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Oscar Guardado on the Job that Chose Him

Welcome back to The Ropes, where Eater talks to the nightlife heavyweights. These are the guys and gals who help run the show and orchestrate dreams at the nightclubs around town.
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[Photo: R. Lopez]

Oscar Guardado is the general manager at Rosebar, the lounge formerly known as Current in DuPont Circle. During his six years in the business, Guardado has hosted reality stars, rappers, athletes and more at the Connecticut Avenue club. In the latest edition of The Ropes, Guardado tells Eater about the lounge's most popular bottles, Saturday day parties and Rosebar's nightly sparkler displays.

How long have you been the GM at Rosebar?
I've been the general manager at Rosebar a little over three years. I've been with Rosebar/Current for six.

How did you get into the nightlife line of work?
It chose me. I didn't choose them.

Are you originally from the D.C. area?
Yes, I'm a Washingtonian.

What time of the night does the party really get going at Rosebar?
On Fridays, it starts around 11-11:30. On Saturday nights, it starts around 11:30-12.

Do you have regular VIP clients at Rosebar?
Yes. They stop by weekly. We have some athletes that come weekly. Certain celebs come through weekly. Plus our normal, day-to-day clientele.

You mentioned celebrities. Who are some of the big names that you've had at the lounge?
We've had some reality stars– Yandy Smith from Love and Hip Hop. I've had Lamaan Rucker. He's an actor — he's been in the Tyler Perry movies. We've had Ice JJ Fish, he's an Internet guy. We've had The Game.

Yeah, I saw that Game hosted an afterparty a few weeks ago. What goes into that? What kind of accommodations do you provide for a big name like that at the club?
Basically a table with a couple of bottles. And the MC will give him a shout out that he's in the building. And then all our online marketing saying he'll be in the building. And word of mouth, etc.

I see online you guys have a lot of fun with sparklers. How often do you break those out? Is that a special occasion thing or a nightly thing?
That's a nightly thing. If they have a table reservation and they order a bottle, it comes out with a sparkler.

What is the most popular bottle ordered at the club?
Right now, it's between Belvedere, Ciroc — any flavor — and Moet rose champagne.

Aside from individual bottles, do you offer up set packages or other type of VIP or party services?
Yeah, we have a package that's two Belvederes and bottle of our house champagne for $550 that doesn't include sales tax or gratuity.

How often do you sell those packages?
We sell them pretty frequently. It's essentially for the customer who are looking to get the best bang for the buck.

What's the most expensive party you've seen at Rosebar?
My most expensive party so far at Rosebar has been The Game.

Can you give me a ballpark of how much?
With everything, it cost about $10,000 to do that event.

What are some of the craziest requests you've gotten at the lounge?
We pretty much have everything in stock in terms of alcohol or champagne. So it's been very minor.

Have there been any other requests, like someone wanting to buy out a whole floor or anything like that?
People have bought off our entire VIP section before.

How much does that run?
That can run you anywhere from $10-15,000.

Since you've been there for six years now, what's the craziest thing you've seen at the club?
Ahhh, I've seen people, I guess, getting very intimate with each other. That's the craziest thing I've seen. In public.

When you guys are slammed, what have people done to try to get in?
We've had people offer to pay as much as $100-200. We try to accommodate them with a VIP table if we have some available. But sometimes our capacity regulations doesn't allow it.

Anyone try to sneak in?
Yeah, they've definitely tried to bum rush the door, sometimes, especially when we have a crazy night. We have security up front, but we try to maintain as much as possible

What's the busiest night of the week at Rosebar?
Our busiest nights of the week are Fridays and Saturdays for sure. I have a Saturday day party from 4 to 9 p.m. I do about 800 people there.

When did you start the day parties?
We started in early April and they go to late October.

Is that on the roof?
It's the whole building.

Is there one party that you throw during the year that stands out from all the rest?
Yeah, of course, the New Year's Eve party.

What do you do for that? Any special guests?
Not really, we do a theme. This past year we did a Las Vegas theme. We featured the brand, Ciroc. We did some awesome bottle packages for VIP tables. We sell tickets online.
For VIP tables or to arrange a party at Rosebar, call 202-955-5525 or visit rosebarlounge.com.
—Jody Fellows
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