Late Night Shots' New Year's Eve revelers demand refunds
Washington's young preppies mounted a bitter online revolt this past weekend after what was billed as an elegant black-tie-optional New Year's Eve party at the National Building Museum devolved into an oversold, chaotic nightmare.
Guests complained of loose security, underage drinkers, long lines at depleted bars, lost and stolen coats and fights breaking out in urine-splashed restrooms -- after having paid anywhere from $70 to $120 a ticket. And then they took to the Internet to lash out at the party promoters -- Reed Landry of the post-frat social network LateNightShots.com and Fritz Brogan, owner of Gin and Tonic tavern -- in postings on LNS and The Washington Post's Going Out Guide (which gave the event an "editor's pick" in advance). "Horribly disgusting excuse of a party," read one. Another: "Anyone for a class-action lawsuit?"
Hey, it's not like anyone got stabbed -- as was the case that night at Love nightclub, now shuttered by city officials. And similar complaints flew a few blocks away at the Harman Center, rented out for a "20s and 30s Going Out" party that ran out of booze early and shut down before 1.a.m. (Organizers "Jared and J.T." did not respond to our e-mail.) But the reaction was more heated at the Building Museum party, possibly because of Landry and Brogan's vaunted reps as the young social gurus of Georgetown.
"They weren't checking tickets, they weren't checking IDs," said Lauren Guenther, 25, of Washington. "I stood in line at the bar for 20 minutes and couldn't get a drink. People ended up grabbing bottles from behind the bar."
"A freshman year fraternity party gone horribly wrong," said Tommy Haskins, 26, an N.Y.C. lawyer.
Bryna Lipper, a spokeswoman for the museum, said the building didn't suffer any permanent damage but that it was "looking into recourse" because "the promoters oversold beyond our agreement."
Landry said they are "looking into the performance of the catering company and their role in overseeing the bar and coat check processes." But he denied a shortfall of booze: "There were cases of liquor and champagne left over at the end of the night, though there were issues with efficiently restocking some of the bars."
The Reliable Source
January 5, 2010; 1:03 AM ET
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