring open-mic nights every Tuesday and a bar menu stocked with a “satisfying” variety of regional craft brews, as well as wine and liquor, what you see is what you get here and CYTIES is smitten.
The Music Room is equipped with plenty of seating and a dedicated standing area. Acts are booked under the premise that louder doesn’t mean better, and draws patrons for an experience that’s about good music, good memories and a good time. It’s a rare breed of bar with charm and mystique.
The Vinyl Lounge, adjacent to the Music Room through a separate entrance, is killer. It’s a narrow room lined with red counter space on either side and comfortable bar stools, complemented by framed concert photography and other funky details. Our favorite touch is the record collection stacked at the focal point of the room, serving as a backdrop for its frequent acoustic sessions. In between sets, patrons are serenaded with selections from the vinyl and CD collections. You’re also encouraged to bring your own record to spin on the turntable – redefining the idea of a curated soundtrack. We’re already tempted to come and drop a pin on the recently released Lumineers album.
Word is if you bring a record to play that impresses the staff, there’s a free drink headed your way
Check out the nearby Blues Alley, a jazz night club founded in 1965
Peep the classic VW bus parked inside the Vinyl Lounge
Tuesday nights are the best if you’re into eclectic open-mic sessions