A badass rooftop, speakeasy, radio station, wellness center and featured restaurant -- American Son -- inspired by its creator’s experiences as a second-generation chinese immigrant in rural Arkansas. All of this is housed in the innovative, social justice-minded Eaton DC, along with a curated record collection and record player in every hotel room... this place is recalibrating the future of hospitality.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Andrew Williams Contributing writer
Eaton DC, the sophomore project of Eaton Workshop brand and counterpart to Eaton HK in Hong Kong, is an oasis for progressive thought, creativity, and empowerment. Opening in 2018, the self-defined “activist” hotel bears its counter-cultural soul in every crevasse of the building’s design and programming, promoting an ethos of positivity, vibrancy, and healing. Welcome home urban nomads, THIS is the place to find your flow, your harmony.
The structure’s charcoal exterior gives it a hip cloak-and-dagger aura, while a parade of foliage frames the main entryway, artfully conceals its sidewalk seating and provides a zen-like energy. A rounded marquee, decorated with shrubbery and a cache of bright bulbs lends some theatrical foreshadowing. Eaton is a social justice personified.
Inside, Eaton DC cunningly gives every corner purpose through an intricate patchwork of eateries, cocktail bars, and communal spaces. Poignant artwork and socially conscious rotating art installations also are woven into its backdrop. Along the way, you’ll unearth:
- A radio station/recording studio, a vehicle of Eaton Media and platform for emerging voices; library; and Hometown, an old school newsstand
- Kintsugi, a coffee shop featuring vegan pastries. Kintsugi is the Japanese technique for mending broken pottery that embodies Eaton’s focus on restoration and healing
- Allegory, a speakeasy accessed through the library, featuring literary-inspired cocktails and an arresting mural depicting the story of Ruby Bridges, the first black child to attend an all-white school, as seen through the eyes of artist Erik Thor-Sandburg
- American Son, a comfort food restaurant and bar with vegetable-forward dishes, a culinary homage to chef Tim Ma’s history as a Chinese youth in rural Arkansas
- Wild Days, a rooftop bar, restaurant and music space, complete with pretty rad views of the city, a full-blown vegetable garden, and one psychedelic dinosaur skeleton, and a
- Wellness Center, that offers yoga (namaste brothers!), free midday meditation and alternative-healing classes
Eaton also boasts a cinema, well-hid seating alcove and garage-style doors, among other surprises. It’s an immersive experience and disruptive force to the widespread socio-political tension often amplified in the District.
This revolutionary tenor bleeds seamlessly into the retro hotel room design. All 209 rooms are furnished with a record player and curated record selection – injecting some swag into your rise and shine. Personal touches like salt crystal lamps to promote restfulness, hand-sewn blankets and family photographs donated by staff embody Eaton’s desire to pull guests into its narrative and invoke a genuine sense of belonging. The unusual feature that CYTIES most digs is the exclusion of a coffee maker to encourage interaction and exploration of the full venue. The CYTIES movement is for seekers, doers, and badass change makers. Getting out of your comfort zone, feeding curiosity and engaging other rebellious ramblers is something we wholeheartedly champion.
Did we mention the mini-bars? Stocked with mint tea, kombucha, green energy shots, coconut clusters, and other health-conscious on-the-fly munchies, as well as spirits and beer — all locally sourced — this place just gets it.
Trek 6 minutes north to El Rinconcito Café, a Mexican & Salvadorian eatery and DC staple
CYTIES passionately implores you to enjoy a cocktail and the views upstairs on the Wild Days balcony
Hang a left out of Eaton DC and north up 9th Street, where you’ll find a variety of quality water holes along the way
Ask to curate the record collection in your room at check-in, to personalize your stay. You can’t go wrong with Bill Withers or Leon Bridges
THE MORNING BUZZ
Album of the Week
We built this for you. Free of charge.
We don’t want your money.