The long-awaited opening weekend of Marvel’s “Black Panther” has given rise to a unique, but temporary, new bar.
The Wave USA, a D.C.-based event production company, is transforming a black-owned lounge into a “pop-up bar” modeled after the fictional African nation of Wakanda.
The pop-up bar, dubbed “Enter Wakanda,” opened at Red Lounge on the U Street Corridor on Feb. 15 and will serve patrons through the evening of Feb. 19. It features interactive experiences, art installations, musical entertainment, and a special drink menu all paying homage to the black superhero film. “Black Panther” is set to have the largest February and President’s Day opening weekend of all time.
In recent years, pop-up bars—temporary bars set up inside of existing establishments—have drawn block-long lines. Spaces have been themed on Christmas, Halloween, and even D.C.’s annual Cherry Blossom festival. Fans of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” along with other cult shows and movies, have waited in hours-long lines to immerse themselves in versions of their favorite on-screen worlds.
The idea for “Enter Wakanda” was sparked by Wave co-founder Gregory Jackson, who wanted to host a happy hour to compliment a private viewing of the film. That event soon “grew into something much more important,” Jackson said in a statement. “We saw an opportunity to create the type of experience that would never be created for us, so we decided, if not us, then who?”
To create the mystical space, Jackson brought together local talent such as artists Demont Pinder, Janel Henderson, and Andrew Williams. D.C.-area DJs will spin curated music nightly during the four-day experience.
Tickets range from $5 to $10, and are available online at http://thewaveusa.com/blackpanther. Patrons can also purchase tickets at the door for an additional fee.