Why 1609 Lounge Is The Vibe! & The 1st Annual Halloween Loop
Written by L. Burner on 16 October 2023
Where: 1609 Lounge & Social – 1609 Northeast Blvd. Wilmington, DE 19802
When: Saturday October 28, 2023
Time: 6pm until 1am.
Fee: $10 (includes bus and entry for participating bars and discounts.)
Wilmington has a new hot spot that is bubblin’ just beneath the surface, on the verge of a major breakthrough! You know this when celebrities like R&B icon, Christopher Williams, hears about it and pops up on a whim! Christopher gave it his stamp! “I like what y’all are doing here!”
That feedback cannot be understated because what they are doing at 1609 Lounge & Social is uniquely ambitious; a hand-crafted, outdoor motif with an invigorating lighting scheme, fire pits, globe privacy tents & luxury tent sections for rent. The vibe is incredible!
There are outdoor games like “corn hole” and table games such as cards, Giant Jenga and Giant Connect Four. Inside, there is a standard bar room and food and drinks for sale. For sports lovers, events are on the bar TV regularly but the special events are saved for the outdoor projector.
And of course, there is plenty of room on the grounds, for dancing. What more could you ask for?
1609 Lounge (as some have nicknamed it) had a few soft events over the spring and summer leading up to its well-attended grand opening in September of 2023. The venue is currently gearing up for its 1st annual Halloween party & bus loop on October 28th.
The loop includes 10 bars in the Wilmington area. But the kind of mystique and atmosphere some get only on special occasions like Halloween is always present at 1609 Lounge.
The visionary behind this concept is Darnell “Herm” Patton. Darnell is not new to the promotion game. In fact, he was in the forefront of the branding movement with a popular T-shirt line in the 90’s called 797. During that time, he also promoted many one-off events. He then took a long hiatus to focus on other goals until a desire to bring family and friends together in an aspirational and intimate environment sparked an idea.
Darnell, a natural builder and craftsman who says; “I can turn anything into something,” built a wooden stage and bar room in his own backyard to entertain friends and family. This project is the origin for what 1609 Lounge & Social is today.
In the interim, Darnell had a very close call with Covid. Now it’s clear that he returned from that journey with a new lease on life.
He saw an opportunity to expand his idea to a public venue and jumped in with both feet! But this venture would have to be official, following state guidelines and regulations that weren’t required for his personal gatherings on his private property.
Enter partner, Xaviera Davis, a good friend and a member of the prestigious Zeta Phi Beta sorority with an excellent head for business.
While “Xavi” went to work dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s,” for 1609, Darnell began renovating the property and building furniture from wood and pallets to capture his outdoor vision, which falls somewhere between a “camp around the bonfire” feel and garden topography.
But chances are, whatever stage of development you see 1609 Lounge in, there is still more work in progress to keep reaching for and evolving the vision. Patrons can expect to see a full stage with live performances added to the venue before the end of the fall.
The name of the their LLC, Something From Nothing, speaks volumes about their dedication to literally pulling from scraps and re-purposing materials. That is a big part of the 1609 theme. Even the location of the venue, an old Rally’s/Checkers fast food restaurant (located on Governor Printz/Northeast Blvd) speaks to their ability to make something from nothing.
Many people in Delaware have ridden past the area a hundred times and never imagined it to be anything more than a nostalgic, vacant lot. The fact that the lot itself has been re-purposed as the mainstay of 1609 Lounge is the most exciting and charming part of the club’s appeal!
While Darnell does a lot of the hammering, Xaviera definitely has a hand in the organization of the layout and decorating, as well as the business end. The space has a rugged yet elegant feel. The décor seems to underscore and symbolize the balance of these two entrepreneur’s partnership.
1609 Lounge & Social caters mainly to a mature crowd, 35 and up and offers memberships as well. Their slogan is Something 4 Us By Us. Xavi explains;
“1609 Lounge has a community feel with a hint of luxury. Our patrons can enjoy games, music, live entertainment, laughs and lighthearted conversations about their favorite TV shows or more serious discussions.” Even deep and sensitive topics like micro aggressions in the workplace are encouraged.
1609 Lounge lends itself to great after-work meet ups as much as it does a fun-filled night out, or a private event. It offers this range and diversity, on purpose. Xavi adds; “One of our missions is to create a safe space for people that provides a recreational and social experience.”
When asked to explain what she thinks makes 1609 Lounge & Social stand out from other venues, even other outdoor venues, Xaviera simply spread her arms wide open with the genuine wonderment of what they have created thus far. As her eyes canvased their brainchild in the flesh, she simply stated, with exuberance; “ Just look around. There’s nothing out here like it!”
Costumes Are Encouraged! 10 participating bars, information on participating bands available on Eventbrite and in advance at 1609 Lounge.
For private bookings and more info: