Waterfront Weather: DC’s Riverside Neighborhoods

Photo: Sam Kittner for Georgetown BID

Photo: Sam Kittner for Georgetown BID


Inside Hill & Dale Records
Q&A with owner Rob Norton

Tucked away just steps from the waterfront, Hill & Dale is an oasis for music lovers in Georgetown. We caught up with owner Rob Norton about what makes Georgetown a great home for a record store.

On Tap: Why did you pick Georgetown as Hill & Dale’s home?
Rob Norton: In 2013, an art gallery was moving out of our space in Georgetown. This space offered an excellent layout, close access to lots of people and affordability. I couldn’t be more pleased with the beautiful space that’s home to the store.

OT: What is your customer base like?
RN: [It’s] very difficult to categorize because it’s quite diverse. We have tons of students and young adults who are just getting into vinyl for the first time. We have many Gen X and baby boomers who are building and rebuilding their collections, and a good number of tourists and business travelers who make a point of visiting the store whenever they’re in DC. One of the greatest benefits of the store is the wonderful community of regular customers who visit the shop, love to discuss music, and support us with their business and their friendship.

OT: Do you feel like your shop, along with other iconic music outposts like Gypsy Sally’s and Blues Alley, are keeping the Georgetown music scene alive?
RN: It’s nice to be a part of a group of spots in Georgetown that are contributing to the strong music culture in DC. There are so many fantastic venues and record shops throughout the area that help make DC a great city for music. I’m just happy and feel so fortunate that so many people have supported our store and consider what we have built a part of the city’s great music tradition.

OT: What are some of your favorite records currently for sale at Hill & Dale?
RN: We’ve really been enjoying Snail Mail’s Habit, Leon Bridges’ Good Thing, Beach House’s 7 and the Black Panther soundtrack.

1054 31st St. #010 NW, DC; 202-333-5012;

Riverfront Recreation: Key Bridge Boathouse

If you’re craving adventure, the Key Bridge Boathouse is your one-stop shop for watersports. Tour the monuments while on a SUP (standup paddleboarding), do yoga while paddleboarding, or kayak and canoe down the Potomac. Outdoorsy types can purchase a season pass for unlimited paddling, access to boathouses around the city and half off the aforementioned classes and tours. Whether you’re a lifelong DC resident looking for a new way to see the sights in your backyard or new to the area and looking to explore the great outdoors, the plethora of options will keep you entertained all summer. 3500 Water St. NW, DC; 202-337-9642;

Brunch Vibes

Brunch can mean anything from an artisanal latte and avocado toast to eggs Benedict and mimosas as far as the eye can see. No matter your idea of the best brunch, Georgetown is the place to be on weekend mornings when you’re ready to indulge in all things sweet, savory and boozy.

Bluestone Lane
The Australian coffee outpost is now open next to The Frye Company. True to their roots, Bluestone Lane offers regional favorites like the flat white, Aussie iced latte and Vegemite toast alongside modern classics like the avocado smash and matcha latte. This particular location is tiny with only a total of four seats in the house, but don’t let that discourage you from getting your daily dose of Gold Coast delicacies.

“Take a stroll over to Georgetown Waterfront Park with a cold brew in hand and enjoy your brunch on the grass overlooking the scenic view,” suggests marketing director Andrew Stone.
Hungry for more?

“We also have a location in Foggy Bottom that offers a more extensive brunch menu, plenty more seating and table service,” Stone says.
The larger location will also be adding alcohol to their menu.

1066 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC;

Farmers Fishers Bakers
If you’re looking for a boozy brunch but want to venture outside the typical Bloody Mary or mimosa, Farmers Fishers Bakers has you covered.

Their $32 per person weekend brunch has something sweet and savory for every kind of palate. Sweet bread French toast, breakfast jambalaya and traveling trays of sushi are served with complementary coffees and teas. The full tiki bar and brunch cocktail menu is available and complements the wide range of available cuisine.

“The food should be fun,” says beverage director Jon Arroyo. “You don’t want to order a cocktail that has four ounces of rum in it that can put you on your butt and then pair that with something esoteric. You want to have fun on both sides.”

3000 K St. NW, DC;

A taste of France right next to the waterfront, Malmaison offers a healthy mix of European and American brunch classics and an impressive espresso menu. Boozy options include bellinis, brunch cocktails and $22 bottomless mimosas. Come for the bubbles and stay for the view and live jazz band that can often be found playing on the weekends.

3401 K St. NW, DC;

Music Mainstays

Blues Alley
The iconic, Dizzy Gillespie-founded jazz and supper club continues to provide an outpost for both dedicated jazz fans and those who want to experience live music in Georgetown. Highlights of this summer’s schedule include Tuck & Patti (June 23-24), Miki Howard (July 7-8), and an Earth, Wind and Fire tribute band (August 14). Be sure to check out the Artist of the Week cocktail special, which changes to highlight the headliners. 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC;

Gypsy Sally’s
Billing themselves as “the music venue for serious music lovers who don’t take themselves too seriously,” Gypsy Sally’s showcases local and national acts on their main stage and in the Instaworthy Vinyl Room. Located under the Key Bridge, this longstanding location is a great place to grab a drink indoors on hot or stormy nights. Their summer lineup includes residency shows from Electric Love Machine (June 8, July 12 and August 9), Ghost-Note (June 14), and Knox Hamilton (July 19). 3401 K St. NW, DC;

Buzzworthy: The Wing

The working adult version of the no-boys-allowed sleepover hit an unassuming Georgetown alley in April. The all-female coworking space offers a home base for the women of DC to make things happen – staffers, freelancers, artists and everyone in-between. Aside from the opportunity to work alongside fellow female movers and shakers, The Wing boasts the Perch Cafe, community programs and free blowouts. Welcome to a working world where women want for nothing. 1056 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, DC; 202-902-9464;

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