Madam's Organ Blues Bar

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Madam's Organ Blues Bar (center) on 18th Street, N.W., in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Madam's Organ Blues Bar is a restaurant and nightclub located at 2461 18th Street NW in Washington, D.C.'s Adams Morgan neighborhood. A local landmark,[1] the bar is popular for its nightly live music, especially blues and bluegrass. Regular performers include Bobby Parker, Ben Andrews, Catfish Hodge, and Bob Perilla & Big Hillbilly Bluegrass.[2][3] The bar offers billiards, has a rooftop deck and serves soul food.[4] Notable regular patrons have included Euan Blair, son of Tony Blair, and the late Soviet dissident artist Alexandr Zhdanov. Hungarian Ambassador András Simonyi was not only a regular patron but also performed with his band "Coalition of the Willing" for his Washington Diplomatic farewell party attended by a Washington A-list including European diplomats, United States Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány. Additionally, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson were regulars during the filming of Wedding Crashers, and Politically Incorrect host Bill Maher always stops by when in Washington.[5] Barbara and Jenna Bush have also been spotted there.[6] Madam's Organ was described as a favored hangout by Playboy[7] and Stuff,[8] and was featured on the Wild On! travel series on E!.[9]


In 1992, it opened as a blues and bluegrass bar. Madam's Organ moved to its present location in 1997, after a temporary closure.[10]

This location once housed the original Children's Supermart store, which was opened by Charles Lazarus in 1948 and later became the Toys "R" Us retail chain.[10]


Mural at Madam's Organ Blues Bar

Madam's Organ features a large outdoor mural, which depicts "The Madam", the bar's burlesque mascot. The bar's owner, Bill Duggan, says he commissioned the mural as an artwork, but the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs ruled it an advertisement because it includes the name of the establishment. In court, the owner refused to remove the wording from the breasts, claiming that to do so would only further expose 9' by 13' breasts. Since Madam's Organ did not have a permit for the mural, the bar owner was fined. The case remains in the Court of Appeals.[11]


  1. ^ Reffes, Melanie (March 20, 2004). "The other side of D.C.: Get away from the politicians and monuments and discover a Washington of neighbourhoods where people live, work, play". The Gazette (Montreal).
  2. ^ Braiker, Brian (April 20, 2000). "Band Keeps D.C. Stompin' and Hollerin'; Crowd Swings to Bluegrass in Adams-Morgan". The Washington Post.
  3. ^ Triplett, William (March 2001). "Where to Hear the Blues". Washingtonian.
  4. ^ Correa, Carla (June 16, 2005). "In Adams Morgan, you know you're not at the mall; D.C.'s ethnic mixing bowl is a nonstop hot spot". Baltimore Sun.
  5. ^ Churcher, Sharon (February 12, 2006). "Blairy-eyed; First picture of Euan as a Capitol Hill intern... partying at the bar where 'beautiful people get ugly'". Mail on Sunday.
  6. ^ Dart, Bob (July 21, 2003). "Grand old party? Not with this administration". Austin American-Statesman.
  7. ^ Dawes, Gerry (May 2000). "Critics' Choice, The Best Bars in America". Playboy Magazine.
  8. ^ Stuff Editors (January 2002). "The 20 Best Dives in America". Stuff Magazine.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Richards, Rob (April 2002). "Madam's Organ Press". Madam’s Organ Blues Bar.
  10. ^ a b Brace, Eric (November 14, 1997). "Old Names, New Faces". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ Montgomery, David (February 11, 1999). "A Madam's Image Problem; Bar Owner Says Mascot Is Art, but District Official Sees an Ad". The Washington Post.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°55′19.3″N 77°2′32″W / 38.922028°N 77.04222°W / 38.922028; -77.04222