Sticks + Live Rock & Blues = Cigars & Mudlark Band
In mid-December, I had a work conference in Crystal City/Arlington, VA. As with these type of work events, I get to see customers, vendors and strategic partners in the satcom (satellite communications) industry.
So, when a couple of my colleagues from Utah were in town and we started talking about cigars, I told them about a place in Alexandria that I'd always heard about but never been to. No one ever expects me to be as big a cigar aficionada as I really am! We decided to go the next evening and boy were we pleasantly surprised!
The place is called the "219 Restaurant" but the lounge goes by "Basin St. Lounge." It's located on Alexandria's famous King Street has the restaurant offers French Creole cuisine in a Victorian-style dining, plus a cigar lounge and live jazz upstairs. In fact, Basin St. Lounge has been a legend in Jazz and Blues music since the restaurant opened in 1979. World class musicians all around the globe travel to perform there. There's no cover on weekdays and a $5 cover on the weekends. The lounge also boasts a massive whisky list and a carefully chosen cigar list.
We Ubered from our hotel and arrived to find that the restaurant is on the left side of the building and the lounge is immediately upstairs on the right side. We walked in and quickly found us a table. I went up to the bar and asked some guy who I thought was the bartender (but turned out just to be a tall, blond busboy) if they sold cigars. He looked at me like I was either crazy or speaking a foreign language, but eventually told me that did. I then asked if there was a walk-in humidor and he looked at me puzzled. I eventually found out they have NO humidor, but if you need to buy a cigar you can off a cigar list. They have a 'box filled with cigars' from what I was told.
I took the list to my colleagues at our table and they asked me to select for them. So for one I selected the LDF Capitulo II and the other I chose a My Fathers Le Bijou 1922. I brought some of my own sticks with me and smoked a My Father's La Duena cigar. We also had some whisky that the gents were quite familiar with as it's made in their home town back in Utah. (Sorry, I didn't catch the name!)
The BIGGEST surprise of the night was finding a gem of a live rock and blues band called "Mudlark"! Four old white dudes (2 with the funkiest of beards & one of them looking like ZZ Top!) rocked out the place until around midnight.
If EVER the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover!" was appropriate and true, it is definitely in this case regarding these four phenomenal musicians!!! I may not have known a lot of the songs, but the ones I did were performed great. They played songs by Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Journey, Eagles, and original ones written by them or one of their members.
And...that Lead Guitarist "Bob" was one of the coolest dudes we'd ever seen! He was one "smoooooth" cat and all three of us said we could listen to him play anytime. They were awesome and periodically play at Basin St. Lounge. But, if you check out their website you'll see that they've played at The Howard Theatre in Washington, DC., but The 219/Basin St. Lounge is definitely their "home base." In fact, they're playing there on Friday (12/29/17)!
After their last set, all three of us went up and introduced ourselves. I got their card and told Bob that I'm a lifestyle blogger who was definitely going to do a review and promote them. Bob thanked me in advance and said they're not really good at promoting themselves which is just a shame! These gents are too good not to be touted and praised...their passion and love for the music they bring to us are undeniable!