BEST DISPLAY OF WEALTH - 2004
This past New Year's Eve, Engel reserved three of the VIP lounge areas at B.E.D., the restaurant/nightclub on Washington Avenue in South Beach. Engel, a German native, wanted to throw a nice little party for himself and a few friends. But as midnight neared, he apparently couldn't contain his enthusiasm for celebrating. He ordered magnums of Dom Perignon for his guests. His urge to spread cheer didn't stop there. He arranged to send magnums of Dom to all the other lounge areas. Then he ordered up a round of New Year's drinks for everyone at the bar. Engel's midnight munificence set him back roughly $10,000. The high-spirited bon vivant wasn't done yet. Each hour on the hour he sent a new round of champagne magnums circulating through the lounge. Total by night's end: $65,000. A generous man indeed, and equally generous with the B.E.D. staff. To his bill he added a $30,000 tip. With taxes, Benno's big night came to a whopping $96,000. Prosit!