Much like the Oracle, HipGuide answers visitors' tough questions here.

Woes of the Non Drinker
Q:Dear QB -

I stumbled upon your rather fabulous column while trying to plan a birthday party for myself and a smallish group of friends. The problem is - while we all adore going out, dancing, looking rather amazing - the majority of us don't drink - and a $300 bottle of Vodka is a terrible thing to waste. How do I get a group of 10 or so into a hip club without the liquor tab? Is there any way? I usually go out with just a girlfriend or two and we dance and don't care about a table, but in this situation is would be nice to have a place to sit.

xo

-- "AG aka On The Wagon"


A:Hello Wagon

Let me guess. You want to have this non-spending party on a Saturday night at the hottest place too, right?

Each day I get at least ten emails saying, 'please QB find me the most fabulous club in town where I can get my 40 guy friends in without waiting on line or spending any money and it has to be Saturday at 10PM and we have to have a table' Sigh. Double sigh.

Maybe this will help. Think of this in real estate terms.

What you are really asking for is OWNERSHIP (or rental) of A HOT APARTMENT WITHOUT spending ANY CASH.
How would that happen exactly?

I can't say this with enough emphasis: Truly hot clubs don't need clusters of people not spending. Actually they don't need clusters of people, period.

Basically kids - not just you Wagon - but all Readers - it's like this:

Clubs invented bottle service to make MONEY. They want to make MONEY.
Not just (as we keep imagining in our wildest dreams will be true) provide us with a place to PMAO while they ply us with fabulousness and champagne and we spend zilch. Nope, nope, that's just MY life. Kidding, kidding.

Seriously, if you don't want to buy a bottle, you have to find a way for them to make money off you otherwise.

So this is what I suggest, Wagon:
1. Make them money by bringing only really fabulous girls. If you must go to a bottle club - you can a. guest list yourself by calling in advance and saying you're all girls b. making friends with the bouncer.
Rinse and repeat with several friends so each person is on the list plus one or two.
Rinse and repeat with several clubs close together in case one doesn't work out. Why tell them it's your birthday? That's like saying, "I will be drinking like a Hilton so charge my card like one." And don't show up all together in a hideous bachelorette fashion.
Once there, ask someone nicely who seems friendly whether you can sit with them when your feet hurt - tell them it's your birthday!

2. Tell the club outright that you don't want $300 worth of liquor but $300 worth of nonalkie drinks. See if they will do it. Bet they will. Consider the $300 the cost of an event - or a gift to yourself.

3. Make them money by bringing someone who can host you. Call up all your highrolling alkie friends (or anyone who owes you a favour and has an expense account) and call in that sucker.

4. Avoid this altogether. Go someplace fantabulous where there's dancing and no bottles. In NY, there's about ten clubs on the Lower East Side that have this. All those little boites with tiny makeshift floors. Now it's not going to be Marquee but get over it.

(See previous Ask the Hip on Bottle Service.)

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