The offical voice of the NYC nightlife scene anonymous Twitter @NYNightlife gives his take on the WIP brawl aftermath.
The aftermath of the Chris Brown and Drake bottle throwing incident at W.i.P. late last Wednesday night is far more complex than the widely viewed photo of shattered glass on the floor of an empty nightclub. The media has had a field day at the expense of a nightclub, the overall safety of bottle service is being questioned, a nightclub manager has been arrested by the NYPD and lawsuits seem to be piling up from the bloody victims of the bottle brawl. What does this all mean for nightlife?
For the answer, let’s dissect one story at a time, starting from the beginning. It’s 4 a.m., Drake, Meek Mill and their respective entourages are at one table in the middle section of W.i.P., while Chris Brown and his crew are at a table diagonally across from Drake and Meek Mill’s table. Chris sends Drake’s table a bottle of Armand de Brignac, (otherwise known at Ace of Spades) which gets rejected by Drake and Meek. Drake allegedly sends over a note to Chris saying: “I’m fucking the love of your life, deal with it.” If you can’t picture the note, just think of a napkin with the words “I’m fucking the love of your life, deal with it” written on it.
What happened next is a little harder to imagine as witness stories have been inconsistent. Who threw the bottles? Who threw the glasses? Who threw the punches? Did Meek Mill ask Drake to “meet me in the bathroom” where they locked the bathrooms doors until the melee calmed down before exiting the club? The biggest question the NYPD is concerned with is: did gunshots go off? While the investigation continues, let’s look at the effects of the brawl.
The NYPD, which already kept a watchful eye over Greenhouse, added W.i.P. to its list of places to pester. This past Thursday, W.i.P. was raided sometime around 2 a.m. The lights came on, underage patrons scattered and a source tells me there were even pat-downs.
The party was over for the night, but not before police responded to noise complaints at neighboring club Greenhouse, leading to the arrest of the club’s manager, Jonathan Cantor who police realized had two outstanding warrants, one of which I’m told is a 2003 fruit fly violation. Mr. Cantor spent 20 hours in jail.The following night, Friday June 15, W.i.P. was rather empty.
One source tells me the club was having a “private owners party.” A photo sent over to me from one NYNightlife reader showed an uncrowded room. By 2 a.m., the party seemed to be over. Was keeping the club well under capacity a move planned out by W.i.P. or was it a sign that customers were moving on to other nightclubs not associated with violence?
Saturday night at W.i.P. would have proven to be a good barometer to measure how the bottle melee affected whether or not people would return to the nightclub en masse, except police closed both W.i.P. and Greenhouse before the clubs opened for business. The clubs are now closed indefinitely.
A source who works closely with the aforementioned clubs tells me a combined “300 employees” are now out of work until the night spots reopen. Nightlife veteran, Anessa DeSarno, who is a friend of Greenhouse and W.i.P. owner Barry Mullineaux added:
“The event that took place on Wednesday night could have happened at any public establishment at any given time. Similar to concert or stadium venues – or even general restaurants or bars – nightlife venues train security and operations personnel to assist and minimize escalated situations as soon as they arise. While an incident like this is extremely rare and unfortunate, the heightened attention to this specific altercation is shedding an out-of-context light on nightlife and the nightlife industry as a whole – but I am confident that we will return to the positive culture that nightlife is meant to highlight and reflect.”
While an incident like the one that broke out last Wednesday could happen anywhere, it is to note this is not the first time violence has broken out at a Barry Mullineaux owned nightclub.
One anonymous DJ states:
“If you look at the people involved with the venues at the time of the shooting outside of GH [sic] last year, the stabbing then shooting at Juliet, then this at WIP, there’s a few of the same names that come up with each incident. Not saying any of them were involved, but its clearly the same negligent attitude that allows this stuff to happen, whether it be the promoters, the management, or the ownership. I think the police have realized this and are doing something about it.”
One security professional who wishes to be unnamed suggests W.i.P. hire more security guards. When asked how many security guards should be present at hip hop parties, the security professional says
“Atleast [sic] 15 (2 girls). Owners would past [sic] out if they heard that number because they view security as a [sic] after thought and a [sic] expense but I compare it to you having health and life insurance…No matter what they cost, you always should pay…Never know when you might need it!”
At least two of the eight victims are looking to sue those responsible for the brawl and their injuries. According to the lawyers of both victims, “the club” is one of the parties responsible for the injuries attained by their clients.
After I tweeted a link to a New York Post article stating a female victim would be suing W.i.P., @RinaBambina responded
“@NYNightlife why is she suing the club she should sue the idiots who caused it.”
America is a tremendously litigious country, so it is no surprise to see the victims suing W.i.P., but is the club truly the party responsible for the bottle throwing brawl? Isn’t W.i.P. a victim as well?