Taken from The Washington Post article written by Fritz Hahn
The lodge at redrocks
If you walk by the H Street RedRocks on a Saturday night, it looks like a classy pizza restaurant: high ceilings, exposed brick, couples noshing on pies topped with prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella. But if you climb the stairs, you’ll find a startlingly large dance floor with its own bar. Head up another flight of steps and you’re faced with a mezzanine looking down onto the dance floor, a spacious bar and a sizeable rooftop deck. “You watch people, and it’s like they’re discovering new secret space for the first time,” says Shaun Starkey, who’s responsible for organizing Friday and Saturday nights, and DJing a fair few himself.
There’s plenty to like: an airy space to get down; great sound; a solid list of beers and wines starting at $6; and groups of couches if you want to take a breather. This would be just another recommended weeknight destination on H Street’s crowded strip if Sharkey wasn’t booking special guests like acclaimed hip-hop MC Talib Kweli, New York mixtape legend Tony Touch and, this Saturday, Afrobeat and hip-hop party-rocker Rich Medina.
Sharkey got his start as a hip-hop producer in the late ’90s; he worked with Eminem and Rick Ross before releasing his 2004 debut “Sharkey’s Machine,” which included guest spots from Jean Grae, Grand Puba and Cannibal Ox. Sharkey says he’s built “personal relationships” with a lot of artists and DJs, which enables him to ask them to come to RedRocks without having to go through booking agents.
Then again, Sharkey isn’t just bringing in out-of-towners. He’s leaning on veteran groove suppliers Stereofaith and Tom Lim, among others. Two weeks ago, he coaxed Liv’s long-running “jheri-curl funk and champagne soul” retro event, Axel F, over to H Street, with returns possible.
RedRocks’s dance floor is only full on Friday and Saturday, with Sharkey considering an expansion to Thursday nights. “H Street is hard to do on weeknights,” he says. After previously booking events for Tropicalia and Sticky Rice, he may lean on his rolodex to fill other nights on the calendar.
Next up: Rich Medina, Jahsonic and Sharkey perform Saturday. Doors open at 8 p.m.