There is a fierce brunch war going on in New York City, and it’s not about which restaurant makes the most delicious hollandaise sauce.
It’s about who can throw the wildest, most out of control party you can attend on a weekend afternoon. And on Saturday, Business Insider visited Midtown hotspot, Lavo to see how they’re doing it.
You’re going to love this.
But first, a little background on the battle over brunch. It all started a few years back when NYC restaurants like Beaumarchais and Bagatelle decided to bring a taste of the South of France’s insane day parties to NYC. That means parties that are exclusive, expensive, and epic.
During the summer, this battle moves to the Hamptons. You wear bikinis while you dance on tables.
In the fall, it’s time for a revamp — and that means a brunch arms race where the only real winners are the people guzzling champagne and breaking it down at 4:00 pm.
And those people come from everywhere. Andrew Goldberg, a partner at Strategic Hospitality Group, which owns Lavo, told Business Insider that the party prides itself on its international appeal. You’ll meet revelers from all over the globe.
You might see some more familiar faces in the sea of bottles and models as well. Once Jamie Foxx stopped the party in full swing by performing a 45 minute set.
“The party stopped and we lost money but it was totally ok,” said Goldberg. “We always want to talk about a ‘wow factor’.”
That ‘wow factor’ is what gets guests e-mailing their praises to Lavo the next day, telling their friends that they absolutely must have their birthdays there, and spending thousands of dollars on their next Lavo fix.
Goldberg said that Lavo wants to give guests a full experience -- that means excellent food (we suggest the spaghetti and Kobe meatballs).
The party's special sauce, though, is the pageantry that goes into it. These flags are from the club's prop closet, which Lavo's been adding to over the last 3 years.
Lights start to dim around 3:30 p.m. -- Goldberg says the difference between a day party and night party is that he and his team have to work much harder to get people in the mood.
At night, guests come to the club drunk and ready to party -- daytime is different. It's about the build up.
Guests know its time to get wild when the Spanish flag is presented -- it's in honour of a group of party promoters that work with Lavo, the Spaniards.
The music gets louder, glow sticks are passed around, and everyone hurries to finish their food. The tables are about to become extensions of the dance floor.
Every single thing is about presentation -- this is what happens when you order a bottle. Smoke and lights.
But just because the party's in full swing, doesn't mean the pageantry stops. In fact, lavo ramps it up.
The prop closet empties out onto the dance floor -- that means you could see anything from custom signs to deep sea captain costumes.
This is the 'Wheel of Fortuna', it's a new twist for this season. If a table spends more than $US4,000, they can spin it for a chance to win a bottle.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.