As it goes with designing the modern hotel, the LINE D.C. is ahead of the curve. It’s a cunningly constructed multi-purpose communal space, that features a coffee shop, multiple dining options, cocktail bars, and a radio station right on the fringe of the funky Adams Morgan neighborhood.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Andrew Williams Contributing writer
Stumbling upon the LINE D.C., which opened in the winter of 2017, is like an awakening. It’s a fitting experience for a dexterous social space converted from a 110-year-old church. Outside, dramatic stairs burnished with plant-adorned Olympic cauldrons to either side and towering romanesque columns dominate your gaze, drawing the eye in toward its distressed copper doors and up.
A bespoke James Bond or leather-jacket clad James Dean would proudly wet their whistle here.
The follow-up to the ambitious LINE in Los Angeles, this iteration is nestled in the eclectic and rapidly changing Adams Morgan neighborhood, a place historically known for its smoky rooftops, dives, loud weekend nights, oversized pizza slices and quirky shops. The refurbished building now houses three restaurants, two bars, a coffee shop, a radio station, a 24/7 gym, and a stylish 220-room boutique hotel. To call the concept unique undercuts the structure’s remarkable transformation.
Entering the LINE D.C., a falling chandelier and two staircases — one of which boasts a statuesque mirror impressively suspended on an angle — frame your view. Ornate and unexpected in all the right ways, the design pays homage to its former life as a religious sanctuary through the repurposing of original church pews, hymnal boards, a pipe organ and the integration of other subtle details, while distinguishing it as a badass architectural rarity. Making your way through the main corridor, a glass-enclosed radio station sits adjacent to a small coffee cove, The Cup We All Race 4, and gives the LINE an undeniable ‘cool’ vibe.
At the heart of its ground floor, the vantage points shift sharply up sixty feet and out on both sides, with enclave seating for its Brothers and Sisters bar-restaurant at its left and right wings. This versatile second tier of the lobby is complemented by an array of semi-rounded couches, wooden tables, candles, and black leather chairs. And above, the most avant-garde gold-plated chandelier you’ve ever seen. Balconies and dusky lighting deliver a theatrical finish. At the right time of day, the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee and gin converge on the noise all at once. A bespoke James Bond or leather-jacket clad James Dean would proudly wet their whistle here. It’s sophisticated and mischievous with unapologetic corners and shadows.
During golden hour (best taken in from the second floor at A Rake’s Progress), the LINE D.C. is awash with light bleeding through stained glass windows, giving cocktail and wine glasses an ethereal levity.
The dining, libations and sleeping quarters — the main attractions — deliver on every level. Whether you’re at Brothers and Sisters (don’t leave without ordering a mezcal negroni with their secret house spice concoction), A Rake’s Progress or tucked away standing room only Spoken English, you won’t be disappointed. Especially with James Beard-recognized chefs Spike Gjerde and Erik Bruner-Yang at the helm infusing some cache and memorable flavors.
Each hotel room is individually curated, with 3,000 pieces of artwork and photography from local female artists playing an intricate role throughout. And if you’ve got $3,500 a night to spare, the swanky 1,300 square foot Monument Master Suite with sleek city views is the way to go. Fortunately, you don’t need to drop Hollywood cash to rest your head at The LINE D.C. It has much more reasonable accommodations and enough swagger to go around.
The Green Zone, a Middle Eastern cocktail bar featuring ingredients like dates and Arabian bitters, is a 5-minute jaunt through Admo.
The Federalist Pig, a seductively good BBQ joint, is an 5-minute walk down the motley Columbia Road.
Jack Rose, a.k.a the Mecca of brown liquor, with a head-spinning library of 2,500 whiskey bottles is 8 minutes away.
Meridian Hill Park, home to hipsters, acrobatic yogis and an iconic drum circle on summer Sundays, is close by. Pack a flask, shades and book.