Where is your entrance?
We are located in historic Blagden Alley. Blagden is inside a city block bounded by 9th street NW on the east, 10th street NW on the west, N street NW on the north, and M street NW on the south. The entrance is 130 Blagden Alley through a gray door covered in stickers. We are roughly halfway between The Dabney and Lost & Found.
Why is your exit different from your entrance?
Blagden Alley is zoned as a mixed use space. This means, in addition to the many businesses in the alley, there are homes as well. In an effort to be considerate of our neighbors, we ask guests to exit through the rear of the space onto 9th St NW – immediately across the street from the DC Convention Center. This exit allows easy rideshare pickup, just call the car to 1230 9th St, as well as easy access to our fantastic neighbors 18th Street Lounge.
Do you serve any food?
Never Looked Better is a cocktail lounge that does not have a dinner menu. For some reservations, we do offer a catering menu. Food must be ordered at least 1 week in advance to allow our chef team to prepare the ingredients.
Can I bring in outside food?
We allow outside cakes for a $30 cake-cutting fee. We provide plates, napkins, forks, knives, and a serving knife. We do not allow any other outside food.
Do you have private rooms?
Never Looked Better is one long room. We have different areas within the one room available for events. The Honeymoon Suite is the first space when you walk in. It features blacklights, floral installations, and tiled mirror walls. The Pink Room is a large area past the bar. It is neon lit with an open floor space and great view of the DJ booth. Hello Gorgeous is against the back wall underneath the “Hello Gorgeous” neon sign. We do not have any rooms that are fully enclosed and private.
Do you have big name brands?
Never Looked Better features a unique beverage program that focuses on small batched and local spirits of the highest quality. We prefer to buy hand-made spirits that speak for themselves. Our team of experts on liquor, wine, and beer have carefully tried thousands of products to ensure we are bringing you the best possible selections. We encourage you to try something new and trust that you are in good hands. As commercials in the 90s taught us, “Image is nothing. Thirst is everything. Obey your thirst.”
What kind of music do you play?
Our weekend DJs play a variety of music, but the heart of Never Looked Better is old-school hip-hop, with some other 90s jams thrown in.
Can I decorate for my event?
We allow balloons and flowers for reserved parties, but we cannot allow anything to be placed/hung on the walls. Absolutely no glitter or confetti is allowed, even if contained in/on balloons or flowers. Trust us, it will never come off our floors and furniture, Please note that we cannot allow anyone inside to decorate outside of normal business hours. We open at 5 pm daily.
Why do you need a headcount for my party?
Never Looked Better is an intimate space that reaches our legal capacity most nights. In the interest of not forcing people to wait outside while there is space inside, we ask that you confirm with your guests to ensure they are coming, and that they will arrive at the appropriate time for your event. We understand things happen, and a variance of a person or two is not a big deal, but you’d be amazed how many people request a space for 30 people, only 9 ever show up, and we are forced to make 21 pour souls stand in line to avoid going over capacity. We want everyone to come inside and have a great time, so providing an accurate headcount helps us make that happen. Thanks for your cooperation!
What’s the deal with minimums?
For some weekday events, we are happy to reserve space for your party with no minimums. We simply ask for a head count to ensure that we are properly staffed to take good care of you and your guests. On the weekends, when space is limited, we ask for minimum spends in accordance with industry standards. These minimums may fluctuate depending on the specific day (NYE, Halloween, and other big party days may be higher, as well as the holiday season). This doesn’t mean that everyone has to drink alcohol – we feature non-alcoholic beer, sodas, juices, and our talented bar staff can make delicious mocktails.
Can I bring my own music, DJ, playlist, etc?
Sorry, but we are unable to accommodate any requests for change to our music. We are very proud of our vibe, and we do not have the ability to play separate music just for your party, so everyone in the whole bar will jam along to our house-selected music.
Can I bring my own music for a full buy-out of the bar for a private event?
Well that changes everything! In the case of private buy-outs, you are welcome to provide your own music or we can provide you a
How much for a private buy-out?
It’s not possible to give a blanket answer because there are several factors involved. Our event coordinator can help walk you through the options. But as a rule of thumb, buy-outs will cost AT LEAST $1500/hour in the early week and AT LEAST $2500/hour on weekends, with a minimum buyout of 3 hours.
Can I rent out the space for a daytime event – photoshoot, baby shower, business meeting, etc?
Never Looked Better is available on select days for daytime events. Please know that there is a rental fee associated with these events – this is different than a minimum spend. Rental fees of AT LEAST $250/hour with a minimum of 2 hours. Available times for rental are generally 11am-3pm. Please note that all guests and equipment/displays/items must be vacated by 3:30pm to allow our staff to prepare the bar for opening at 5pm.
Do you have bottle service?
We do have a curated list of bottles available for bottle service at events. All bottle service selections must be ordered prior to your event.
Are tax and/or gratuity included in the pricing?
Tax and gratuity are not included in the pricing. An additional 10% DC sales tax and 20% service charge will be added to all party reservations.
How far in advance should I reserve space?
We have people who reserve things 6 months in advance, but you don’t need to be that organized! We do ask for at least one week’s notice to ensure we are able to adequately schedule staff to ensure we are able to take good care of you and your guests.
What is the dress code?
Never Looked Better doesn’t have a strict dress code, but it’s definitely an upscale vibe. We encourage everyone to “dress to impress.” Neon colors and black-light-reactive wear look especially cool in our environment.
What can’t I bring?
Everyone is invited to Never Looked Better, but not every “thing” can come inside. We must insist that absolutely no outside food or alcohol, no weapons of any kind (guns, knives, mace, tasers, etc), no illegal drugs, no oversized bags or luggage, no pets (except service animals), no underage guests, no professional photography/videography equipment (without permission), and no clothing that could be considered hateful, discriminatory, or obscene. Oh, and no f*****g glitter or confetti!