A Tale of Two Parties: Meltdown at Tavern on the Green and Success at Le Cirque

Morgan Miller and Sirio Maccioni
Morgan Miller and Sirio Maccioni Photo: Seth Wolfson

Two New York City institutions held Halloween parties over the weekend: One of them, at Tavern on the Green, was such a disaster that cops were called, and another, at Le Cirque, was such a smashing success that it may become a regular thing. First, the bad news: A tipster tells us, and a Daily News item confirms, that furious ticket holders were shut out of Tavern on the Green’s party, which was eventually shut down by cops. Here’s our tipster’s account, with the juicy parts highlighted.

As you may or may not have heard, the biggest mess from this past weekend’s Halloween festivities was a failed/non-existent party at Tavern on the Green. Over 5000 people were scammed out of anywhere between $60-$130 per ticket for a party that promised 6 hours of free food and drinks at the venue, with doors opening at 11 pm. Most would-be revelers arrived at 10:30 as advised by promoters, and then proceeded to stand outside in the rain for 2+ hours, pressed together in a clear violation of safety. People became angrier and angrier as there seemed to be no signs of being let into the venue, and had a riot begun, many people would have been trampled to death because it was so packed with no exit. The venue did not let most people in — according to reports, the promoters who organized the event had not hired enough security — and with thousands of people outside, NYPD eventually came and shut the party down by 1 am, citing the large crowd a hazard.

By that point, some people had begun getting belligerent, and began to tear through the cloth of the tents — there are rumors that chandeliers began getting broken, etc. The few people who did get in noted that they had run out of food, it was impossible to get alcohol, and that it appeared there was little in the way of organization. The main promoters, named Alex and Leo Gaskin, apparently disappeared, and Tavern employees apparently could not get in touch with them once things began getting out of hand. They have yet to pay Tavern in full for their rental of the space as well.

Those who paid via PayPal have been able to get refunds issued, but the promoters mostly asked for cash, and so many people have been left out in the dark. A Facebook group has been formed and many people are contacting Help Me Howard and ABC 7 On Your Side. Talks of filing a civil class action suit are also circulating. It has been impossible to get in touch with the promoters, who are forwarding their voicemails to Tavern on the Green. Both promoters and Tavern’s management have been pointing fingers at each other, according to a report in the NY Daily News.

ChiChi212 has photos of the mob scene, but let’s now focus on the positive, shall we? Yes, the photo you see above is Sirio Maccioni with Hugh Hefner. Actually, the man next to him is photographer Morgan Miller, who threw Le Cirque’s 700-person Halloween party along with the Maccionis and real estate broker Joey Braha. Miller tells us he’s in talks with the family to turn the restaurant’s bar area into an after-midnight destination. Miller says he wants to hearken back to El Morrocco and the Stork Club with weekly parties, and that it’s a “very, very strong” possibility that the Maccionis will let him do it. “We want to make it the kind of place where after midnight you get off the plane from Hollywood and that’s where you want to go for a drink.” Ah, so the door will be tight? “I think it’s going to be very tight,” says Miller. “It’s going to be like Le Cirque — the right people are going to know and the right people will definitely get in.”

A Tale of Two Parties: Meltdown at Tavern on the Green and Success at Le Cirque