Go-Go Venue Goes Up in Flames

Was named one of area's best

An Oxon Hill banquet hall known for its Go-Go dances is said to be a total loss following a fire early Tuesday morning.

The Byrne Manor Knights of Columbus Hall on Southern Avenue went up in flames shortly after 2 a.m. The brick walls are still standing, but the interior was gutted by flames.

The Knights of Columbus are known for their community outreach programs. The hall was also regularly rented out for events, including a long standing Go-Go night.

The hall was named "Runner Up Best Old-School Go-Go Venue" in Washington City Paper's Best of DC 2009 issue:

Byrne Manor is never mentioned along with Capitol Pavilion, the Ice Box, or the Metro Club as one of city’s legendary go-go venues -- and with good reason. For starters, it’s in Prince George’s County, not D.C. Also, it’s not an actual go-go club but a Knights of Columbus banquet hall that, for decades, has been rented by various promoters. Despite its idiosyncrasies, though, Byrne has one huge advantage over the storied go-go palaces that packed ’em in during the ’80s and ’90s -- it’s still open. Byrne (pronounce it "Brian"; nobody says "burn") is one of the few places left in the region that can boast of hosting multiple generations of go-go acts: everyone from Proper Utensils and Backyard to Suttle and Reaction.

Kenneth Holmes, of the Knights of Columbus, said they've been sprucing up the building by doing roof and tile work. According to Holmes, a younger generation of Knights recently took over leadership roles at the hall and had plans to become more active in the community.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The damage estimate is $1 million.

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