Just Enough Cowbell—And Caramel Sauce—at Howard Theatre

Has anyone noticed our Star Wars t-shirts? asked one of the original members of Blue Oyster Cult—the “thinking man’s heavy metal” band (you know them well) that took the stage at the newly restored Howard Theatre last Friday.

“Today is Star Wars Day,” he announced, unleashing a Darth Vader guitar riff. “May the Fourth be with you!”

Hundreds of die-hard 70s rock fans—wearing jeans, band t-shirts, and often, graying ponytails—erupted in applause, at a venue renowned for having launched the careers of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye and The Supremes.

“I’m sure 90 percent of the people here never come to this side of town,” said Ashley Mason-Greene, of BrandLinkDC, a Howard Theatre spokesperson. “They probably have preconceived notions about the area.”

But the historic arts landmark aims to get back to its roots as “the theater for the people” precisely by offering a diverse line-up of musical acts (ranging from bands like BOC to Boyz II Men)—and menu options— to please the masses.

Designed by top-rated chef Marcus Samuelsson, the menu includes a range of soul-inspired dishes— like tender crab cakes or melt-in-your-mouth short ribs with sweet potato hash —and signature cocktails (highly recommend the sweet and tart Ella Fitz—a mix of gin, grapefruit liqueur and champagne).  For the true hard-rockers, burgers and beer are available, too; but no matter what your tastes, the banana bread pudding with caramel sauce is sure to please!

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