Dude, what did you do for New Year's Eve? That's the question wafting through Miami's collective hangover this week. Most answers involve a combination of drinking, smoking, dancing, having sex, vomiting, and getting arrested (not necessarily in that order).
But a score of local clubbers say their night ended early after Louis Bar-Lounge in the Gansevoort Hotel refused them admittance despite their $60 tickets. After Riptide contacted the club's owners, a spokeswoman admitted that ticket-holders were turned away and pledged that they'd be refunded their money through the party promoter.
The mea culpa isn't enough for some stiffed partiers. "I just wanted to have a good New Year's," says clubgoer Alex Rubin. "Since I don't get that, I might as well expose the guys who ruined my night."
Rubin says he and 11 friends showed up at the Miami Beach hot spot at 1:10 a.m. after watching the midnight fireworks from a friend's apartment downtown. He and his friends weren't worried. They had shelled out more than $60 each for "after 12:30 admission" tickets supposedly good until closing. (Joonbug, a website selling the tickets, still says they were valid until 2 a.m.)
But when Rubin and friends got to the door, club promoters told them the party had ended at 1 a.m. When Rubin pointed out he could hear the music inside and that their tickets were good until closing, the promoter changed tactics and claimed the tickets were fake and each clubber would have to pay another $50.
"He said that the party was over; then the next minute he told us we had to pay extra to get in," Rubin says. "It was a blatant lie. I think he was trying to shake us down."
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When Riptide contacted Vanessa Menkes, the publicist for Opium Group, which owns Louis, she wrote back that the club unexpectedly filled up early and that anyone -- such as Rubin -- turned away with a ticket should expect a refund from the promoter they'd hired to run the party.
"Promotional company Joonbug/Crave took over sales and ticketing for Louis Bar on New Years Eve," Menkes wrote. "Unfortunately the venue was at capacity after midnight and some of their guests did not obtain entry. Joonbug is issuing a full refund to those ticket holders who were unable to enter."
But Rubin says that being denied entry wasn't the only problem with his New Year's Eve. Another friend tried to film their treatment at the door, and Rubin says someone from the club threw her camera onto the ground.