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Award-Winning Live Music at the New Deal Cafe!

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Congratulations to the New Deal Café on its THREE wins in the Washington City Paper’s Best of DC 2020!!

The New Deal Café won:

  • FIRST PLACE in “Best Place to Experience Local Music.”
  • THIRD PLACE in “Best Music Venue.”
  • THIRD PLACE in “Best Place to Have Dinner With Live Music.”

As music and bar manager Amethyst Dwyer posted on Facebook, “Wooooo hooooo!! We’re the little co-op that could! Long Live the New Deal Café!!!!!”

As Amethyst pointed out during the Café’s board meeting last night, the third-place finish for “Best Music Venue” in the whole DC area is especially impressive, given that 1st and 2nd places went to the 9:30 Club and The Anthem, both large downtown venues.

Personally, hearing about the Café’s great showing in the City Paper poll made me soooo sad – because live music there is what I miss the most during the pandemic. Hands down.

So I scoured YouTube to find videos of live performances at the Café, and here are a few of my favorites. They demonstrate the impressive range of music that Amethyst lines up for that hallowed stage.


The regionally famous “Nighthawks,” accompanied by Greenbelter (and frontman for Fast Eddie and the Slowpokes) Ed Crowley.


Traditional roots music.


This band describes its music as “Eastern Block party music – – Slavic jazz, Gypsy music, TurboFolk.” Who knew?


A North Carolina-based singer-songwriter, stopping here on tour.


Maryland’s governor O’Malley during a get-out-the-vote event.


A West African drum troupe based in Washington DC.


Baltimore-based Middle Eastern band and dancers.

An “international minstrel’s troupe with ancient German Bagpipes and bombastic drums,” Wolgemut was in the area performing at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.

Local favorites performing during an Open Mic night.

Live Music and the Pandemic

Rock Creek Band performing at the Old Bowie Town Grille, summer 2020.

Since the shutdown, the Café, hasn’t been allowed to put on music indoors – naturally – but even outdoors in Roosevelt Center. Regulars like myself are driving to the Old Bowie Town Grille to hear outdoor music and having a great time, hearing many of our favorite musicians.

But we STILL can’t figure out why they can do it but the Café can’t. They’re both in Prince Georges County.

Follow Susan Harris:
“Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com and direct the nonprofit Good Gardening Videos.org.”

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