ringing in the new year at felt bar & lounge

TL;DR: Felt Bar & Lounge is a great spot for when you want to get away from the casino. It’s classy, not trashy. And it brings the vibe of high-end Vegas lounges to the DMV. At the bar, ask for Nate, then request the Gold Rush or Sazerac. Honestly, though.  

I spent new years eve at Felt Bar & Lounge in the MGM National Harbor. And it was so worth it, and so much better than hanging out in a packed club, sipping cheap champagne all night. It was capped at a reasonable number, so the lounge was full but never over-capacity. 

 

 

SIDE NOTE: Yes, I know that there was some big concert there, but I didn’t even know that Duran Duran was a band. When I heard the name, I thought it was some new hipster clothing brand. Sorry, Dad. Wrong generation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANYWAYS. If you haven’t been to Felt yet, here’s a quick little rundown. All of the bartenders are also “mixologists” so to speak. Which means that you can basically just ask them for something that’s sweet and spicy and made with Casamigos Tequila Reposado and voila — here’s your drink. The process is a show in and of itself and totally makes each drink special. 

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The lounge is small and dark-ish and nestled in a corner off of the casino by the slots + craps tables. It feels intimate and sexy without feeling like you’re in the backroom of some strip club (I’ve never been in the backroom of a strip club, so I’m just going off what I’ve seen in movies. Honestly, though). 

Inside, MARBLE cocktail tables fill the middle, while the outskirts are littered with velvet couches + coffee tables + armchairs. Classic casino lounge.

The patio (right now closed for the winter) overlooks National Harbor and will make the lounge an enviable spot to watch fireworks on July 4 (hint hint, nudge nudge). 

 

BUT if you’re going to get the most bang for your buck, make sure that you’re asking for Nate (Nathaniel) at the bar.

You can follow him on instagram: @mrz0mb13

In his own words, “Some people want to be doctors and lawyers. But I just want to be a good bartender.” 

He loves making people drinks, loves the process and the creativity. 

Example: 

A lovely woman by the name of {I believe} Josie was also at Felt for NYE. She and her husband explained that they ditched their friends ON NEW YEARS EVE to just casually have a date night at Felt. Which is hilarious for a couple of reasons: 

1. Who just decides to have a date night out of nowhere on NYE? 

2. Felt was ticketed and sold out way ahead of time. 

But her dress was gorgeous. So girlfriend, if you’re reading this, you’re awesome. Anyways, she watched in awe as Nate made a drink for boytoy and then asked for something that she just described as pink + frothy. Nate looked at her for a second. 

the pink drink

the pink drink

"So you want a french martini?" "Uhm, I guess?" 

“Do you like raspberries?” “Yes.” 

“Hold on, I’m going to make you a drink.” 

And with that, he was off muddling ingredients, creating fire (literally) and doing whatever else it is that mixologists do. A few minutes later, he produced a gorgeous pink drink in a martini glass and explained it to Josie. She was thrilled. 

The rest of the night was fun, and within the last 90 seconds of 2016, Maxim grabbed us to champies from Nate. You guys know the next part from your respective gatherings: We screamed the countdown, cheered happy new year and kissed. Then we danced, and danced, and made new friends, and talked with old friends, and danced some more. Side props to the DJ who worked the jams like no other. (p.s. my outfit? click here)

I loved being in the middle of MGM National Harbor without the bright lights, and drunk gamblers, etc. It was so nice to be able to have a space to relax and enjoy NYE without the craziness — sometimes you just want to dance and have a drink in a casino lounge, okay? 

Anyways, around 2:30 a.m., we tried to get a Lyft unsuccessfully (500% surge is such a buzzkill), and instead headed back inside where SHAKE SHACK sat before us, begging us in with their fried foods. 

2016: The year that ended in a high-end casino lounge with endless drinks + champs. 

2017: The year that started with pickles dipped in ketchup + mustard and french fries. (see below). Sorry Maxim, pickles and ketchup isn't ask gross as you think. 

Final thoughts? If you're going to the MGM at National Harbor, make sure it includes a stop into Felt. #BeSeenGetFelt (so raunchy. so perfect.) Honestly, though.