Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I thought Pampas was a Brazilian Steakhouse...

First of all, I apologize for the delay in getting this review out, but with law school finals quickly approaching, my time is basically non-existent. Anyway, when rumors started flying about a party being thrown by Capital Event Productions on the night before Thanksgiving at a bar next to the Palladium in Birmingham, I assumed something new opened up and I just hadn't heard about it. I was aware that the Brazilian steakhouse "Pampas" was next to the Palladium, but people don't party there on the weekend ... right?

I still don't know if people party there on the weekends or not. If they do, they should stop. And if they don't, it should stay that way. As it turned out, there was a party on Thanksgiving Eve at Pampas and to put it nicely, it was a complete and utter disaster. The options for getting into this "bar" were buying a ticket for $25 before, buying a table for $100 before, or buying a ticket at the door for $40. Here's the best part: If you bought the ticket at the door for $40 or the ticket beforehand for $25, all you got was admission into the "bar." No drink specials - no free drinks - nothing. Now I'm pretty sure that the Michigan economy is in complete recession right now, but even if it wasn't, charging these prices just for admission is ludicrous. (Ok I'm being a little over-dramatic about the recession thing... the individuals attending this party obviously weren't worried about it considering it seemed like half the people attending came in a limo.) Additionally, for $100, all you got was admission, a table, no line, and a bottle (I'm not sure what type of bottle you received).

Apparently some people were in the "bar" before 10:30p, but it was pretty evident that most people came around this time. When I first arrived, the line was not very long, but obviously not moving and no one was getting in. The crowd consisted of kids who attended Andover High School and West Bloomfield High School within the last 10 years, in addition to some from Lahser, Cranbrook, and Country Day. People were pushing, and someone (the manager maybe?) came flying out and was screaming/cursing/etc. at everyone. It was obvious that management at Pampas were completely unprepared for the amount of people trying to get in and the bloated ego type of crowd that was attending. Needless to say, once the limos started pulling up to the place, all hell broke loose. The cops showed up and attempted to push everyone backwards, the manager continued to be hell bent on alienating every potential customer in line, and the pushing and shoving continued.

A couple things must be noted here. First, soon after I arrived, the manager informed everyone that if you did not have a ticket, and expected to buy it at the door for the bargain price of $40, it was useless for you to stay in line because you were not going to get in. Second, not only were people who already had tickets waiting in line with what seemed like no chance of getting in, but even people who paid $100 for a table were stuck outside. Some people got the hint that they were not going to get in, considering the rawkus line, the big headed cops, and the insane manager running the door.

Ok, I said people started to get the hint that they weren't getting in the front door, but that doesn't mean a back door wasn't going to be unlocked. Apparently a bunch of people ran in through a back door near the dumpsters and once that began it was a forgone conclusion that this party was going to end quickly. Within ten minutes of the cops showing up, someone had pulled the fire alarm and the entire bar, and rumor has it the entire building, which includes the Palladium, was forced outside by police and firemen. I don't know if anyone was ever let in after that, but I didn't stick around to find out. Everyone left Pampas and made their way over to Big Rock. I'm sure that went over well... All in all, their was no way for the night to be worse. Considering I was only inside for 5 minutes before everyone had to leave, I am unable to even report on the atmosphere inside.

It is a shame that the night turned out like this, especially when everyone paid such a steep price to get (or not get) in. Owners, managers, Capital Event Productions and all other promotors should be embarrassed about the events that took place and if life was fair, they would refund everyone's money. That is obviously not going to happen, but people should know what did happen that night. To get to the point Pampas, I don't know how you operate on a normal weekend night, but if the night before Thanksgiving was any indication, maybe you should just stick to cooking steak.